Monday, May 18, 2009

Lesson Plans for Teaching About the Supreme Court

US Supreme Court Justice David Souter recently announced that he plans to retire. President Obama will soon have to appoint Souter's replacement whose nomination will then have to be confirmed by the Senate. Today's episode of CNN Student News contains a segment explaining what makes the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice such a serious matter. The video is embedded below. Scroll down past the video to find links to lesson plans for teaching about the Supreme Court and the three branches of government.


EDSITEment has two lesson plans related to the purpose and functions of the Supreme Court. The first lesson plan is about the system of checks and balances that exists in US government and the role that the Supreme Court plays in that system. The second lesson plan on EDSITEment is an in-depth exploration of the concept of Judicial Review. This lesson plans uses the case of Dred Scott v. Sanford to learn about how a case moves through the judicial system up to the Supreme Court.

The New Deal Network, which is a great place to find resources about th Great Depression, FDR and the New Deal, has four lesson plans dealing with FDR's reorganization of the judiciary.

If you're teaching in an elementary school or middle school environment, Mr. Donn's website offers a good collection of lesson plans and games for learning about the three branches of government.