Taking Ownership of the Law

This Taking Ownership of the Law lesson plan also includes:

New Review

The work of building and maintaining a democracy is, in the words of Justice William Hastie, "never finished." To better understand what Hastie sees as an ongoing building process, class members listen to a seven-minute podcast about two former Massachusetts slaves who used the law, successfully suing to gain their freedom.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Create a listening guide for the seven-minute podcast to sharpen listening skills and help keep learners focused on the discussion
  • Pause the audio frequently to check for understanding and to permit listeners to ask questions
Classroom Considerations

  • The fifth of eight lessons from the "What Makes Democracy Work?" in the Election 2020 collection
  • May be used for remote or in-person learning

  • Extensions permit learners to deepen their study of the Freeman and Walker cases, as well as of other times people have used the law to gain greater rights

  • None