SUN PRAIRIE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT COURSE SYLLABUS. Curriculum Area: Social Studies Course Length: Semester

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1 SUN PRAIRIE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT COURSE SYLLABUS Course Title: Legal Studies Curriculum Area: Social Studies Course Length: Semester Credit Status: Elective Date submitted: 2/07 District Adopted Texts/Materials/Resources: None Supplemental Materials: Connecting to the Courts: A Teacher s Guide to the Wisconsin Courts Justice Talking On Being 18: Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities (State Bar of Wisconsin) The Bill of Rights: An Introduction (State Bar of Wisconsin) Opportunities in Law (State Bar of Wisconsin) The First Amendment in Schools: A Guide from the First Amendment Center (C. Haynes, et al) Social Education (National Council for the Social Studies) Courtroom and Classroom: Current Legal Issues for Students We the People: The Citizen and Constitution Pioneers in the Law: The First 150 Women (State Bar of Wisconsin) The Constitution: Past, Present, and Future (Holt, Rinehart and Wilson) Constitution Study Guide (Prentice Hall) American Government (S. Sansone) Software/Websites: Course Description and Purpose: The course is an introduction to law studies covering topics such as our legal system, basic legal terms and proceedings, and fundamental concepts of constitutional, criminal, and civil law. Students will analyze various documents that have influenced the legal, political, and constitutional heritage of the United States; trace how legal interpretations of liberty, equality, justice, and power as identified in the Constitution have changed and evolved over time; and analyze sources, form a reasoned conclusion, and developed a coherent argument on legal issues. HS 2/07 1

2 The course provides students with opportunities to learn about justice, responsibility, and the role of an individual within a free society. Students analyze and practice decision-making skills based on logic, better equipping them to deal with controversy and conflict. In addition, the course provides exposure to law related careers. Prerequisite Requirements: World History Expected Student Results/Power Standards At the end of the course the student will be expected to: 1. Identify and explain basic concepts and procedures of constitutional, civil, and criminal law; 2. Analyze and evaluate fundamental legal principles and concepts, including their origins, evolution, and contemporary influence 3. Engage in issues analysis related to legal issues 4. Demonstrate interpersonal skills, communication skills, and critical thinking skills. Course Outline I. Introduction to Law and the Legal System A. What is law? Laws and values Human rights Balancing rights and responsibilities Kinds of laws Our Constitutional framework B. Lawmaking Legislatures Agencies Courts C. Advocacy and conflict resolution Advocacy Lobbying Voting Methods for solving disputes: negotiation, arbitration, mediation, court D. The court system Trial courts Appeals courts Federal and state court systems Tribal courts The Supreme Court of the United States International courts HS 2/07 2

3 II. Constitutional Law A. Introduction to Constitutional law a. Basic principles B. Bill of Rights First Amendment a. Freedom of Religion o Establishment o Free Exercise Clause b. Freedom of Speech o Types of speech o Public forums o Limits on free speech a. Freedom of the Press o Prior restraint o Libel b. Freedom of Assembly and Petition o Peaceable assembly can be regulated (time, place, manner) o Public property vs. private property o Hostile audiences Second Amendment a. Right to keep and bear arms Third Amendment Fourth Amendment o Unreasonable searches and o The warrant clause Fifth Amendment o Right to grand jury for crimes punishable by death or imprisonment o Double jeopardy - cannot be tried for the same crime twice o Self-incrimination - defendant does not have to testify against himself o Due Process - requirement that government be fair in its actions o Just Sixth Amendment o Speedy and public trial o Impartial and local jury o Knowing the charges o Right to confront o Right to compulsory process o Right to counsel Seventh Amendment o Trial by jury in civil cases Eighth Amendment o Excessive bail o Excessive fines are prohibited in criminal cases. o Cruel and unusual punishments HS 2/07 3

4 Ninth Amendment o People retain, or keep, other rights not listed. Tenth Amendment o The federal government cannot take power from the states by claiming powers that were not delegated by the Constitution. C. Right to privacy a. Origin of right to privacy b. Privacy in the home and at school c. Information gathering and privacy d. Reproductive rights and privacy D. Discrimination a. Basic principles b. Discrimination based on race, national origin, and citizenship c. Discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation d. Discrimination based on age and disability E. Housing discrimination III. Criminal Law A. Introduction to criminal law a. Elements and burden of proof b. State and federal crimes c. Classes of crimes d. Parties to crimes e. Crimes of omission f. Inchoate crimes B. Crimes against the person and property a. Homicide b. Assault and battery c. Sexual assault d. Crimes against property C. Defenses a. Burden of proof b. No crime has been committed c. Defendant did not commit the crime d. Self-defense and defense of property and others e. Not criminally responsible o infancy, intoxication o mental disease or defect o entrapment o duress o necessity HS 2/07 4

5 D. The criminal justice process a. The investigation o Arrest o Search and seizure b. Proceedings before trial o Booking and initial appearance o Bail and pretrial release o Preliminary hearing o Grand jury o Arraignment and pleas o Pretrial motions o Plea bargaining c. The trial o Steps in a trial o Rights at trial: Fifth and Sixth Amendments d. Sentencing and corrections o Sentencing options o Purposes of punishment o Parole and probation o Capital punishment o Corrections e. Juvenile Justice f. Law and Terrorism o Law in times of war o Surveillance and searches o Detention and interrogation o Rights at trial IV. Civil Law A. Introduction a. Liability b. Types of torts c. Legal actions d. Insurance B. Intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability a. Damages b. Elements c. Damages d. Defenses C. Torts and public policy a. Tort reform b. Medical malpractice Instructional Strategies: Instructional strategies include cooperative learning, role-play, simulations, presentations, debate, lecture, small- and large-group discussions, mock trials, document analysis, and case studies. Assessments: (Listing of assessments that will demonstrate student achievement in course standards/benchmarks) Selected response, constructed response, performance based, teacher observation, oral questioning, self-reporting, unit assessments, quarter project/ presentation, and semester exam HS 2/07 5

6 Grading Procedures: (Aspects of student performance to be graded as well as grade standards/scale) Semester grade is based on the two quarter grades (40 % each) and on the final exam grade. The final exam is a comprehensive exam and represents 20% of the semester grade. Grading scale: A B D A C D B C D B C F HS 2/07 6

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