My son’s senior government class is busy discussing the different Constitutional amendments. And we’ve had our own great conversations about recent Constitutional issues over the last few weeks – specifically 1st Amendment stuff like the Quran burning issue in Florida, the cultural center in NYC and this week’s Supreme Court Fred Phelps hearing.
This afternoon, the conversation about the Phelps case continued as we watched our KC Chiefs play the Colts. And as I was busy checking my fantasy football league, I asked myself
is there some sort of fantasy league for laws or the Supreme Court?
And I was bit surprised to find that, yes, there is a Fantasy Supreme Court tool. Called FantasySCOTUS, the site gives your kids the opportunity to debate, research and argue actual Supreme Court cases as they happen. FantasySCOTUS
selects cases of special interest to students. For each case, the Institute will provide teachers with lesson plans. Each plan will provide a plain English explanation of the parties involved, the question presented, the background of the case, the opinion of the lower court, and the competing arguments of the Petitioner and the Respondent. Following this background information, the lesson plan will discuss all relevant constitutional provisions, statutes, precedents, and other relevant information needed to understand the case pending before the Supreme Court.
The students learn about fundamental legal principles, make predictions about these cases, compete and collaborate with other classes nationwide, and write analytical blog posts about them.
I haven’t had a chance to explore it much but it does have some nice lesson plans and teacher resources. Looks interesting, I’ll need to play with it and try it with some teachers and kids.
UPDATE – More searching found the PBS site with nine Supreme Court games and interactives.