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Heroes and Villains

26 Lessons

What principles is this resource built on?

In a nation founded on constitutional principles such as individual liberty and consent of the governed, civic virtue must be central to all civic education. To teach civic virtue is to help preserve our republic by developing the character of students. This civic resource avoids shallow topics, inviting teachers and students to dive straightforwardly into robust, history-based topics. Through rich narratives, critical questions, meaningful discussions, and personal application, teachers and students will examine the civic virtue assumptions of our nation’s Founders and their relevance today.

Where should I start?

Educators are encouraged to begin exploring this resource with our Thought Activity for Educators. It provides important background for teaching character through the lens of virtue. A student’s first introduction to the resource should be the Defining Civics Virtue lesson which can be paired with the Benjamin Franklin and Civic Virtue lesson or used as an introduction to any of the 24 lessons provided.

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26 Lessons


Roger Taney and Injustice

2 Activities90 Min

Explore the vice of injustice in this lesson on civic virtue. Examine Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney and the Dred Scott (1857) decision that instituted great injustice against African Americans by arguing that they cannot be citizens. This lesson contains a historical narrative, discussion guide, primary sources related to the majority decision and dissents in the Supreme Court case, and activities that guide students through analyzing the effect of injustice on constitutional principles and civil society.

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