Lesson 3: History of the Michigan Supreme Court


Grade Level and Subject:Middle School History

Lesson:History of the Michigan Supreme Court

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State Standard and Benchmark
Social Studies. Strand 1 Historical Perspective. Standard 1.2 Comprehending the Past. Students will understand narratives about major eras of American and world history by identifying setting and sequencing the events. Benchmark 1.2.9. Students will use narratives and graphic data to describe the settings of significant events that shaped the development of Michigan as a state and the United States as a nation during the eras prior to Reconstruction. Standard 3.4 American Government and Politics. Students will explain how American governmental institutions, at the local, state, and federal levels, provide for the limitations and sharing of power and how the nation’s political system provides for the exercise of power.

Lesson Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Explain how Michigan’s constitutions changed the structure of the Michigan Supreme Court
• Explain why Michigan’s admission to the Union was delayed
• Name the first three justices of the Michigan Supreme Court
• List important “firsts” with regard to the Michigan Supreme Court

Rationale/Purpose for Lesson
Students will continue to increase their knowledge about the Michigan Supreme Court. They will learn how the Court has changed over the course of its history and evolved into its present structure. In addition, students will need this background in order to understand how the Supreme Court of Michigan presides over the lower courts.

Resources/Materials Needed
• Quiz over Michigan history
• Teacher copy of “A Brief History of the Michigan Supreme Court” a publication of the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society
Student Note Packet
MSC Study Guide

Tell students that after they finish the quiz they will begin to look at the Michigan Supreme Court and how it has changed over the course of its history.

1. Give Michigan History Quiz over material covered in the first two days.
2. As students complete the quiz, give them the Student Note Packet and the MSC Study Guide.

Remind students that the Michigan Supreme Court has established itself as a respected body throughout the state as well as the country.

Guided Study/Homework
1. Work to complete the MSC Study Guide

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Documents for this Lesson