C-SPAN's Classroom Deliberations are in depth lesson plans built around current, controversial issues in public policy. They deal with issues like whether or not hate speech should be covered by the first amendment, whether or not Congress should require standardized tests, and whether or not Congress should raise the gas tax.
You can attend a free professional development workshop at the NJEA Convention in Atlantic City to learn more about how to incorporate these lessons into your class. In this workshop, you'll learn about C-SPAN, it's video archive, and the materials produced by their education department for use in your civics, government, or social studies classroom.
You'll also experience a Classroom Deliberations lesson plan from the point of view of your students. You should leave the workshop ready to implement one of these lessons into your own classroom. They are a great way to engage students with complex ideas and controversial issues. They are also great assignments for AP U.S. Government and Politics classes as they apply many of the abstract concepts that students are learning about.