Understanding the Types of Cases

Most young scholars are aware of the criminal courts system, but the United States Constitution allows for a much broader role. What other roles do courts play in settling other questions? A case study and WebQuest-style activities challenge class members by asking them to classify whether a case belongs in federal or state court and whether it is a criminal or civil dispute. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Use case studies to have learners evaluate what constitutes a criminal case and a civil case
  • Ask pupils to apply and reinforce knowledge using online interactive games 
Classroom Considerations
  • First of three lessons in the Organization of the Federal Courts series
  • While classified as a middle school activity, the ready level is more suited to high school-level reading
  • Lesson plan offers a variety of activities, making it easy to adapt to classroom needs
  • Interactive nature of the lesson keeps students interested