Double Take: The Dual Court System

Lesson Plan

Does your state court system feel oddly similar to our federal one? Chances are it does, but there may still be some differences. In this lesson, students learn how our country came to have a dual court system and explore how the state and federal levels of that system work. Students explore jurisdiction, trial and appellate courts, and how judges are selected. Follow this lesson by assigning The Courts in a Nutshell WebQuest to help students learn more about the court system in their state.

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  • Distinguish between the federal and state court systems and describe the structure and powers of each
  • Explain the role of the judiciary and the purpose of the dual court system
  • Identify the origin and authority of federal and state courts
  • Analyze the role of federal and state judges as appointed and/or elected officials
  • Recognize ways in which individuals interact with the dual court system