This Town Hall Wall asks students to respond and deliberate: Does the president have the authority to order domestic surveillance without a court-issued warrant in times of war?
Using the Town Hall Wall
With this format pioneered at the National Constitution Center, it is easy to turn your classroom into a town hall where constitutional issues are deliberated, following four simple steps:
- Opening: Students read the Town Hall Wall poster, which provides background and explains both sides of the issue, and write a simple “Yes” or “No” responses to the constitutional question on sticky notes placed on the poster.
- Values: Students read parts of the Constitution and other related primary sources to look for evidence that supports each side of the issue.
- Points of View: Students explore different points of view and the potential consequences of each point of view, then determine their own point of view.
- Deliberation: Students negotiate a class Compromise Statement by using the values each point of view has in common and deliberating the reasons for and against each perspective. The one-to-three-paragraph compromise statement includes the shared values, as well as evidence that support your students’ collective decision on how to address the constitutional issue.