UNIT PLAN First Amendment and Student Press Rights and Responsibilities

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This UNIT PLAN is designed for use in an advanced high school course for students of applied journalism or an introductory course for journalism majors at the university level.

This series of lesson plans is designed to be delivered over 3 class periods, 90-minutes each in duration, or, its multi-part activities could be delivered over 6 class periods of 45 minutes each.

This 22-page document includes:
• Detailed instructor lecture notes and discussion questions, with option to customize.
• Annotated research and references.
• Worksheet: Free Expression Rights
• Detailed homework assignments for each lesson plan.
• Vocabulary lists
• Unit Evaluation Instrument with Answer Key.


This unit is intended to be a skill-building module for students so they:
• are aware of a range of student press rights and responsibilities across multiple platforms within the context of the First Amendment.
• can interpret legal precedence to understand the extent to which school officials have the right to control the content of student media.
• gain the knowledge base to recognize illegal censorship by school officials, and the skills to mount a response.
• can apply critical thinking, reasoning, and logic skills in order to interpret the broad and subjective terms used in important legal cases, which may contribute to a lack of clarity about what is and is not permissible for student journalists.
• consider censorship and its affect on the “marketplace of ideas” within the school and community.
• employ reasoning skills by considering specific scenarios and debating whether or not each scenario would be subject to limitations according to important court rulings related to student press law.

Upon completion of this unit, students will:
• gain an understanding of the First Amendment freedoms for all citizens.
• understand the First Amendment within the context of student journalism.
• learn the history of precedent-setting legal cases that define student press rights.
• determine the extent to which school officials have the right to control the content of student media.
• have the knowledge base to recognize illegal censorship by school officials across multiple media platforms.
Total Pages
Answer Key
Included
Teaching Duration
1 Week

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UNIT PLAN First Amendment and Student Press Rights and Res