Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Sonia Sotomayor Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Sonia Sotomayor, and addresses the standard of examining the contributions of people of Hispanic heritage to American society. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Display a photo of Sonia Sotomayor wearing her justice robe and collar, possibly with the rest of the Supreme Court justices. Ask:

  • Who is this? (If students say she’s a judge, probe by asking what kind of judge or what court she sits on).
  • What does it mean to be a Supreme Court judge?
  • What characteristics do you think it takes to be a judge?


  • Read aloud the description on the Sonia Sotomayor topic page
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the following articles: “In Practice” or “In Depth”. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign Sonia Sotomayor Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about Sonia Sotomayor while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs. 

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a biopic about Justice Sotomayor’s life. Begin with her childhood, describing how her experiences affected her career and aspirations. 
  • Make-a-Map: Create a timeline of events and accomplishments in Sotomayor’s life, including all of her “firsts” and identifying details about each.
  • Creative Coding: Code a true or false sorting game about Sonia Sotomayor. Summarize facts, then make up some untruths.

More to Explore

Argument Wars: In this iCivics game, players act as lawyers in monumental cases argued before the Supreme Court. 

Sortify: World Changing Women: This game challenges players to sort influential women by attributes, such as musicians, writers, Suffrage Movement, and more.  

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments