To understand how the Supreme Court works and how its decisions can have a lasting effect on American society.
1 class period
Students begin this lesson by reading four paragraphs with background information about the Supreme Court of the United States.
Next, summaries of the following four landmark decisions are given:
• Engel v. Vitale (1962)
• Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
• Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
• Roe v. Wade (1973)
Each summary contains two sections entitled Background Information and The Decision, and is followed by five true/false questions for students to answer.
The lesson concludes with a Thought Question whereby each class member is asked to decide which of these four landmark Supreme Court decisions they think was of greatest importance. They must then write a paragraph explaining their choice. This helps to develop critical thinking skills.
Teacher Instructions and answer key included