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The Judicial Branch
Our Federal Government

Video Objectives

  1. Students will understand how a judge becomes a Supreme Court Justice.
  2. Students will know that the Supreme Court is the highest court in the country.
  3. Students will understand how the justices get cases and how they make decisions.
  4. Students will understand the hierarchy of the federal court system.
  5. Students will know a few landmark Supreme Court Cases.
  6. Students will understand that our government has a system of checks and balances.

Classroom Activites

  1. Mock Trial. Have pairs of students research a case that is in the process of going through our judicial branch. Your Supreme Courts will go through the cases given to them and decide which ones they want to hear. The pair of students that turned in the case will present it to the Supreme Court that your students have created (You may have rotating justices, depending on whether or not one of the already appointed justices is involved in the case). Have all students write a summary of the cases they have heard, what the ‘Supreme Court’ decision was in your classroom, and what their own decision is.
  2. Historical Journal. Ask each student to research an historical Supreme Court decision that they find interesting. Ask each student to keep a journal as though they lived during the time that the case was tried. What was their life like? Were they supportive of the decision? How did the Supreme Court decision change their lives?

Vocabulary Words

1. Appeal
2. Check and Balances
3. Chief Justice
4. Constitution
5. Court of appeals
6. Criminal case
7. District court
8. Executive Orders
9. Federal courts
10. Jury
11. Justice
12. Laws
13. Supreme Court
14. Treaty
15. Trial court

View Teacher's Guide PDF (F.P.O.)

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The Judicial Branch

The origins of the Judicial Branch and Supreme Court are addressed here, also an examination of the Supreme Court's power to influence American history and society in profound ways. It shows how the exercise of this power has often been controversial and that the philosophy of the court can change as different justices are appointed and because of ...

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Chapters (01-08)

 00 - Play All
01 - Introduction
02 - Supreme Court Justices
03 - The Supreme Court
04 - Judicial Branch Courts
05 - Supreme Court Cases
06 - Supreme Court Decisions
07 - Other Supreme Court Res...
08 - Conclusion

The Judicial Branch
The Judicial Branch
Our Federal Governme...

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