Lesson Plan

Plyler v. Doe: Can States Deny Public Benefits to Illegal Immigrants?

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This Plyler v. Doe: Can States Deny Public Benefits to Illegal Immigrants? lesson plan also includes:

Illegal immigration is an ever-changing source of consistent controversy. A reading passage about the rights of undocumented workers and illegal immigrants—and the lack thereof—guides high schoolers into a mock trial activity. Three groups consisting of attorneys for the appellants, attorneys for the respondents, and Supreme Court Justices role play a trial in which they refer to a list of Constitutional questions to argue for or against applying the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause to school-age children of illegal immigrants.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Use the essential question in the resource title to guide a unit, shorter lesson, persuasive writing assignment, or formal debate
  • Conduct the mock trial in front of another social studies class, and discuss reactions afterward
Classroom Considerations
  • Use the attached resource to establish a protocol for discussing controversial topics
  • Consider providing additional articles or prompting groups to find outside information to challenge or corroborate their arguments
  • Provides revised Supreme Court procedure rules to facilitate instruction
  • Questions lend well to both discussion and writing prompts
  • Provides a resource to guide respectful discussion of controversial topics in the classroom
  • None