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.


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.



Downloadable Resources

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