Lesson Plan

From Colonies to the Courts

Rights gained from the American revolution and tested throughout American History
Joseph D.
Classroom teacher
Lackawanna High School (Lackawanna, NY)
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Students will be able to understand the reasons behind the American Revolution.

Students will be able to understand the rights gained as citizens after the American Revolution.

Students will be able to understand what rights we have as citizens and how they are tested in the Supreme Court.

Students will be able to understand how the Supreme Court uses the Constitution to make decisions.

Social Studies
Grades 6 - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/first activity

Activity: Drawing — Reading/infering/drawing on prior knowledge

This hook is all about getting students minds working and reviewing a previous learned topic. This excercise should be done after learning about the Colonial time and after a unit on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. By using the three APPS which will be discussed throughout this flow, the gameplay will serve as a nice review/reteach of all of the key concepts students should have learned.

Activity: Have students review the timeline and look for events where King George III may have abused his power in terms of violating a right that a Colonist might have thought they had. Then either in a paragraph format or drawing (political cartoon perhaps), describe the infraction being displayed. Historical accuracy is important so there may be some time needed for a bit of research or discussion with peers/teacher before the project is complete. Realize that these rights will be tested in American History and we may see first hand examples throughout the flow.

2 Direct instruction

I would use this APP as an inclass activity to show the students how it can be used as a learning tool. The gameplay is easy. The central figure makes his way through a colonial village and visits pro-British and pro-Colonial people and the students get a feel for life prior to the American Revolution.

I would have the students view the gameplay as a class and then vote on which direction the central figure in the game will go. This is also a nice time to show students the educational opportunities available. There are students who might attempt to fly through a game without reading the historical parts. By modeling the correct gameplay the students will hopefully get more out of it when completing games/APPS out of the classroom.

3 guided practice

icivics is a great APP for students to understand the rights gained by U.S. citizens based on the Colonial time period up to the creation of the Bill of Rights. I would use this APP as a Guided practice in a computer lab setting where as the teacher I could walk around and monitor students progress to ensure proper use of the APP and help students who get stuck or are unaware of what they should be getting. The APP is very easy and gives the students a complete view of all citizens rights. The one problem with the APP is that depending on a students progress they will get different experiences througout the gameplay. Therefore to culminate the experience I would have a think/pair/share or even have each student report to the class the rights they learned and their experince in the game.

4 Independent Practice

To culminate the experince of APPS in this flow I would have the students play the Supreme Decision. It takes the students through a fake Supreme Court case in which they have to explore evidence from both sides and make a decision as to what they think is right. The really neat thing about this game is there is no right or wrong answer. The Supreme Court rarely has a unanimous decision there is both the majority opinion and the minority opinion. The students must back up there decision. All of these cases deal with individual rights and the neatest thing about this APP is at the end in the game they tie the fake case into an actual Supreme Court case.

What I would have the students do is write a one-pager about the fake case and how it was tied to the real case with the possibility of student presentation.