Common Sense Review
Updated September 2014

PBS LearningMedia: The Supreme Court

Relevant SCOTUS cases help illustrate our democracy's foundations
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This module is part of the Website PBS LearningMedia.
Common Sense Rating 4
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  • Explore a variety of issues related to important Supreme Court cases.
  • Find resources on important cases and their impact.
  • Users can search by individual case or topic.
  • Use the dashboard to curate content and build your own lesson plans.
Patricia Monticello Kievlan
Common Sense Reviewer
Foundation/Non-Profit Member
Common Sense Rating 4
How Can Teachers Use It?

PBS LearningMedia's The Supreme Court collection includes videos and text resources that explore the history and significance of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Content is spare but strong; of course, not every SCOTUS case is covered, but major themes important to the classroom (such as the power of precedence and the separation of state and federal authority) are all represented thoughtfully and in helpful detail. You can select content by topic (e.g., civil rights) or by individual court case, making the collection a good fit for a variety of classrooms. If needed, you can download videos to your computer -- transcripts are also available for review, or for students with special needs. The option to explore by individual court case might also suit older students preparing for SAT subject tests or AP exams in U.S. History and U.S. Government and Politics.

Choose from 10 classroom-ready lesson plans you can use to integrate the clips and content directly into your class. Consider setting up a free PBS account to get dashboard access, including folders where you can flag your favorite lessons for later use, or curate content for your own lessons. Tip: The storyboard function can aid in lesson planning with visual illustrations.

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Lesson Plans