Court System Teacher Resources

Find Court System educational ideas and activities

Showing 41 - 60 of 262 resources
The outcome of 90 percent of criminal cases in the US is determined by plea bargains. Clips from the documentary Better This World create the backdrop for an investigation of the benefits and drawbacks of the plea bargaining process. After viewing the clips, pairs generate and share a list of what they consider the benefits and drawbacks of the process for prosecutors, defendants, victims, and society. Individuals then craft a persuasive paragraph that presents their stance on the role they think plea bargains should play in the justice system. Included in the packet are extensions, adaptations, and a list of additional resources.
How can the decisions of local government impact each individual citizen? Your class members will take on the roles of shareholders and consider a proposal to build an airport in their community. Working in groups, they will make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners by delivering a two-minute presentation and then hold a final vote.
Don't just talk about the rule of law and the importance of protecting individual rights and preserving the common good, have your class members experience it by acting in skits! Then follow the activity with several corresponding worksheets designed to debrief the experience and make direct connections to the United States Constitution.
From where do United States citizens derive their laws? This resource offers an overview of the various sources of law, such as the Constitution, statutes passed by Congress, and judicial precedents established through court cases. It also reviews special systems of law, such as military and juvenile law.
Here is a standard multiple-choice assessment on the Constitutional period of the United States. There are 28 questions on topics ranging from the influence of ideas on the Declaration of Independence, federalism, and the Preamble to the Articles of Confederation and the debate over ratification.
How are states in the United States related to each other? Does the government bind them together? Do states have different governments? After reading about federal power as a whole group, your class members will participate in a processing activity in which they will be given cut-outs of expressed, implied, and reserved powers to attach to a projected Venn diagram.  
The battle over same-sex marriage is a prevalent issue in the United States, and a valuable topic to be discussed in your social studies classroom. Here is a basic outline of introductory questions, focus questions, vocabulary, and media resources to help you begin your coverage of this topic with your learners.  
What type of government did American colonists gain and seek after gaining their independence after the Revolutionary War? Here is instructional activity that will guide your young learners through the new nation's progression from the Articles of Confederation to the creation of the United States Constitution. The resource includes an active participation guide that incorporates several opportunities for the instructor to check for understanding throughout the instructional activity.
Using a federal power cheat sheet and readings on delegated powers of the national government in the United States, your young citizens will evaluate a hypothetical list of proposed laws for the state of "Pendiana". They will then determine which laws the state does not actually have the power to pass, and conclude by writing a fun eight-frame cartoon involving eight state powers of their choice.
"Promises Denied," the second lesson in a unit that asks learners to consider the responsibilities individuals have to uphold human rights, looks at documents that illustrate the difficulty the US has had trying to live up to the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Groups look at state and national legislation that denied or limited the constitutional rights of different groups. The lesson concludes with a discussion of the particular events that impelled these curtailments of rights.
Here is a great secondary source reading that includes the primary ideas and philosophies of the famed Enlightenment philosophers: Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Charles Montesquieu, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In additional to discussing major events in each of these philosophers' lives, the handout summarizes their primary arguments regarding the role of government and the rights of individuals.
How does the government's role differ in a mixed economy versus a command economy? Check out this resource which, in addition to offering useful reading material and worksheets on the topic, includes an excellent graphic organizer illustrating the roles of private producers and federal agencies in the food industry.
Japan's Taisho Period was a time when authors like Akutagawa and other Japanese modernists began to experiment with point of view and literary form, making the literature produced during this time period a natural choice for teaching these concepts in your ELA classroom. A simple lesson plan that consists of lecture, discussion, and independent work, it is designed to introduce pupils to the modernists' style of literature. Pupils can articulate their new understanding of these concepts through writing and discussion activities. 
From Marbury v. Madison and original jurisdiction to Gideon v. Wainwright and civil appeal, here is a simple and comprehensive assessment on the judicial system of the United States.
What functions do laws serve in our society? Your learners will be guided through several interactive activities to address this question, and to consider the impact of rule of law in American society.
In a fun and informative simulation, your learners will act in groups as lead chefs, menu writers, and nutrition inspectors in deciding a new school lunch menu. They will then compare and contrast their experience to the interaction between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the United States government.
Here is a fantastic, comprehensive resource on the roles and powers assigned to the president of the United States. It includes several critical thinking exercises and engaging activities, from cartoon analysis and the opportunity to design a classified newspaper ad seeking a new president to a rousing game of Two Truths and a Lie!
Your learners will be excited to take part in this simulation where, acting as members and stake holders at a City Council meeting, they will determine whether or not a curfew for youth ages 17 and under should be instated. They will then create a bumper sticker or poster advocating for or against the curfew ordinance based on the roles they played at the meeting.
What basic rights are guaranteed to all Americans? Do citizens, legal aliens, illegal aliens, and minors all have the same rights? Should individuals all over the world enjoy the same rights? Class members read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as part of a unit study of the responsibilities individuals have to uphold human rights. This first lesson in the series, focusing on the rights that all people are guaranteed, ends with the class drafting a Teenage Bill of Rights.
Assuming the roles of city council members or special interest groups, your young learners will simulate a situation in which they must decide how to spend an $800,000 grant allocated for local environmental improvements. They will discover the roles of city council members and how their decisions directly or indirectly affect local government.