A Famous Kansas Child

In this lesson, students will read about a Kansas child involved in a famous United States Supreme Court case. They will think critically to form opinions about equality, segregation, and integration, and will distinguish between fact and opinion.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Grade 9-12 Methods of Interpreting the Constitution

The purpose of this lesson is to explain the two overarching modes of constitutional interpretation, strict and loose construction, and their use and application to particular Supreme Court cases. After an in-class investigation activity to explore the methods of interpretation, students will be given the opportunity to express their opinions of the merits and limitations of each method during a mock Supreme Court session where students will revisit two Supreme Court opinions.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Grades 11-12: Understanding the Second Amendment through Primary Sources: Assessing the Supreme Court’s Opinion in D.C. v. Heller

In this lesson, students will examine the scope, origins and development of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Students will assess and evaluate the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) by assuming the role of Supreme Court justice and engaging directly with the historical source materials used by the Court. Students will then work together as a class to decide on the scope and meaning of the Second Amendment.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 11, 12

8th Grade: Understanding the Second Amendment through Primary Sources: Assessing the Supreme Court’s Opinion in D.C. v. Heller

In this lesson students, will examine the scope, origins and development of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Students will assess and evaluate the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) by assuming the role of Supreme Court justice and engaging directly with the historical source materials used by the Court. Students will then work together as a class to decide on the scope and meaning of the Second Amendment.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 8

Landmark Supreme Court Cases: Scott v. Sandford

Using video clips from the Landmark Supreme Court Case series, a partnership between C-SPAN and the National Constitution Center, students will research and role-play to better understand the legal, social, and economic factors relating to– and implications of– the majority and dissenting opinions in this infamous case.

  • Resource Type: Assessments, Essays, Interactives, Lesson Plans, Primary Sources, Video
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

The Origin, Nature and Importance of the Supreme Court

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and high school students discuss the Supreme Court: its history and traditions, how it selects and decides cases, and the role of an independent judiciary. A lesson guide accompanies the video.

  • Resource Type: Closed Captions, Translated Materials, Video
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Crime

No matter who you are, crime affects your life. As a student, your school might be vandalized or your wallet stolen. As a taxpayer, you will be expected to contribute money in the fight against crime or to repair the damage it does. As a voter, you will be asked to chose candidates based in part, at least, on their views about solutions to crime. Everyone agrees that crime is a serious problem. Few agree about its causes or solutions. Teachers can help students explore these concepts in this unit plan with accompanying texts.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Seeking Facts to Solve Mysteries

In this lesson, students will discuss the difference between fact and opinion. They will role play a mock trial, decide the case, and justify their decision. Students will discuss why facts are more reliable than opinions, and understand why courts rely more upon facts than opinions.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8