Performance Task Resources
Social Studies Grade 11: The Living Constitution


The Constitution of the United States of America
This site, from Cornell Law School, has hyperlinks to each section of the Constitution including the Articles and the Amendments.  Need to find a keyword to help you search for a newspaper article on a section of the Constitution, then look here.

Congress and the Supreme Court:

Yahool! Politics
Yahoo! Politics is a useful current awareness resource on the Supreme Court and Congress.  The site features breaking national political news related to the Supreme Court and Congress.
This site provides summaries and links to the full text of the latest court decisions from the Supreme Court, the Third Circuit, and nine (mostly eastern) states. These are listed in the top stories and latest decision sections. There is also a keyword search engine.

THOMAS: Legislative Information on the Internet
THOMAS contains the full text of bills from the current Congress back to the 101st Congress.  The text for the Congressional Record can be search and the voting records for all legislators can be found here.  This is an excellent site for any information on Congress.

  Congressional Directory

Oyez, Oyez, Oyez: A U.S. Supreme Court Database
This site, from Northwestern University, offers complete, unedited, oral arguments before the Supreme Court in landmark cases.  The site is searchable by date, title and subject. Topics include federalism, separation of power, and freedom of speech, religion and the press.

Center on Congress
This Web site, sponsored by the Center on Congress at Indiana University, provides information about the history of Congress and Congress today, including “How Congress Works.”

 The Dirksen Congressional Center
The mission of this site is to improving students' understanding of Congress and its leaders.  The Dirksen Center produces CongressLink, Congress in the Classroom, and Congressional Insight, Web sites that facilitate student-centered, inquiry-based learning.

General Resources:        [Return to the top]

Core Documents of U.S. Democracy
The Government Printing Office (GPO) has launched an electronic collection of "the basic Federal Government documents that define our democratic society." The documents are organized in six sections: Legislative and Legal, Regulatory, Office of the President, Demographic, Economic, and Miscellaneous. Selections include The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, selected Supreme Court Decisions and The Constitution of the United States of America, Analysis and Interpretation.  Two of these links are summarized below.

The Constitution of the United States
Here one may read a transcription of the complete text of the Constitution and look at a high-resolution image of each of the pages of the Constitution itself.  In addition there is an in-depth look at the Constitutional Convention, the ratification process and biographies of the delegates to the Convention and the signers of the Constitution.

The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation
This site, posted by The US Congressional Research Service and Government Printing Office, contains the annotated references of cases (up to July 1, 1996) decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in their constitutional context.  This is a searchable and browsable site.

  History of the Federal Judiciary

The Structure of the United States Federal Government
This site from the United States Information Agency explains the structure of the US Federal Government.

US Federalism
Created by Kala Ladenheim of the School of Business and Public Management at George Washington University, this new site contains a comprehensive collection of original hypertext essays and annotated Internet resources relevant to US Federalism, focusing on the relationship between the national government and state governments.

Federal Law Resources on the Net
This site is part of the Cornell University Law Library Legal Research Guides.  This guide has links to the major US federal law resources on the Internet.

Organizations:                      [Return to the top]

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Freedom Network
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the nation's "foremost advocate of individual rights -- litigating, legislating, and educating the public on a broad array of issues affecting individual freedom in the United States."  This site gives a brief overview of the ACLU and presents information on current ACLU activities in the news, Congress, the courts, and the states. It also provide specific information on issues the ACLU covers, including: criminal justice; cyber-liberties; death penalty; drug policy; free speech; HIV / AIDS; immigration; lesbian & gay rights; national security; police practices; prisons, privacy; racial equality; religious liberty; reproductive rights; students rights; voting rights; women's rights; and workplace rights. Each issue includes highlights from recent ACLU actions, related legislation facing Congress, ACLU publications, and links to other resources.

Human & Constitutional Rights
This site maintained by the Arthur W. Diamond Law Library at Columbia Law School, is an excellent resource for finding materials on human rights and constitutional rights. The information resources are divided into six sections: Country Reports, International Links, Regional Links, National Links, Documents, and Other Web Resources.

EFFweb - The Electronic Frontier Foundation
A non-profit civil liberties organization working in the public interest to protect privacy, free expression, and access to online resources and information.

Lesson Plans

These two sites are from The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) publication Teaching with Documents.

Constitutional Issues: Separation of Powers.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1937 attempt to increase the number of Justices on the Supreme Court is examined in this lesson.

Constitution Day.
Lessons, activities, and information commemorate the signing and ratification of the Constitution.

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Click on an addresses for access to full text newspapers online [BE CAREFUL as some CHARGE FEES]:

Washington Post:

New York Times:

NAA: Hotlinks to Newspapers Online:

New York State Newspaper Project: 

SF Gate: Article Search:

Chicago  Tribune:

Austin Chronicle Archives (Texas):

Texas Online  (Daily Herald): 

The Daily Camera Online:

 More Newspaper Collections:           [Return to the top]

Impressive news site that gathers headlines from over 1500 sources, then groups them into nearly 300 news feeds. It's one stop shopping for virtually any area of interest.

News Index
The NewsIndex allows one to search the current news.

Conservative News Service (CNS)
Provided by the Media Resource Center, the Conservative News Service aims to give users an alternative to what it calls "a liberal bias in the American news media and a frequent, liberal double standard in editorial decisions on what constitutes 'news'." It does this via a mix of short digest news articles and longer analytical articles in eight areas, including politics, economics, defense, religion, and culture. The X-Pert/Files/Links section contains links to conservative experts and their institutions in 45 subject areas. In addition, the site includes links to information about several conservative talk shows ("Radio Uplink") and several bulletin boards. CNS was created by MRC Chairman L. Brent Bozell III.

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High School Databases

Select the Proquest icon on the desktop (only available on the High School Library computers) and follow directions on the yellow Proquest handout.  Keyword searching will retrieve full text articles or citations for New York Times and some magazines.  
Use keywords such as:
  • constitution and rights
  • constitution and president
  • constitution and legislature
  • constitution and congress
  • constitution and courts
  • constitution and censorship
  • constitution and gun control
  • constitution and search and seizure
  • constitution and privacy

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Electric Library:  
Use this source (only available on the High School Library computers) to retrieve full text newspaper articles using the same keywords as above, including constitution and first (second, third, etc.) amendment.

  • CLICK on NEW SEARCH, click all icons except newspapers.
  • CLICK on any article you want and then RETRIEVE DOCUMENT.
  • Close your article window.
  • Select another.

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SIRS Researcher:  
Use this source (only available on the High School Library computers) to retrieve full text newspaper articles.

  • Click on subject headings
  • TYPE in U.S., Constitution (amendment choices follow this heading)
  • Double click on highlighted choice
  • CLICK on article choice
  • Print Select another

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Note: Please keep in mind that the Internet is a fluid medium and sites are constantly being added, moved and deleted.  If you find a dead or redirected link or you would like me to add a new resource please contact me at . Please give me the name of the task, the title of the link and link address.  Thank you.


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Updated: March 2004