ALEX Classroom Resource


Supreme Decision

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Supreme Decision


Content Source:

Type: Interactive/Game


In this interactive game from iCivics, students work with a case about Ben Brewer, who wore his favorite band t-shirt to school against dress policy. Students will help the Justice make up her mind and influence the outcome of the case. Students will analyze the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression, identify protected and unprotected speech, and simulate the deliberation process of Supreme Court Justices. This game can be played during a lesson on the judicial branch and Supreme Court cases for reinforcement or after as an assessment.

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Content Standard(s):
Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 7
6 ) Explain the importance of juvenile, adult, civil, and criminal laws within the judicial system of the United States.

•  Explaining rights of citizens as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights under the Constitution of the United States
•  Explaining what is meant by the term rule of law
•  Justifying consequences of committing a civil or criminal offense
•  Contrasting juvenile and adult laws at local, state, and federal levels (Alabama)
Unpacked Content
Strand: History, Civics and Government
Course Title: Civics
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Differentiate between juvenile and adult laws, as well as between civil and criminal laws. Identify the protections given in the U.S. Bill of Rights.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • juvenile
  • civil law
  • criminal law
  • rights
  • Bill of Rights
  • rule of law
  • state
  • federal
  • local
  • court
  • offense
  • felony
  • misdemeanor
  • jail
  • prison
  • juvenile detention center
Students know:
  • The similarities and differences between civil and criminal law.
  • The structure of the juvenile court system.
  • The rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.
Students are able to:
  • Use primary source documents to justify the actions of courts.
Students understand that:
  • Laws are different for adults and juveniles and that there are separate civil and criminal laws and courts.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.7.6- Identify the basic rights under the Bill of Rights; recognize how government protects individual rights; recognize that citizens have a responsibility to follow laws and that there are consequences for breaking laws.

Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 12
United States Government
13 ) Evaluate constitutional provisions of the judicial branch of government of the United States, including checks by the judicial branch on other branches of government, limits on judicial power, and the process by which cases are argued before the United States Supreme Court.

•  Explaining the structure and jurisdiction of court systems of the United States, including lower courts and appellate courts
•  Identifying the impact of landmark United States Supreme Court cases on constitutional interpretation
Examples: Marbury versus Madison, Miranda versus Arizona, Tinker versus Des Moines, Gideon versus Wainwright, Reno versus American Civil Liberties Union, United States versus Nixon, McCulloch versus Maryland, Wallace versus Jaffree, Wyatt versus Stickney, Powell versus Alabama (Alabama)

•  Describing the shifting political balance of the court system, including the appointment process, the ideology of justices, influences on court decisions regarding executive and legislative opinion, public opinion, and the desire for impartiality
•  Contrasting strict and loose constructionist views of the Constitution of the United States
Unpacked Content
Strand: Economics, History, Civics and Government
Course Title: United States Government
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Describe the process by which a court case is decided, including the its path through the appeals process as well as the considerations given in deciding a final decision.
  • Identify how Supreme Court decisions can create large changes in constitutional interpretation through landmark cases.
  • Evaluate how political ideology influences how justices are appointed as well as the method by which they interpret the Constitution.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • strict/loose construction
  • impartiality
  • lower court
  • ideology
  • appellate court
  • landmark case
  • jurisdiction
  • judicial review
  • appointment
  • Supreme Court
  • opinion/decision
  • district court
Students know:
  • How key landmark Supreme Court cases influenced the interpretation of constitutional rights of citizens and powers/limitations of American government.
  • The means by which judges interpret the meaning of the Constitution, including strict and loose construction.
  • The organization of the American court system, including the powers and limitations of each level and type of court.
  • The process by which Supreme Court justices are appointed, including the consideration of ideology and how such may impact future decisions.
Students are able to:
  • Identify the effect by which landmark decisions change the interpretation of constitutional provisions and rights.
  • Illustrate the process by which a court case is initiated in a lower level court and can then later be decided by the US Supreme Court.
  • Critique the process by which political ideology becomes a factor in both the appointment process of judges as well as the decision-making process in deciding cases.
  • Analyze an excerpt of a Supreme Court decision to ascertain the constitutional interpretation evident as well as the impact it may have on a constitutional right or provision.
Students understand that:
  • The powers, limitations, and organization of the judicial branch of American government, including how these determine the means by which a case arrives to, is argued before, and is decided upon by the Supreme Court, helps shape the law in the U.S.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.USG.AAS.12.13- Define judicial branch of government; identify the major roles and responsibilities of the judicial branch of government; recognize that the judicial branch is a court system with the Supreme Court serving as the highest court in the land.
SS.USG.AAS.12.13a- Identify the effect by which landmark decisions change the interpretation of constitutional provisions and rights.

Tags: First Amendment, judicial branch, Supreme Court
License Type: Custom Permission Type
See Terms:
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AccessibilityAudio resources: includes a transcript or subtitles
Graphics: includes alt tags or long descriptions
Video resources: includes closed captioning or subtitles

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Author: Ginger Boyd