7th Unit – The American Legal System (February/March)

TeacherStacy Gregorski
Subject AreaCivics
Grade Level7th Grade
Week #February/March
Unit of InstructionThe American Legal System
Standard(s) Taught

Curriculum Standards


Simulate the trial process and the role of juries in the administration of justice.


*Identify sources and types (civil, criminal, constitutional, military) of law.


****Diagram the levels, functions, and powers of courts at the state and federal levels.


**Analyze the significance and outcomes of landmark Supreme Court cases including, but not limited to, Marbury v. Madison, Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education, Gideon v. Wainwright, Miranda v. Arizona, in re Gault, Tinker v. Des Moines, Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, United States v. Nixon, and Bush v. Gore, and District of Columbia v. Heller.


*Define the rule of law and recognize its influence on the development of the American legal, political, and governmental systems.


*Civics EOC Reporting Category 1      **Civics EOC Reporting Category 2     ***Civics EOC Reporting Category 3     ****Civics EOC Reporting Category 4

Learning Targets and Learning Criteria
  • Use examples of historical law codes to identify how laws originated and developed in Western society.
  • Recognize constitutional, statutory, case and common law as sources of law.
  • Recognize juvenile law.
  • Recognize that the powers and jurisdiction of the state and federal courts are derived from their respective constitutions.
  • Students will compare appellate and trial processes.
  • Identify the levels of courts on a state and federal level.
  • Assess the importance of rule of law in protecting citizens from arbitrary and abusive uses of power.
Classroom Activities

Daily Bell Ringer – Students are required to record their answers for daily critical thinking questions in their bell ringer notebooks (either a spiral notebook kept in class or a section kept in a student’s binder).

Daily Instruction – Students are required to participate in daily instruction, which can include PowerPoint presentations, group discussions, think-pair-shares, real-world simulations, formative assignments, and note taking.

Assignments Due

Almost all work is done in class.  Although students do not receive separate assignments to be done at home, they are still expected to take home any incomplete classwork, as well as study for unit summatives.

Additional Resources

Make Your Case – Online Courtroom Simulation


iCivics Games: