Lesson 2: History of the Michigan Supreme Court

Grade Level & Subject: High School Social Studies (History or Government)
Unit: Discovering the Rich History of the Michigan Supreme Court
Lesson: History of the Michigan Supreme Court from the Territorial Court and the founding of the Michigan Supreme Court in 1836 to Justice Mary S. Coleman and her interpretation of “One Court of Justice”

 

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. Strand III. Civic Perspective. Standard III.1 Purposes of Government. All students will identify purposes of national, state, and local governments in the United States, describe how citizens organize government to accomplish their purposes and assess their effectiveness.

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
• Trace the history of the Michigan Supreme Court from its territorial beginnings
• Define the phrase “One Court of Justice” as it relates to the Michigan Supreme Court
• Compare the territorial court to the modern Supreme Court

Rationale/Purpose for Lesson:
This lesson will provide students with a more thorough knowledge of the Michigan Supreme Court. Students will learn about people, places, cases, and changes associated with the Court and its history. This lesson will require more student attention and participation than Lesson 1 required.

Resources/Materials required:
• Copies: quiz over Lesson 1
• Lecture notes
• Discussion questions
• Handout: Copies of the 1963 Constitution of Michigan, Article VI (Or a handout that provides an abbreviated version, should the teacher see it fit). This handout is nothing more than the actual article, a primary source, and is available at http://michigander.0catch.com/constitution.html#judicial

Introduction:
At the start of this lesson, the teacher should administer a quiz that covers the prior day’s material. After the quiz, the teacher should ask students to share their answers from the previous day’s questions or, if the teacher found the answers himself/herself, then this is the time to provide students with these answers. The teacher should then open the floor to any further questions or comments about the history of the Court.

Procedures:
1. Deliver lecture about the history of the Michigan Supreme Court.
2. If it was not done on the first day, give students the Constitution of Michigan of 1963: Article VI handout.
3. Instruct students that they are to skim the handout.
4. Continue this lesson with a discussion about the material using the discussion questions provided.
5. Should students appear to have not done the required reading, quickly create and administer a “reading check” quiz.

Closure:
Tell students that they are to each think of one important or interesting fact about the history of the Michigan Supreme Court. Ask that they at least remember that one thing about the Court’s history. Restate and again define for them the idea of the “One Court of Justice.” Tell them that this one court of justice is theirs, as Michigan citizens, and that its purpose is to serve the constitution and citizenry of Michigan.

Guided study/Homework
Read “A Brief History of the Michigan Supreme Court” pages 19-26.

Assessment:
1. As part of the introduction, a quiz will be administered. Students will be given credit for the number of questions they answer correctly on this quiz. The quiz should contain questions requiring brief answers about the previous day’s information.
2. If it appears that students have not read the required material, a “reading check” quiz can quickly be created and administered by the teacher. This quiz will determine who has done the reading and those who have will receive credit for doing so.
3. A random selection of students should be able to answer any of the teacher’s discussion questions.
4. All students should be able to offer a response to something from the introduction, the discussion, or the lecture.

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

LESSON 2 SUMMARY/MAKE-UP
Grade Level & Subject: High School Social Studies (History or Government)
Unit: Discovering the Rich History of the State of Michigan Supreme Court
Lesson: History of the Michigan Supreme Court from the Territorial Court and the founding of the Michigan Supreme Court in 1836 to Justice Mary S. Coleman and her interpretation of “One Court of Justice”
1. Take quiz over Lesson 1

2. Take notes from lecture about Michigan Supreme Court history

3. Pay special attention to the idea of the “One Court of Justice”

4. Participate in discussion

5. Homework: Read “A Brief History of the Michigan Supreme Court” pages 19-26
If you missed class, you should also:

1. Make sure you get a copy of the notes and handout from the teacher (or from a fellow classmate).

2. Arrange to take quiz over Lesson 1.

3. Check with the teacher to see if you need to take a reading check quiz.

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Documents for this Lesson