Education Technology

NCSS: Concepts of the Fourth Amendment

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students will gain an understanding of the major concepts of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution and the meaning of search, seizure, probable cause, and a warrant requirement by reading U.S. Supreme Court cases that define these words.

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.

Place students into four groups and let them know the key term that they will be researching. Transfer the LearningCheck(tm) file to the groups that corresponds to the key term each group has been assigned.

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:
  • Identify, analyze, interpret, and evaluate sources and examples of citizens' rights and responsibilities.
  • Evaluate United States Supreme Court cases to determine the meanings of search, seizure, probable cause, and the warrant requirement.
  • Examine persistent issues involving the rights, roles, and status of the individual in relation to the general welfare.
  • Participate in a Socratic Seminar in which the implications of the Fourth Amendment are assessed. For purposes of this lesson, a Socratic Seminar is a group discussion where the instructor provides 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 judge and utilizes previous case law to reach a decision.
  • After the Activity

    Use the TI-Navigator(tm) Classroom Network to collect the LearningCheck(tm) files from all of the students.

    When the groups have completed their work, reconvene the class and begin a class discussion. Display the answers that the different groups recorded when taking notes about the key terms. In this way, the students can discuss the key terms and identify any missing components of the terms.