Education Technology

NCSS: Developing a New Nation

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students research and prepare a persuasive paper on how federal courts should be constructed in a new country. They are to consider themselves on a panel that will develop a new government after living under a tyrannical dictatorship for many years.

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the LearningCheck(tm) and NoteFolio(tm) Apps on the students' graphing calculators following the attached instructions.

Review the components of a persuasive essay so that the students will know what is expected of them. Inform them that they must support their arguments with evidence from the Federalist Papers, United States Constitution, and Marbury v. Madison. This will make their arguments more persuasive, and it will prepare them for a substantive conversation when the class reconvenes.

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Distribute the LearningCheck(tm) file(s) to your class using TI Connect(tm) and the appropriate TI Connectivity cable
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Examine the origins and continuing influence of key ideals of the democratic republican form of government, such as individual human dignity, liberty, justice, equality, and the rule of law.
  • Explain the purpose of government and analyze how its powers are acquired, used, and justified.
  • Evaluate the makeup of the federal judiciary and the powers of federal courts.
  • Participate in a Socratic Seminar in which the implications of judicial review are assessed. For purposes of this lesson, a Socratic Seminar is a group discussion where the instructor asks broad discussion questions to stimulate student thinking. The class is to have a discussion of the important topic by integrating any primary and secondary material utilized by the instructor.
  • Write a persuasive essay in which the student takes on the role of a delegate who is in charge of creating a new federal judiciary.
  • After the Activity

    Ask students to send their persuasive essays to the instructor's TI-83 Plus or TI-84 Plus graphing calculator using either the unit-to-unit link cables or the TI-Navigator(tm) classroom network.

    Have students prepare for a substantive classroom conversation by using the primary sources distributed in class and their own persuasive essays.