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EGP 335.

535 Lesson Plan


Dr. Leaman, Spring 2017

Lesson Plan Details

Mock trial, 18 students, Hannah Sweeney


Expected Duration (60 minutes)
Social Sciences
Members of the judicial branch are elected by the President but voted in by the
Senate
The members of the judicial branch are a part of the Supreme Court
Congress determines the size of the Supreme Court
Supreme Court: : the highest judicial court in a country or state
The Supreme Court is currently at a total of 9 judges
The Supreme Court is the highest court system
Does not allow laws that go against the Constitution
The judges who are chosen to be on the Supreme Court remain a member of the
Supreme Court until they retire, resign, are impeached, or die.
Court systems send the Supreme Court a writ of certiorari, which then has to be
accepted by four of the nine members of the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court only does around 150 cases per year
There is a Chief justice and then 8 other justices
Sandra Day OConnor was the first woman named to the Supreme Court.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was seated in 1993 as the second woman
The Supreme Court deals with cases that deal with freedoms of the people
The Supreme Court decided that white and black separation in schools was
unconstitutional
Current members of the Supreme Court:
John Roberts (Chief Justice)
Samuel Alito
Clarence Thomas
Stephen Breyer
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Anthony Kennedy
Sonia Sotomayor
Examples of major cases that the Supreme Court ruled:
Plessy vs. Ferguson ruled separate but equal Homer Plessy was sitting in the
white section of a railroad car. His case went to the Supreme Court because it
was thought to violate the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments. The court ruled
the separate but equal doctrine.
Brown vs. Board of education separation by color in schools in
unconstitutional
Supreme court members wear dark robes while they are in court
The Supreme Court was founded in 1789
Originally took place in New York, then moved onto Philadelphia, and is now in
Washington
There have been 112 justices since it began
Justices are seated in order of seniority. The chief justice takes the center chair.
The senior associate justice sits to his right, the second in seniority to his left, and
the rest alternate right and left by seniority.
The shortest amount of time that a justice served was for 5 months before they
resigned
Vocabulary:
Supreme Court: the highest judicial court in a country or state.
Plaintiff: a person who brings a case against another in a court of law.
Judicial Branch: part of the U.S. Government that interprets the law and
interprets the law.
Skills: Research, group work, communicating, persuasion, reasoning, public
speaking, and voicing opinions
Goals of Lesson: Students will learn about a topic that they can then relate back to
something that they are familiar with.
Integration of Learning Outcomes/Objectives

Students will be able to define what the judicial branch consist of and the purpose
of the judicial branch
Students will be able to set up their own supreme court
Students will be able to act out a supreme court hearing with an issue that is
occurring within their school
Students will be able to conduct research after teacher has modeled how to
conduct research

Standards PA Civics, History, Economics, Geography &


NCSS Themes I - X with subthemes:
-Standard - 5.1.4.D
Identify key ideas about government found in significant documents
-Standard - 5.2.4.B
Describe the sources of conflict and disagreement and different ways
conflict can be resolved.
Standard - 5.2.4.C
Describe the roles of leadership and public service in school,
community, state, and nation

Themes:

-NCSS.1.1.a ...enable learners to analyze and explain the ways groups, societies, and
cultures address human needs and concerns;
- NCSS.1.1.g ...guide learners as they construct reasoned judgments about specific
cultural responses to persistent human issues

Anticipatory Set:

- Teacher: Did you ever wonder how schools became desegregated?


- Teacher: Well friends, it was actually a very important case that helped to make
this possible.
- Teacher: It was a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court.
- Teacher: The Supreme Court is the highest judicial court in a country or state.
- Teacher: It was the case of Brown vs. Board of Education
- Teacher: After going to trial the Supreme Court declared that it was
unconstitutional for schools to be segregated.
- Teacher: Today we are going to practice playing the various roles of the Supreme
Court but we are going to make it a little different because we are going to use an
issue that is being discussed within our very own school.
- Teacher: A court case that is big enough to take to the Supreme Court has to go
through multiple court systems before it reaches the highest one. A Supreme
Court case usually will start in your local courthouse. Today to learn about the
Supreme Court we are going to practice our mock trial having 9 Supreme Court
Justices, plaintiffs, and lawyers. When you are in a local court house you will only
have 1 judge, but we are practicing with 9 to understand how the Supreme Court
works.

Procedures
- Teacher: Ok friends I know that there has been a lot of talk around school about
cutting art classes. Today we are going to perform a mock trial on this topic. We
will have 9 friends play the Supreme Court judges and then we will have two
defendants and then an audience.
- Teacher: I am going to pick the judicial branch members by pulling names from
the popsicles sticks that have everyones names on them.
- Teacher: Since we have already learned what the Supreme Court Justices roles
are, we going to have a mock trail. Can anyone raise a hand and remind our class
of a Supreme Court Justice?
- Teacher: When I call the nine Supreme Court names I want you to take a seat in
the front of the class, where the 9 seats are placed.
- Teacher will call 9 names and students will get up and move to their spots.
- Next teacher will pull 2 more names and this will represent the defendants. Then
another 2 names will be pulled to represent the defendants lawyers. The
defendants will be placed with a lawyer and put in separate corners of the room.
- This will allow them time to discuss their stance on whether or not they feel as
though the art classes being cut is appropriate or inappropriate.
- The audience (rest of students) will be split into two groups to help each
defendant to come with supporting examples to help make their case stronger.
- The students will be given 35 minutes to research and talk amongst themselves in
small group and research their side.
- Model: When preparing for a mock trial, it is important to research both sides of
the topic to know the pros and the cons. When I do this, I can google elementary
art programs banned, to find a document. Once I start reading I can write down
facts and opinions I find. Here, I found that many teachers disagree with
removing art programs, so I can write that down in my con column. Lets try it
together. Here, it says, removing art leads to more time for reading and math;
we can put this in our pro column. Now that youve seen me do it and weve tried
it together, so some online research to find pros and cons on the topic of removing
art from elementary schools.
- Afterwards the students will get to present their arguments in front of the
Supreme Court.
- Whiles students are in other groups the Supreme Court judges will be researching
both possible sides of the case.
- Teacher will go around to each side and check in with them around the 25-minute
mark to see how they are doing. Teacher check by asking students to give a
thumbs up or a thumbs down.
- If teacher determines that students need more time then they will a lot either more
time or move onto the trial.
- When students have completed their research then they will move into the trial
portion of the activity.
- The trial will open up by the Supreme Court briefly introducing themselves and
their jobs.
- Then each side will get to tell why they are for cutting the art program or why
they are not supportive for cutting the art program
- After both sides have given their side then the Supreme Court will leave the
classroom and come back with a decision.
- The Supreme Court will decide whether or not it is appropriate to deem that art
programs should or should not be cut.

Differentiation:
- Assign students to specific jobs such as, fact finder, scribe/recorder, reader, starter,
ender, getter
- Hand different materials out for different students learning levels
- Provide the sources you would like students to use
- Visual Learners: Have students put the information they have gathered into a
power point or a poster
- Higher level: have the individual have a written statement/opinion and present it
to the class
- Have individuals play someone who objects during court

Closure
-Teacher: Ok students today we got to role-play a case that went to court. Since the
Supreme Court takes cases and determines whether they are constitutional or not, we
practiced today at a more local level with some elements of a Supreme Court case, Art
programs are decided by the school district, rather than the Supreme Court, although we
still practiced with 9 justices rather then 1 Judge.
-Teacher: Can anyone tell me the purpose of the Supreme Court? What do they do?
-Student possible answers: They make important decisions on big cases.
-Teacher: Thats right! Ok friends lets switch gears and get our materials our for science.

Formative/Summative Assessment of Students (P-12)


Check in with students by asking them to give you a thumbs up or thumbs down
to whether they need more time to do research
Ask students at the end of the lesson whether or not they can explain what the
purpose of the Supreme Court is
Did they find facts/opinions? Are they true? checklist

Fact: Factual: Non-factual


1.
2.
3.
4.

Can anyone raise a hand and remind our class of a role of the Supreme Court
justices?
Materials/Equipment
Student Materials:
-Popsicles sticks with students name on them
-Desk or chairs for students to sit on
- Laptops/ipads
-Dress up clothes for judges
-Projector

Fact sheet: (Teacher Version)


-Members of the judicial branch are elected by the President but voted in by the Senate
-The members of the judicial branch are a part of the Supreme Court
- Congress determines the size of the Supreme Court
- The Supreme Court is currently at a total of 9 judges
-The Supreme Court is the highest court system
-Does not allow laws that go against the Constitution
- The judges who are chosen to be on the Supreme Court remain a member of the
Supreme Court until they retire, resign, are impeached, or die.
-Court systems send the Supreme Court a writ of certiorari, which then has to be accepted
by four of the nine members of the Supreme Court
-The Supreme Court only does around 150 cases per year
- There is a Chief justice and then 8 other justices
- Sandra Day OConnor was the first woman named to the Supreme Court.
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg was seated in 1993 as the second woman
- The Supreme Court deals with cases that deal with freedoms of the people
-The Supreme Court decided that white and black separation in schools was
unconstitutional
- Current members of the Supreme Court:
-John Roberts (Chief Justice)
- Samuel Alito
- Clarence Thomas
-Stephen Breyer
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Anthony Kennedy
- Sonia Sotomayor
- Examples of major cases that the Supreme Court ruled:
- Plessy vs. Ferguson ruled separate but equal
- Brown vs. Board of education separation by color in schools in unconstitutional
- Roe vs. Wade womens rights for abortions up to a certain point in their pregnancy
- Obergefell vs. Hodges same sex-marriage is made legal
- Supreme court members wear dark robes while they are in court
- The Supreme Court was founded in 1789
-Originally took place in New York, then moved onto Philadelphia, and is now in
Washington
- There have been 112 justices since it began
- Justices are seated in order of seniority. The chief justice takes the center chair. The
senior associate justice sits to his right, the second in seniority to his left, and the rest
alternate right and left by seniority.
- The shortest amount of time that a justice served was for 5 months before they resigned

Resources:

http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/educational-resources/about-educational-
outreach/activity-resources/about

https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/judicial-branch

http://www.ushistory.org/gov/10a.asp

https://www.congressforkids.net/Judicialbranch_segregation.htm

https://ballotpedia.org/Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/06/26/supreme-court-cases-
history/29185891/

http://www.history.com/topics/supreme-court-facts

https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2009/10/02/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-
supreme-court
Technology:
-Laptop/ipads

Reflection on Planning

Lesson Plan Element Point Value


40 points total

Lesson Plan Details 2

Integration of Learning Outcomes/Objectives 3

Standards PA Civics, History, Economics, Geography & NCSS 3


Theme/subtheme

Anticipatory Set 2

Procedures 6

Differentiation 2

Closure 2

Formative/Summative Assessment of Students (P-12) 3

Materials/Equipment , Citation of Sources 2

Technology

Reflection on Planning

Teacher Content Notes 10

Global Current Event 5