Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Supreme Court, and supports the standard of identifying the powers of the judicial branch of the U.S. government. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students: 

  • What do you know about the Supreme Court? For example, how many justices sit on the Court?
  • What role do judges play in a court case?

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description on the Supreme Court topic page
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE
Students express what they learned about the Supreme Court 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: Create a mini-documentary answering this question: How does a case reach the Supreme court? (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying and explaining the powers and processes of the Supreme Court. (Essential Literacy Skill: Summarize key details)
  • Creative Coding: Code a flag that represents the Supreme Court and its importance for U.S. citizens. (Essential Literacy Skill: Make logical inferences from explicit details)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

Apply: Students complete the Supreme Court Worksheet, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Supreme Court Quiz

Step 5: EXTEND LEARNING

Argument Wars: Students argue a real Supreme Court case in this learning game.

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of government and law with these topics: Branches of Government, U.S. Constitution, and Bill of Rights.  

Additional Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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