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Radiolab recently released a series of podcasts relating to Supreme Court decisions. I’ve always loved Radiolab. They play with sound and story in a way that’s incredibly intriguing, I was instantly hooked with More Perfect. Supreme Court decisions can seem rather dry and mundane to students, however, “More Perfect” investigates the “why” behind Supreme Court decisions, and ultimately brings them to life.
This particular podcast contextualizes the case Marbury v. Madison. It provided an excellent summary, and then explains its significance through history. It's actually called "Kittens Kick The Giggly Blue Robot All Summer."
Directions: These questions can be answered in class or as a homework assignment. Students will most likely need to pause the podcast to have time sufficient time to write down their answers. The podcast is approximately 37 minutes long, however, there is an introduction and an ending that could be cut if necessary. (They explain the title at the very end). There is one small swear in the podcast (a G.D.) and it’s repeated in the song/explanation at the end.
The actual podcast can be found here - http://www.wnyc.org/story/giggly-blue-robot. This link also includes other primary sources, including interviews and Supreme Court cases if you want students to conduct further research.
I highly suggest discussing student reflections and reactions after listening to the podcast. In a pinch, these questions could also be provided to a substitute.
This file included a word version (editable) and a PDF version (not editable).
NOTE: Feel free to use these questions within your own classroom. If you wish to share these questions with other teachers, please have them purchase an additional license. Please make sure that these questions are only used with the classroom, and that they are not posted online.
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