Students and the Supreme Court: A Lexicon of Laws

Lesson Duration

Author: Linda Weber, Annenberg Classroom

In this lesson, students will use primary and secondary sources to analyze Supreme Court opinions for thirteen landmark cases involving students. They will develop case profiles that cover important elements then map the judicial path from problem to conflict resolution through the state and federal courts.


  • Identify and explain the hierarchal structure, relationship, jurisdiction, and limited powers of Article III courts.
  • Cite the constitutional basis for the courts.
  •  Explain the role of the judiciary in a constitutional democracy.
  •  Identify and explain the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that citizens and public servants need for the judicial process to work effectively in a constitutional democracy.
  • Discuss how the quality of life in the U.S. is affected by Supreme Court decisions.
  • Draw conclusions about student/citizen participation in the judicial process and its effect on the development of laws in the United States.
  • Explain how court decisions are affected by the use of precedent.
  •  Gain appreciation for the complexities of the judicial process and the role it has in the peaceful resolution of conflicts in a constitutional democracy.


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