Lesson 10: Civil Rights and the Michigan Supreme Court (II)

Grade Level & Subject: High School Social Studies (History or Government)
Unit: Discovering the Rich History of the Michigan Supreme Court
Lesson: Civil Rights and the Michigan Supreme Court II


State Standards and Benchmarks:
Social Studies. Strand I Historical Perspective. Standard I.2 Comprehending the Past. All students will understand narratives about major eras of American and world history by identifying the people involved, describing the setting, and sequencing the events. Standard I.4 Judging Decisions from the Past. All students will evaluate key decisions made at critical turning points in history by assessing their implications and long-term consequences. Strand II. Geographic Perspective. Standard II.1 Diversity of People, Places, and Cultures. All students will describe, compare, and explain the locations and characteristics of places, cultures, and settlements. Strand III. Civic Perspective. Standard III.2 Ideals of American Democracy. All students will explain the meaning and origin of the ideas, including the core democratic values expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other foundational documents of the United States. Strand VI. Public Discourse and Decision Making. Standard VI.2 Group Discussion. All students will engage their peers in constructive conversation about matters of public concern by clarifying issues, considering opposing views, applying democratic values, anticipating consequences, and working toward making decisions.

Unit Outcome:
When this unit is finished, students will be able to: (1) conduct historical research/investigation using both primary and secondary sources, (2) describe the importance of the Michigan Supreme Court, (3) present, verbally and in written form, informed opinions about Court decisions and procedures, and (4) recognize how the Michigan Supreme Court affects their lives.

Lesson Outcomes:
Students will be able to:
• Recall the names of a few civil rights related Michigan Supreme Court cases
• Identify the issues involved in some of these cases
• Evaluate these cases and the Court’s decisions

Rational/Purpose for Lesson:
In an effort to highlight multiculturalism, this unit plan seeks to expose students to the Michigan Supreme Court and all of the different people involved with it. Civil rights have been an important topic in our country, and our state, for years. This lesson strives to give students an appreciation of diversity and multiculturalism by showing them that the Michigan Supreme Court has heard civil rights cases and, in many instances, decided in favor of minorities and against discrimination.

Resources/Materials required:
• Files: African American Rights Power Point Presentation, African American Presentation Notes, Native American Rights Power Point Presentation, Native American Presentation Notes, Civil Rights Power Point Presentation (Combination), Civil Rights Presentation Notes
• Lecture notes if teacher has done research on one of the civil rights cases specifically
• Computer with Large Screen/Television or with a projector for PowerPoint presentations (If there is no way to display the presentations for students to observe, consider printing the necessary slides from the presentation and making overheads from them
• Global Village PowerPoint slide

Display the Global Village PowerPoint slide. If you are unable to do so, reveal it line by line using the overhead projector. Tell students to read this in silence. Give them time to read this and soak it in. Now ask them for their reactions. Then let them know that they are all minorities. Tell them how privileged they are in comparison to children from other countries. (The teacher needs to be sensitive to his/her classes’ demographics. However, all of the students will be minorities if this global village concept is true.) This slide will hopefully serve as a wake-up call to students and it will certainly put their minds to thinking.

1. Teacher should present the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society’s Civil Rights PowerPoint and/or the Native American PowerPoint. After the presentations are shown, the teacher may require students to: prepare for a discussion to be held the next day; write a reaction paper about one of the presentations in which students present their reactions, opinions, revelations, etc.; discuss the presentations in small groups or as a class (depending on time restraints).
2. OR the teacher may choose to gather additional research about one particular case addressed by the presentation and present students with a lecture about that case.
3. Put the students into small groups and ask them to discuss the case amongst themselves.
4. Tell students they will be expected to deliver group presentations regarding their thoughts/questions about the case. They should use what they know about the history of the Court as well as their knowledge of U.S. and Michigan history to help them prepare for their presentations.
5. Randomly select groups to share their thoughts.

Closure will depend on which route is taken with this lesson. Something should be said about the Michigan Supreme Court’s positive track record in hearing and deciding on civil rights cases. It should also be stressed that this record extends back into time. Balance this with a brief encapsulation of the state’s history in terms of restriction of civil rights (i.e. separate schools, Detroit riots during the 1900s, etc.)

Guided study/Homework:
Prepare for Unit Assessment: final project, test, etc.

1. Students will receive credit for their active participation in the group presentations.
2. A quiz may be administered after the video in order to check for comprehension of main ideas/important topics.

Evaluation and Reflection: (To be completed by teacher after lesson has been implemented)

Grade Level & Subject: High School Social Studies (History or Government)
Unit: Discovering the Rich History of the State of Michigan Supreme Court
Lesson: Civil Rights and the Michigan Supreme Court II

1. Watch the PowerPoint presentation(s)

2. Pay attention to important issues and details

3. Use some sort of note-taking to help you remember what you learn from the presentation

4. Homework: Prepare for Unit Assessment: final project, test, etc.

If you missed class, you should also:

1. Arrange to watch the presentations

2. Schedule a time to meet with the teacher for an oral quiz which will be designed to test your comprehension of the material presented in the presentations

3. For Homework: Prepare for Unit Assessment: final project, test, etc.

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