In this lesson, students will gain an understanding of how the Supreme Court's interpretation of the First Amendment changed in light of the Fourteenth Amendment. They will also analyze Thomas Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, evaluate the Supreme Court's application of Jefferson's metaphor about the wall of separation between church and state, and assess how much weight should be given to Jefferson's letter in determining the constitutionality of state action with respect to religion.
Lesson plan PDF includes all handouts:
Essay: First Amendment Principles and Jefferson’s “Wall”
Handout A: Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptist Association
Handout B: Neither Snow Nor Rain