This lesson will focus on the legal aspects of the Court and the power of place. It is anticipated that by the end of this lesson, SWBAT: 

(1) Discuss the roles and the powers of the US Supreme Court;

(2) Identify and discuss the 19th and 20th century locations of the Court;

(3) Successfully complete a quiz.


[Applicable DCPS content and skills standards as well as Common Core standards should be listed by number and include the actual text of the standard.]

DC Social Studies Standards

12.1. Students explain the fundamental principles and moral values of the American Republic as expressed in the U.S. Constitution and other essential documents of American democracy.

12.3.5. Discuss Article III of the Constitution as it relates to judicial power, including the length of terms of judges and the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

12.3.6. Explain the processes of selection and confirmation of Supreme Court justices.

Common Core Reading Literacy

RH. 11-12.1; RH. 11-12.2; RH. 11-12.4; RH. 11-12.10 Cite evidence, summarize, vocabulary, and complex texts.

Common Core Writing for Literacy

WHST 11-12.8a; WHST 11-12.8c; WHST11-12.5a Use digital resources, determine the value of a source, brainstorming, outlining

WHST 11-12.1ai; WHST 11-12.1cii; WHST 11-12.1bi-bii Use evidence in paragraphs, cite evidence


[Here, you should include a list of primary and secondary sources as well as other materials you will be using in the class. Attach all handouts and readings you will use for this lesson to the curricular unit.]

"The Supreme Court: Home to America's Hightest Court, 2010 Edition". Video series obtained from C-SPAN:  http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/297213-1

Architect of the Capitol. Explore Capitol Hill: The Old Supreme Court Chamber and The Old Senate Chamber. Websites: http://www.aoc.gov/capitol-buildings/old-supreme-court-chamber and http://www.aoc.gov/capitol-buildings/old-senate-chamber

The Supreme Court Historical Society.  "The Home of the Court". Website: http://www.supremecourthistory.org/history-of-the-court/home-of-the-court/

Warm Up

[The warm-up refers to how you are going to introduce your lesson to the students you are teaching. While you can include administrative tasks here, you should primarily think about how you can prompt your students to begin thinking about the content and skills you will be teaching them. This can range from telling them your instructional objectives to asking them to respond to a question which engages their prior knowledge and experience with a major concept you will be teaching. Warm-ups can vary quite a bit from day to day, but should reflect the instructional objectives of the daily lesson plan and the curricular unit.]


(1) In your own words, describe the role(s) of the US Supreme Court? 

(2) Does the Court have original or appellate jurisdiction?

(3) How many justices currently sit on the Court?

(4) List the names of at least two justices.  

(5) What impact can the Court have on American society? 

New Material

[In this section, descriptively list the substantive material you will be using, how you will introduce it to students pedagogically, and what you want students to come away with. Any new content and skills material as well as distinct methods of inquiry that have not been introduced in earlier lessons within the curricular unit should be included here. Inquiry methods are the primary means through which research is conducted; these tend to vary by discipline. They relate to the types of questions, activities and sources that are used with specific content. Methods of investigation often frame how evidence and data are collected, examined, and reported within a given field. For example, literary critics may perform critical textual analysis, historians may conduct document analysis and triangulate evidence; political scientists may analyze public opinion polls. Inquiry methods can also be cross-disciplinary.]

In this lesson, students will be exposed to new materials on the Court.

Students will learn about the roles of the Court through guided notes and through a video presentation (C-SPAN).

Finally, students will be provided the opportunity to learn about the architecture and location of the Court by analyzing various website pertaining to the US Supreme Court. 


[This section explains the pedagogical activities that you will use with your students in reinforcing material you have already taught them and material you are currently teaching them. In order to learn new content, skills, and methods on inquiry, students will need multiple opportunities and ways to practice what they are learning independently and with guidance. Full descriptions of each learning activity and the materials to be used during that activity need to be included. Often times, the content, strategies, and skills are discussed in tandem and do not need to be separated from one another. When you do move from one content point to another or one skill to another, you need to include transitions.]

Lesson Activator (10 Minutes)

Quiz (20 minutes) 

The Power of Place: The Roles of the US Supreme Court: Guided Notes (20 Minutes)

The Role of the US Supreme Court: Video Clip (15 minutes) 

The architecture and locations of the US Supreme Court.  (20 Minutes)

Exit Activity (5 minutes)


[This section illustrates how you will know that your students have learned what you taught them. This usually means that you will have students use the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they have learned in some way. The assessment should directly reflect the instructional objectives and be buttressed by the new material and practice engaged over the course of the lesson. It can be helpful to figure out how you are going to assess student learning after you develop the instructional objectives but before you develop the teaching methods you will use. Assessment includes formative “checks for understanding” throughout the lesson and summative, end of lesson evaluations.]

Completion of the Lesson Activator

Accurate Completion of the Guided Notes: Supreme Court

Accurate Completion of the Video Guided Notes: Supreme Court

Quiz (20 points) 

Select website exercises on the architechure and locations of the US Supreme Court. 

Closure and Reflection

[The closure of a lesson should directly tie the new material, student practice, instructional objectives, and assessment together. It should also connect this lesson to the previous lesson and link to the next lesson(s). In this is space you can also include your notes about how the lesson went. You should indicate what worked well, what was problematic, ideas for modifying the lesson for future use, and how this particular lesson ties in with others in the same curricular unit.]

After the teacher provides a summary of lesson activites and probes further for understanding of the lesson materials, students will be asked to think about presenting written materials to the Court and how this is accomplished (Lesson 5).