The who, what, when, where and how of state courts
NCSC has developed a three-minute “explainer” video about the role of state courts in our democracy. The video explains why the Founding Fathers elevated the judiciary to its status as the government’s third and equal branch. The video goes on to explain that state courts are made of local trial courts, where juries or judges decide cases, as well as appellate and supreme courts.
A Guide to Law-Related Education and Civics
I. Featured Links
The Maryland Judiciary’s Mission Behind the Annual Bookmark Contest (2018). The Maryland Judiciary's video showcases the state judiciary's Annual Bookmark Contest, which provides the court with the opportunity to work with local schools to promote conflict resolution and mediation.
Court News Ohio Law & Leadership: Introducing High School Students to the Justice System (2013).
Cunningham, Mark Why Establishing a Center for Law and Civic Education Matters. (2012). National Center for State Courts, Future Trends in State Courts This article describes the award winning Louisiana Center for Law and Civic Education.
II. Graphic Novels
A fun way for children to get introduced to the role courts play in government and society. Details how the public interacts with police and prosecutors to bring justice in a criminal matter.
Click here for Teacher Lesson Plans.
III. General Resources
ABA Division for Public Education. A comprehensive Web site on legal education. The mission of the ABA Division for Public Education is to promote public understanding of law and its role in society. Explores the best possible concepts for legal education.
Best Practices in Law-Related Education. Street Law provides information on certain approaches and techniques that have been shown to be effective in reaching desired ends for law-related education programs.
IV. Teaching Materials
iCivics. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics to increase knowledge about our government and our courts. This site offers a comprehensive, standards-aligned civics curriculum that is available for free.
Courts in the Classroom. A helpful animated resource for students learning how the third branch of government connects to society and their daily lives. Informative and entertaining videos, with excellent examples that young people can relate to.
Ben`s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids. Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office. A civic education website designed for kids. The site is divided into K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 and also has a section for parents and teachers.