Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)

Lesson Plan

This mini-lesson covers the basics of the Supreme Court's decision that extended First Amendment protections to students in the classroom. Students learn about the concept of symbolic speech and how students gained the right to engage in political protests at school. They also learn how this Supreme Court decision continues to affect their everyday lives.


  • Describe rights protected by the First Amendment.
  • Identify the main arguments put forth in the case.
  • Describe the Supreme Court's decision and rationale.
  • Define symbolic speech.
  • Identify the impact of the Supreme Court's decision on student expression at school and individuals' rights.


Downloadable Resources

Resources for this lesson are available in print and digital form. A free teacher account is required to access them. Log in or register below.