Mini-lesson: Pardon Power (HS)

Lesson Plan

This Media Moment Mini-lesson teaches about presidential pardons, commutations, and the limitations on these powers. By looking at a popular meme appearing in June 2018 about former President Barack Obama’s pardons, students learn about fact-checking websites and how to conduct an independent web search to verify a claim. The activity walks students through the process of fact-checking a claim of choice. 


The student will be able to...

  • Identify the source of the president’s pardon power and its limitations
  • Explain why presidents grant pardons
  • Define commutation
  • Analyze false claims
  • Use a variety of strategies to verify information and/or images