Great tool for teaching about the US court system

Submitted 8 years ago
Victoria C.
Victoria C.
Online Independent Study Teacher
My Rating

My Take

I like this game to help students learn the difference between the different courts. It doesn't teach them 'deep' knowledge, but its purpose is just to help them learn about the court system. It would be up to the teacher to then develop activities where they apply this knowledge.
There was a bit of a learning curve associated with it. I read the instructions and went through the tutorial, but there still were times when I wasn't sure what to do. It wasn't clear that the player had to follow the court case to its resolution. After playing around with it for awhile, I figured it out. Students who are used to gaming probably would not have any problems with it.

How I Use It

I teach online classes, so I gave the students the link and they worked on this independently. It would work in the classroom or for homework, in small groups or individually. Students have the option of a 'casual' mode (un-timed practice) or 'time attack' mode where they get as much done in 15 minutes as they can. Most students liked the 'casual' mode because they didn't feel pressure to go fast. In fact, the students who used 'casual' mode remembered more, probably because they didn't rush through it.
The game shows a map of the U.S. and a person appears on the map. After clicking on the person icon, the player reads a description of the issue and decides which court will hear the case. They click on that court and if they are correct, they receive points. If not, they try again. Then the person icon flashes and if they click on it, they are told whether the person won the case and what the next steps should be if they lost the case.