Landmark Cases of the Supreme Court is a quick reference site for exploring 17 notable Supreme Court cases. The most notable cases before the 1990s are well-represented, from Marbury v. Madison to Roe v. Wade, plus there are other cases like Tinker v. Des Moines that are less well-known but which focus specifically on topics that resonate with students, like student speech. Each case features a subtitle with its key topics -- for example, Miranda v. Arizona is tagged with "Self-Incrimination" and "Due Process." Each case features an overview page; a background section with leveled texts that include summaries of the issues at hand and useful vocabulary; a "teaching" tab with activities and lesson plans; key excerpts from the decision plus its full text; links to other reputable resources related to the case; and a "For Teachers Only" tab that contains answers to questions from the activities and tips for differentiation. This last tab is only available to registered users, but registration is easy and free for teachers.
Landmark Cases would work well as a reference tool or as a resource for creating in-class activities around each of the cases. Have A.P. U.S. History students mine the case pages for key info about each case, and have students design media that illustrates each case and helps them internalize key points. Use the teaching tab to explore what might work best for your classroom: Each case has options for one-day and multi-day activities, so take a look at what's there and consider how you might integrate these activities into your curriculum. Also, think about which cases might work well as companion activities -- Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education are the most obvious pair, but you might consider some other cases that might resonate especially well with your students or fit well with debates in the news.Continue reading Show less
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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