Broken Laws

How can we change the law to make our society better for everyone?

Social Studies
Key Content
legislative process, argumentative writing, civil rights, rules and laws
Young people waving Jobs Not Jails! signs march at a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Peace Walk and Parade.

Students learn how laws are made and uncover how laws can affect certain members of society in particular ways by examining the history of civil rights and immigration laws in the historical context of the 13th and 14th amendments. After speaking with legal expert(s) about the ways in which laws can disproportionately affect different community members, students identify a law they would like to change to more justly serve society. Teams analyze current events related to their issue of concern, draft a proposal of a new law or an amendment to an existing law, and develop action plans to get the law passed/amended. Students write evidence-based arguments to defend their legislative proposals, and teams present their proposals and rationales to community stakeholders at a public forum.


Note: This project is designed to be implemented after students have already been introduced to the separation of powers, the three branches of government, and the system of checks and balances, as well as the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.