Lesson 4: The Judiciary: A Brief Introduction to the Courts System

This Lesson 4: The Judiciary: A Brief Introduction to the Courts System lesson plan also includes:

Focusing on the judicial branch of government, the fourth lesson plan in this series explores the structure of the US courts system. Beginning with an engaging activity based on the short story The Lady or the Tiger, students go on to examine the different types of courts and the difference between civil and criminal law.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Break students into small groups or pairs, providing each with notecards describing the different types of courts, and asking them to arrange the courts into the correct hierarchy
  • Have students examine the included pictures in pairs or small groups before holding a whole class discussion about the different types of conflicts they see
Classroom Considerations

  • The Lady or the Tiger activity calls for a CD recording of the story, but the lesson can be taught without it by developing a simple way for students to randomly select either a tiger or a lady
Pros

  • Resource includes a series of informational texts and worksheets
  • A graphic organizer is provided that outlines the structure of the US courts system
  • Suggestions are provided for adapting and/or extending the lesson to meet the needs of all learners
Cons

  • None