How to make the Supreme Court Justices real to students? Turn them into trading cards! This two-page word doc is designed for you or your students to print, research and fill out basic biographical information about the current nine justices, and tape or glue the cards back-to-back: photo on the front, biographical information on the back.
The activity of completing the cards will familiarize students with the personal backgrounds of the current nine justices, and introduce them to some basic facts about American government and the judicial branch. Use the cards as a launching pad for helping students understand: how the Court works (e.g. 5-4 decisions), the concept of a "swing" vote, lifetime appointment, checks and balances, judicial review, and more!
Students can raise and explore questions about what the Constitution requires of Supreme Court nominees, what additional qualifications seem to exist, why, and whether we are guaranteed to get qualified Justices.
At the end of your unit, have students develop their own games / activities using the cards as a form of assessment.
Photo source: http://www.supremecourt.gov/about/biographies.aspx