Summary

In the first article, Adrian Morrow summarizes the testimony of four constitutional experts to the House Judiciary Committee, tasked with explaining the conditions necessary for impeachment of a president to proceed, and to decide whether the evidence brought by the Intelligence Committee justified impeaching the president. Three experts agreed the evidence warranted impeachment, one dissented. In his second article, Mr. Morrow reports on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s subsequent announcement, directing the House of Representatives to draw up articles of impeachment.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Social studies, current events

Key Question(s) to Explore:

  • What are the arguments for and against impeaching
    Donald Trump, and which institutions are conducting the process of impeachment?

New Terminology:

Impeachment, partisan, misdemeanor

Materials Needed:

Globe articles

Learning Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

Much of the world has been transfixed by the political drama unfolding in the United States, as the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives moves to impeach President Trump. Following private and public testimony by dozens of witnesses, Democrats are now planning to impeach a president for only the third time in American history. As of today’s date, they have brought two articles of impeachment: Abuse of power and obstruction of congress. Although it is likely Mr. Trump will survive a trial in the senate, his impeachment remains a significant historical event. Students can benefit from a lesson that helps them understand the flurry of news in all media worldwide about these dramatic events.

Following a brief discussion with the whole class, students will work alone to undertake a simple reading-comprehension exercise.

Action (lesson plan and task):

NOTE: See the NextGen Edition of October, 2019, for an overall lesson on the process of impeachment in the U.S. system of government.

Engage students in a short discussion about recent events in the United States. Consider leading with questions, such as:

  • What is impeachment in the context of the United States government? (The “cleansing” of a political office, by censure or removal of the person occupying that office, usually a judge, but rarely a president)
  • Who has been following the impeachment process of President Trump?
  • How do you understand the state of this process?
  • Does anyone have an opinion as to whether Mr. Trump should be or will be impeached and/or removed from office? Explain.
  • What are “articles” of impeachment? (Another way of saying “charges”)

Provide students with copies of both articles and the following matching exercise (Answer key: 1, i; 2, d; 3, a; 4, p; 5, b; 6, c; 7, f; 8, g; 9, h; 10, j; 11, m; 12, n; 13, r; 14, g; 15, o; 16, q; 17, p; 18, s; 19, k; 20, e; 21, t; 22, u; 23, v)

Assignment:

For each item in column A, choose the best match from column B. Note, some answers from Column B can be used more than once.

Provide students with copies of both articles and the following matching exercise (Answer key: 1, i; 2, d; 3, a; 4, p; 5, b; 6, c; 7, f; 8, g; 9, h; 10, j; 11, m; 12, n; 13, r; 14, g; 15, o; 16, q; 17, p; 18, s; 19, k; 20, e; 21, t; 22, u; 23, v)

  1. Number of years between last two presidential impeachments__
  2. President who resigned before imminent impeachment__
  3. Number of presidents impeached to date__
  4. Number of presidents impeached and removed from office__
  5. Total number of presidents in the history of the United States__
  6. Conducted the current investigation of Mr. Trump for Congress___
  7. Sets conditions for the process of impeachment___
  8. Vice president from 2008-2016___
  9. President of Ukraine___
  10. Possess sole power to impeach a president___
  11. Majority required for a conviction in the U.S. Senate___
  12. One of three impeachable offences___
  13. Favour requested of President of Ukraine___
  14. Considered the Democrats’ current front-runner for president in 2020___
  15. Polled percentage of Americans favouring impeachment and removal___
  16. Refusal to submit to subpoenas by House of Representatives___
  17. Number of Republicans prepared to vote for impeachment___
  18. Conducted investigation into possible White House collusion with Russia to influence the 2016 election___
  19. Said, “President Trump has committed impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors by corruptly abusing the office of the presidency.” ___
  20. Said, “If we are to keep faith with the Constitution and our Republic, President Trump must be held to account. ”___
  21. Said, “This isn’t improvisational jazz. Close enough isn’t good enough.” ___
  22. Said, “President Trump welcomed foreign interference in the 2016 election. He demanded it for the 2020 election.” ___
  23. Speaker of House of Representatives ___

 

  1. Two
  2. 45
  3. House Foreign Affairs Committee
  4. Richard Nixon
  5. Professor Pamela Karlan
  6. Constitution of the United States
  7. Joe Biden
  8. Volodymyr Zelensky
  9. 130
  10. House of Representatives
  11. Professor Noah Feldman
  12. 60
  13. Two-thirds
  14. Abuse of power for personal benefit
  15. Fifty
  16. Zero
  17. Obstruction of Congress
  18. Investigate possible wrong-doing by Joe Biden
  19. Robert Mueller
  20. Professor Jonathan Turley
  21. Jerry Nadler, Chair of Judiciary Committee
  22. Nancy Pelosi

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Students pass their results to a classmate to check the answers, and discuss their work with the whole class.
Success

Success Criteria:

  • Students can offer a rudimentary explanation of the current impeachment process of President Trump.

Confirming Activity:

  • Students note media reports into the ongoing impeachment process, reporting them to the class.