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Teacher Feature

Order in the Court


Students will identify the branches of government, who leads each branch and its responsibilities.  Students will also have a general understanding of the Supreme Court.


After reading the May 2005 Coin of the Month page, review with students the accomplishments of John Marshall.  Discuss reasons why a commemorative coin was made in his honor.

Review the branches of government with students using Web sites if needed, such as:

Create and label a diagram of the branches government and review with students.  Discuss each branch; identify who leads the branch and the responsibilities of each.

Branch Leader Responsibilities
Legislative Congress Enact the laws
Executive President Carry out the laws
Judicial Supreme Court Interpret the laws

Then, focus on the Judicial Branch, and discuss the Supreme Court.  Show students where John Marshall would be in the diagram.

Have students complete the "Branch Out" diagram and "Supreme Reading" independently.  Review the worksheets with the class upon completion.


Have students investigate the details of the Supreme Court Building to find out the motto and identify of each of the 9 important figures at the top of the building.


The project described above reflects some of the national standards of learning as defined by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), and the International Society for Technology in Education.  These standards are listed below:

Language Arts Standards

Demonstrate competence in the general skills and strategies of the reading process:  Students will read and complete a reading passage for understanding.

Social Studies Standards

Individuals, Groups, and Institutions:  Students will understand the role John Marshall played in our government system.

Civic Ideals and Practices:  Students will identify the three branches of government and have a general understanding of the Supreme Court.

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