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Ancillary: Teaching student First Amendment rights


Teaching Student First Amendment Rights

Determine the best method of teaching either Morse or all four major Supreme Court cases dealing with first amendment rights.  The staff could create a handout, a website, a podcast, or an editorial or other feature for the publication itself.  To determine the best medium, consider the following questions:

  • Who is our intended audience?
    • Administrators
    • School board
    • Legislators
    • Judges
    • The public
    • Other students
  • What is our purpose?
    • Inform
    • Persude
  • What information is most important?
    • Just Morse?
    • All four Supreme Court cases?
  • Which medium will best accomplish all these tasks?

The editor-in-chief of the publication should divide the class into groups.  Each section editor could oversee one group.  If the class decided to teach about all four cases, simply divide the groups by court case.  If the class decided to teach about Morse, simply find a way of organizing the class into appropriate groups by task (research, design, writing, etc.).

The staff should work together in small groups to create whatever teaching model they chose.  Ask the editor-in-chief to roam about the class helping groups in whatever capacity they require.  Students should spend the vast majority of the class period properly researching and fact-checking (utilizing the SPLC and other reliable sources) as they create their assigned sections of the project in whatever medium they chose.

Come back together as a class and test the teaching model.  Reiterate the original intentions set forth at the beginning of class:

  • Intended audience
  • Purpose
  • Most important information
  • Medium that best accomplishes the task

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