Monday, April 12, 2010

Supreme Court Learning... with Games! (great site)

One of our relatives is a law professor at KU. Today, she got to meet with former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. I thought it was a great time to talk about Justice O'Connor and the Supreme Court. So, we started the day by watching two BrainPop videos - Branches of Government and Supreme Court.

(free clipart)

After the videos, I read a short article from Ben's Guide about the Supreme Court and an article about Justice O'Connor's visit to KU.

 
(free clipart)

Then, we started the really fun part. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has a great site for Middle School kids called Our Courts. On the site, you can play games and, so far, we've played two of them. The first is called Supreme Decision.  In it, you are a clerk to one of the justices and you are supposed to gather information to help the justice decide which way to vote. The case is about a middle schooler who was told by the principal that he couldn't wear a t-shirt which showed a photo and the name of a band. You need to decide if this falls within the students "freedom of speech" right.



The second game we played is called Do I Have a Right? In this game, you open up a law firm and hire lawyers that are experts in different ammendment rights. As the clients walk in, you are to match the client to the appropriate lawyer. This game is a LOT of fun and can be played over and over. You can: hire new lawyers, upgrade their desks to make them more effiicient, add objects to the waiting room to keep your clients from leaving quickly, and run adds to increase your client traffic. Alex and I both played this and, not only did we have a lot of fun, we learned more about which ammendment stands for which right!

 
(Alex at Brown v. Board of Education museum, Sept 2008)

Although I had other plans for the week, I think we'll continue working with this website tomorrow. Although I did all of the "teacher's lessons" with the Supreme Decision game, I didn't for Do I Have a Right? So, I want to go back and cover that and also look at the final game entitled Argument Wars. This game will help you learn more about specific cases like Brown  v. Board of Education and Miranda v. Arizona.

3 comments:

Fairiemom said...

Thanks so much for posting those links! We will be studying the U.S. government over the summer and this would be a fantastic supplement!
I also love that you can just go with the flow when a GREAT topic comes up!

Take Care,
G

Robin said...

Excellent resources!! It's funny, my husband works for the Federal Court system, but Cade knows very little about it. We've started a new unit on Civics, but we haven't gotten to that part yet. When we do, I'm going to remember these sites.
Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Did you see she also has a link to tribal governments? She has been very good about visiting tribal courts throughout the country - and we actually hosted her at Cherokee Nation in 2007 - so it was not the first time I had the pleasure of meeting her. Stacy

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