Law-Related Education Workshops

All LRE workshops emphasize the TEKS for Social Studies. Workshops may be designed for three or six hours. If you are interested in additional information scheduling and cost of a workshop, please click here to email Law-Related Education Director Jan Miller.

Elementary Workshops

Book It! Using Children’s Literature to Teach Law and Citizenship

Children’s literature offers a great avenue through which to teach students to be good citizens. Developing the core values of justice, respect for authority, truth, equality, and conflict resolution is integral to the social studies experience. Teachers in this workshop will participate in TEKS correlated teaching activities based on children’s literature which require critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity. The books and complimentary activities link social studies with reading, language arts, and other content areas. (3-5)

City Government Simulation for The Elementary Classroom

Make city government comes alive in your classroom! Participants will receive a city government unit that includes activities for establishing a city government structure in the classroom and simulations such as electing government officials and conducting city council meetings. Students will even create a new city based on planning and zoning principles, incorporating knowledge of the services commonly provided by local governments. (3-5)

Teaching Children about Citizenship

Basic concepts such as the need for rules and laws, characteristics of good citizenship, respect for authority, belief in justice, truth, and responsibility as well as understanding symbols that represent American ideals will be covered. Participants will receive hands-on, interactive activities that promote creative and critical thinking skills, opportunities for decision-making and cooperative interaction. Materials are Social Studies and Language Arts TEKS correlated and include Gifted/Talented extensions. (K-2) OR (3-5)

Secondary Workshops

A World of Governments: Teaching the Sixth Grade Citizenship and Government TEKS in LRE Style

Having trouble finding suitable resources to teach the 6th grade government and citizenship TEKS? …. LRE Country Cards to the rescue!

LRE Country Cards are brief descriptions of each of the countries mentioned in the TEKS, plus other countries that are mentioned in most districts’ curriculum. Each card focuses on type of government, branches of government, current human and civil rights or political climate, constitution ratification dates, and cultural features that may affect these governments. Also included are current economic data, religious information, and literacy that may affect the types of governments these countries.

During this workshop participants will be given strategies and activities written specifically for these cards and an LRE scholar will provide content support.

Pondering the Progressives

Few periods in American history have had the political, economic, and social impact as the Progressive period. Topics covered in this workshop include a history of the origins of the period, the principle players, the political reforms, key Supreme Court decisions, and the international events that played an integral part in the shaping of the United States in the 20th century. With each topic, engaging lessons that stress critical thinking will be explored. (HS)

Texas History through the Constitutions of Texas

This session will be devoted to an examination of Texas’ colorful history through a study of the seven constitutions under which Texas has existed. Throughout the presentation teachers will receive interactive lessons which can be adapted for their particular classroom.

The Bill of Rights and You!

Activities will be presented that will increase students’ understanding of principles and protections provided by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Participants will utilize strategies that encourage higher level thinking, decision-making skills, and citizenship education. (MS/HS)

The Evolution of Government

Beginning with the ancient world and continuing to modern times, the evolution of government, law and justice will be investigated in this workshop. Individuals who have had a role in this evolution will also be examined. The activities presented are designed to integrate TEKS objectives into the study of world cultures, world history, American history, and government. (MS/HS)

The Supreme Court is now in Session!

Teachers will receive background information on the U.S. Supreme Court. Topics will include justices, operation of the Court, and recent Supreme Court decisions that affect the United States constitutional system of government. Activities, strategies, and content support higher level thinking and current TEKS objectives. (HS)

Those Pertinent U.S. Principles—The Seven Principles of the U.S. Constitution

During this session participants will participate in a review of the seven principles of the U.S. Constitution led by an LRE scholar. With the discussion of each, interactive lessons will be shared that are designed to help students analyze the role the principles play in the structure of our national government as well how these principles affect citizens’ lives. (MS/HS)

Those Pertinent Texas Principles—The Seven Principles of the Texas Constitution

Just like the U.S. Constitution, the current Texas Constitution has the same seven principles that explain the structure and function of the state government. During this session, these principles will be analyzed in a discussion with an LRE scholar. With the discussion of each principle, interactive lessons will be shared that are designed to help students see the role the principles play in the structure of the Texas government as well as how they affects citizens’ lives. (7TH)

Stepping Toward the Civil War and Reconstruction

This workshop will explore the critical years before the outbreak of the Civil War and the struggles to rebuild the nation. Activities that deal with the origins nullification and succession, the compromises that held off war, and the role of key individuals, Civil War Amendments, and the effects of Reconstruction.

All Level Workshops

Celebrating the Constitution: Engaging Constitutional Activities

This workshop is designed to meet the guidelines set forth in the federal law for Constitution Day, as well as the Texas guidelines for Celebrate Freedom week. Teachers will receive engaging activities to help achieve the intent of both laws. This is a three-hour workshop (K-12)

Expanding the Meaning of We the People

Participants will begin this workshop by exploring the meaning and significance of the opening words of the U.S. Constitution, “We the People.” Additionally, the expansion of this promise will be analyzed as it relates to the expansion of civil rights to all races and both genders. Throughout the workshop, interactive lessons will be explored that have been designed to help secondary teachers teach important people and events in the expansion of civil rights in American history. (5-12)

It’s My Party… Origin and Evolution of Political Parties in the United States

This session will focus on the origin and evolution of political parties in the United States. Additionally, teachers will participate in interactive lessons that will help elementary, middle and/or high school students understand and analyze the role the citizen and political parties have had and continue to play in the political process of the United States. (3-12)

Order in the Court!: Mock Trials in the Classroom

Participants will investigate how using mock trials in the classroom develops good citizenship, communication and critical thinking skills, while creating a greater understanding of one of our most basic rights—the right to trial by jury. Teachers will explore the roots of the jury system as well as the role of the citizen in today’s judicial process. Additionally, participants will learn how to implement a mock trial and receive lesson plans that include both a scripted and unscripted mock trials for classroom use. (4-12)