×

The Judicial Branch

Students will learn about the federal and state courts and what they do. They will explore the courts’ role in fairly settling disputes and administering justice, and the unique role of the U.S. Supreme Court in interpreting the U.S. Constitution.

Check out this quick video on the Judicial Branch on YouTube!

Choose Grade Level:

  • Lesson Plan

    Court Quest Extension Pack

    Make your students’ game play more meaningful by using our activity and assessment set designed specifically for Court Quest. This easy-to-use Extension Pack helps you give context and purpose to the game, as well as reinforce and assess the game concepts. That means deeper learning for students, and best practices around game-centered learning for you!  Extension Packs use Google Slides and are designed for use with projectors or interactive whiteboards. 
  • Lesson Plan

    Trial and Appeal Infographic

    Most cases start and end in trial court, but what if there's an error? Show students how a case works it's way up in this printable infographic for your classroom!
  • WebQuest

    Let's Talk About Independence

    From how judges are selected to their job security, the Constitution put in place interesting protections to ensure that our third branch of government could rule impartially. In this WebQuest, students explore what it means to have an independent judiciary.
  • Lesson Plan

    Supreme Court Nominations

    This lesson teaches the fundamentals of Supreme Court Justice nominations and helps students understand the politics behind the nominations. It challenges students to cut through the politics and compare nominees’ judicial philosophies and includes an optional extension for students to research and analyze the controversial nominations and confirmation processes of Robert Bork, Harriet Miers, Clarence Thomas, and Merrick Garland.Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDFs of this lesson's materials below! Partner Resources for this Lesson Plan include:Supreme Court Nominations - Middle…
  • Lesson Plan

    Argument Wars Extension Pack

    Make your students’ game play more meaningful by using our activity and assessment set designed specifically for Argument Wars. This easy-to-use Extension Pack helps you give context and purpose to the game, as well as reinforce and assess the game concepts. That means deeper learning for students, and best practices around game-centered learning for you!  Extension Packs require PowerPoint and are designed for use with projectors or interactive whiteboards. 
  • WebQuest

    Supreme Interpreters

    What does it mean to interpret the Constitution? Why is interpretation necessary? Who gets to do it? In this WebQuest, students explore the answers to these questions and more. Using examples from the First and Eighth Amendments, students try their own hand at interpreting sticky situations—and compare their findings to actual Supreme Court opinions.** This WebQuest was formerly called “You Be the Judge.” It has been updated to offer students a deeper look at the Supreme Court's role interpreting the Constitution and to better complement our lesson “Interpreting the Constitution.” You do not…
  • Lesson Plan

    McCulloch v. Maryland

    Students learn about the landmark case McCulloch v. Maryland, in which the Supreme Court clarified what kinds of actions Congress can take under the “necessary and proper” clause. Students find out what events led to this case, look at some examples of what “necessary and proper” could include, and examine the relationship between state and federal power under the Supremacy Clause.Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDF versions of this lesson's materials below! Partner Resources for this Lesson Plan include:/*-->*//*-->*/McCulloch v. Maryland - Middle School - on Nearpod 
  • Lesson Plan

    Sources of Law

    Where do laws come from? This lesson teaches students about the sources, types, and unique systems of law that exist in the United States. Students learn about sources of law from the Constitution to local ordinances. They also compare and contrast civil and criminal law and peek into the special systems of military and juvenile justice.Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDF versions of this lesson's materials below! Partner Resources for this Lesson Plan include:/*-->*//*-->*/Sources of Law - Middle School - on Nearpod 
  • WebQuest

    In the Courts

    Our Judicial Branch has a big job! Do you think you have what it takes to be a judge and get the job done? 
  • Game

    Court Quest

    Navigate our court system and guide citizens to the right place.