Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
If you'd like to set up your own moot court, you're in luck: The site includes detailed instructions about how to engineer the activity in your classroom. It's probably best suited to high school students, but you could easily adapt it for middle schoolers, too. Use the SCOTUS in the Classroom resources as a current events activity, getting your students excited and engaged about the release of the latest SCOTUS ruling. There's a great yearlong lesson plan to be had here. Consider ways that you could integrate the Supreme Court's term. Use the SCOTUS in Classroom resources as a nice bookend to SCOTUSBlog's resources. Learn about a case for a few months, then follow the reading of decisions in real time via SCOTUSBlog. U.S. History teachers could use the Landmark Cases site as a way to help students drill and solidify their understanding of notable cases and their important precedents.Continue reading Show less
Street Law is a nonprofit founded in 1972 to "teach people about law, democracy, and human rights worldwide." Its website features lots of info about its in-person programs for professionals, educational outreach events for schools, and professional development programs for teachers. There are also links to purchase the organization's textbook and other publications.
The best resources for teachers are all linked at the bottom right of the site's homepage: the Resource Library (a database of the organization's materials, including lesson plans and handouts), a link to LandmarkCases.org (the site's standalone guide to landmark Supreme Court cases), a link to buy the Street Law textbook, and Supreme Court Case Materials (a compendium of materials related to current and past Supreme Court cases). Within Supreme Court Case Materials, teachers and students can link to a frequently updated resource called SCOTUS in the Classroom, which includes info about current cases before the Supreme Court.
If you're looking for a site to help your class follow the latest Supreme Court term, look no further. This is your go-to resource for diving deep into SCOTUS's history, impact, and current work. Street Law picks three cases a year to showcase, and they time their updates with the court's term. They supply a treasure trove of links to related resources to help students and teachers appreciate the content and context of the Court's latest work. Teachers are encouraged to host moot courts during the same week that SCOTUS hears oral arguments, so students will be especially primed to follow stories in the news surrounding SCOTUS's session. This is an excellent way to get students engaged in taking on the arguments at hand in the Supreme Court as they happen, helping kids get an engaging, up-close look at how the court works and what its decisions mean.
Meanwhile, the Landmark Cases site is an excellent standalone resource for learning about key Supreme Court decisions in detail, from their actual language (linked in full here) plus articles that offer both simple and detailed insights on the decisions' impact and subsequent interpretation. The Resource Library is full of good things, but they can be tougher to sort through and their plug-and-play utility varies widely. It's definitely worth a look to sort through these materials, but the other two sections might be your best bet for accessing instantly usable, high-impact tools for your classroom.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.
Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.
Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claims.
Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).
Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.
Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.
Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.
Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
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