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Stone and Eugene Volokh, is part of the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution.Students should answer the following questions (also available as a student handout), making sure to provide evidence from the essay.1.For example, here are two situations in the handout: In each situation, students use a five-point scale to determine the degree to which the government is able or unable to limit the speech in question.
If any answers have changed, students should mark their new answers with a check mark.
As a transition to this next activity about speech issues in current events, we recommend pausing to ask students: Why is it important to protect unpopular or offensive speech?
Students are allowed and encouraged to switch sides as they are swayed.• Students may explain any way in which their understanding has changed, including differences between high- and low-value speech, the lack of protection that citizens have against corporations or employers, the actions that have been interpreted as speech, or anything else they may have learned over the course of the lesson.4.
When can the United States government limit the freedom of speech?
_________While Americans generally agree that the First Amendment to the Constitution protects the freedom of speech, there are disagreements over when, where, how and if speech should be ever limited or restricted.
This lesson plan encourages students to examine their own assumptions about what freedom of speech really means, as well as to deepen their understanding of the current accepted interpretation of speech rights under the First Amendment.
We suggest you divide the class into three sections, with each section reading one of the articles.
You might choose to break up each section into smaller groups or pairs, based on what groupings tend to work best in your class.
Each student can make a brief speech in support of his or her statement.
Then, one at a time, other students can join the two sides, making additional arguments to support or refute the statements until all students are standing.