Where do laws come from? This lesson teaches students about the sources, types and unique systems of law that exist in the American judicial system. Students are given the opportunity to compare and contrast civil and criminal law, follow the origin of laws from the Constitution down through to local ordinances, and peek into the judicial legal system.
Students will be able to:
ANTICIPATE by handing out the half-sheet asking students to think as many laws as they can and write them down. After a few minutes, tell them to circle the laws that they think are criminal laws, underline the laws that are civil and box the laws that would apply only to kids. Let them know that you will return to this after the lesson to see if they were correct.
DISTRIBUTE one “Sources of Law” packet to each student.
READ through pages one and two of the packet with the class.
SHOW the “Sources of Law” overhead and walk though the levels of law creation with the class.
READ page three about civil and criminal types of law.
ASK students to stop and brainstorm examples of the different types of crimes after reading about criminal law on page three.
READ through page four with the students, stopping to address questions as they come up.
DISTRIBUTE the activity pages.
WORK through the car accident scenario, reading each step and discussing terms or ideas new to your students.
ASSIGN the Venn diagram activity and check for correct answers.
ASSIGN the second and third activity pages as a review.
REVIEW the answers to the review page and clarify concepts as needed.
CLOSE by asking students to return to their brainstorming sheet and check their answers with a neighbor. Quickly check in to see how they did.