Court So Orders (The )

Grades: 
9, 10, 11, 12

In this lesson, the class prepares for two mock Supreme Court trials, considering the scenarios from Lessons One and Two. The Court will also use these models to decide the outcomes of the cases. As an ongoing Current Events assignment, learners will track affirmative action proposals and legislation in the news, and report on them in the school newspaper.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintTwo Fifty-Minute Class Periods
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • in small groups, review and organize information gathered in previous lessons.
  • using Constitutional principles, court precedents, and Core Democratic Values, act as either Justices, plaintiffs, or defendants in a mock trial, deciding on one of two affirmative action cases.
Materials 
  • Completed study guides from Lessons One through Three (Attachments One in each of these first three lessons plus Attachment Two from Lesson One: Order In the Court)
  • Court Notes (Attachments One to Three)
  • Basic high school American History text (including The Constitution)
  • Print copies from Anticipatory Set Scenarios from Lesson Two: Little Rock, 1957 and Lesson Three: Changing the Workplace

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set: The teacher passes out print copies of the two scenarios discussed in Lessons Two and Three. Ask students to review the two scenarios and ask for comments on both of them. Ask the class to compare/contrast the two cases.

  2. Day One: Instruct the class to take out and review their study guides from the previous lessons.

    • Tell the class that they will be participating in a mock Supreme Court trial, taking on roles of either Justices, plaintiffs, or defendants. The teacher should divide the class in half, and then assign one of the two cases to each side. The teacher assigns roles of plaintiff team, defense team, or Justices. The teacher explains the roles of each "team," and passes out "Court Notes" forms (Attachments One to Three). The class then meets with their colleagues, chooses a speaker (the person responsible for presenting the case to the Court), and prepares for their roles in tomorrow's mock court.
    • Day Two: The teacher sets up the room for the trials prior to the students' arrival in class. Instruct the class that those not participating in the trial are visitors to the Court and should not be preparing their own case during the first trial, as they will be responsible for knowing both cases in their up coming written assignment.
    • The teacher sets time limits for each side to present their case, and for Court deliberations, then opens the first case by reading the introductory scenario and calling the plaintiff's speaker to present their case. The teacher then calls the defense speaker and afterward gives each side approximately two minutes for rebuttal. The Justices are allotted time for deliberation, then must give their Opinion to the class.
    • The teacher assigns a written assignment in which students state their opinion, back it up with facts and Core Democratic Values, present arguments from opposing viewpoints, then gives personal examples or viewpoints. For this final paragraph, students should ask their parents for opinions and views on affirmative action. These reports are edited by the teacher for submission to the school or local newspaper.
    • Collect "Court Notes" (Attachments One to Three) for credit.
  3. In this lesson, the class prepares for two mock Supreme Court trials, considering the scenarios from Lessons One and Two. On the first day of the lesson, the teacher divides the class in half, one half to decide the School One case, the other deciding the internship case. Learners use the study sheets they filled out Attachments One in each of the previous three lessons as reference material, and should have access to a copy of The Constitution and an American History text. Access to computers is helpful, but not vital. Once the learners are assigned their cases, the teacher assigns the roles of Court justices, a team of plaintiffs, and a team of defendants. Each group uses the attached "Court Notes" (Attachments One to Three in this lesson) to prepare for day two's mock trial. During the trials, plaintiffs and defendants will use Constitutional principles, court precedents, and Core Democratic Values to present their cases. The Court will also use these models to decide the outcomes of the cases. As an ongoing Current Events assignment, learners will track affirmative action proposals and legislation in the news, and report on them in the school newspaper.

Assessment 

The teacher observes class participation in preparation for mock trial, and collects "Court Notes" and written assignments for credit.

Cross Curriculum 

Students write a comprehensive informational piece on affirmative action for publication in the school or local newspaper. In these columns, students will educate their peers (and teachers) on the history of and changing needs for affirmative action programs.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Explain and give examples of how a democratic constitution requires and protects philanthropic behavior as a democratic principle.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Provide examples from history of how the relationship between government and the civil society sector has changed.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Give examples from history of how intolerance of ideas, religion, and minorities contributed to social disintegration.
      2. Benchmark HS.4 Identify constitutional principles that protect minorities in a republic. Relate these principles to the role of nonprofit organizations.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Define and give an example why conflict may exist between individual freedom and the community.
    3. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Utilize the persuasive power of written or oral communication as an instrument of change in the community, nation or the world.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Discuss a public policy issue affecting the common good and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.
      3. Benchmark HS.3 Participate in acts of democratic citizenship in the community, state or nation, such as petitioning authority, advocating, voting, group problem solving, mock trials or classroom governance and elections.
      4. Benchmark HS.4 Analyze and synthesize information to differentiate fact from opinion based on the investigation of issues related to public policy. Discuss these issues evaluating the effects of individual actions on other people, the rule of law and ethical behavior.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Identify specific learning objectives from the academic core curriculum that are being applied in the service-learning project.