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Focus on SCOTUS: Teaching About the Highest Court in the United States

Confirmations are set to begin in the Senate this fall for President Trump's second Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Judge Kavanaugh is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and was White House Staff Secretary during the presidency of George W. Bush. Help students to understand the role and influence of the Supreme Court with these resources from NCSS and our colleagues.

How to Read a U.S. Supreme Court OpinionSocial Education January/February 2013. 

This detailed guide will help students understand how to decipher and analyze any U.S. Supreme Court opinion.

Identifying and Teaching against Misconceptions: Six Common Mistakes about the Supreme Court, Social Education October 2006. 

Most Americans misunderstand the function of the Supreme Court. Correcting students’ misconceptions promotes engaged citizenship and will foster a better understanding of the institution’s influence on U.S. society.

Previewing the October 2017 Supreme Court Term, Social Education October 2017. 

In the 2017 Supreme Court term, the justices delve into issues that are fundamental to American democracy: voting, marriage equality, religious freedom and immigration. 

**Be on the lookout for the 2018 Supreme Court Preview in the October 2018 issue of Social Education!** 

 

From our colleagues...

The Constitution at Work, National Archives. 

In this activity students will analyze documents that span the course of American history to determine their connection to the U.S. Constitution. Students will then make connections between the primary sources they have examined and sections of the Constitution, and determine the big idea(s) found in the Constitution exemplified by each.

The Constitution at Work: Elementary Edition, National Archives. 

In this activity students will connect primary sources with specific sections of the Constitution.

The Judicial Branch Curriculum Unit, iCivics.org. 

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.

The Supreme Court, PBS Education. 

These resources from the award-winning PBS series The Supreme Court chart the Court’s unique evolution through archival footage, graphic techniques and interviews with legal historians and experts.