Constitutional Law – The grade 9-12 Constitutional Law course consists of the following content area strands: American History, World History, Geography, Humanities, Economics, and Civics and Government. The primary content for the course pertains to the study of major legal precedents and evolving judicial interpretations associated with the United States Constitution. Content should include, but is not limited to, the evaluation of historical and contemporary constitutional dilemmas through an analysis of legal documents, processes and cases; an examination of the evolution of constitutional government from ancient times to the present; a historical review of the British legal system and its role as a framework for the U.S. Constitution; the arguments in support of our republican form of government, as they are embodied in the the Federalist Papers; an examination of the constitution of the state of Florida, its current amendment process, and recent amendments approved by Florida voters; a comparison between the constitutional frameworks of other nations with that of the United States; a review and application of major Supreme Court decisions and the impact of both majority and minority opinions; the understanding of constitutional concepts and provisions establishing the power of the courts including separation of powers, checks and balances, the rule of law, an independent judiciary, and judicial review; and appellate processes and procedures to address constitutional questions.
This course will incorporate the development of a written appellate brief addressing a contemporary constitutional question and the presentation of oral arguments to defend their position legally. This course is designed to provide an in-depth study of this topic to students who are interested in pursuing post secondary careers in law, law enforcement, governmental service, or a law related field.
Honors/Advanced courses offer scaffolded learning opportunities for students to develop the critical skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation in a more rigorous and reflective academic setting. Students are empowered to perform at higher levels as they engage in the following: analyzing historical documents and supplementary readings, working in the context of thematically categorized information, becoming proficient in note-taking, participating in Socratic seminars/discussions, emphasizing free-response and document-based writing, contrasting opposing viewpoints, solving problems, etc. Students will develop and demonstrate their skills through participation in a capstone and/or extended research-based paper/project (e.g., history fair, participatory citizenship project, mock congressional hearing, projects for competitive evaluation, investment portfolio contests, or other teacher-directed projects).
Mathematics Benchmark Guidance – Social Studies instruction should include opportunities for students to interpret and create representations of historical events and concepts using mathematical tables, charts, and graphs.
Teaching from well-written, grade-level instructional materials enhances students’ content area knowledge and also strengthens their ability to comprehend longer, complex reading passages on any topic for any reason. Using the following instructional practices also helps student learning:
- Reading assignments from longer text passages as well as shorter ones when text is extremely complex.
- Making close reading and rereading of texts central to lessons.
- Asking high-level, text-specific questions and requiring high-level, complex tasks and assignments.
- Requiring students to support answers with evidence from the text.
- Providing extensive text-based research and writing opportunities (claims and evidence).
English Language Development ELD Standards Special Notes Section:
Teachers are required to provide listening, speaking, reading and writing instruction that allows English language learners (ELL) to communicate information, ideas and concepts for academic success in the content area of Social Studies. For the given level of English language proficiency and with visual, graphic, or interactive support, students will interact with grade level words, expressions, sentences and discourse to process or produce language necessary for academic success. The ELD standard should specify a relevant content area concept or topic of study chosen by curriculum developers and teachers which maximizes an ELL’s need for communication and social skills. To access an ELL supporting document which delineates performance definitions and descriptors, please click on the following link: http://www.cpalms.org/uploads/docs/standards/eld/SS.pdf
For additional information on the development and implementation of the ELD standards, please contact the Bureau of Student Achievement through Language Acquisition at firstname.lastname@example.org.