Appellate Courts: Let's Take It Up

Lesson Plan


Students learn what happens in appellate-level courts and how those courts operate differently from the trial courts most people are familiar with from watching television. By following the case of a real middle school girl who was strip searched at school, students find out what happens when someone takes a case all the way to the Supreme Court. Through this case, students learn about the structure of the federal court system and the way appellate courts decide cases.

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LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Students will be able to:

  • Explain the purpose of the appellate courts.
  • Describe how appellate courts work.
  • Compare the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.
  • Define the following terms: precedent, opinion, dissent, brief, oral argument, en banc, petition.