Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Note to Teachers: Check Out A New Planning Source

Dear teachers, I know you’re busy with the final days of this school year. I remember those wonderful field trips and school picnics that started the all-too-short vacation time. But during the relaxing summer, some of my best lesson plans were created. Good teachers never stop planning, do they? Here’s one idea you might consider as you pack for the beach.

The National Center for State Courts has created Justice Case Files, a series of graphic novels about the workings of the courts and their critical role in a democratic society. These easy-to-read, 20-page booklets bring court cases to life to help students enjoy learning about the justice system.

For example, The Case of Internet Piracy, first in the series, tells the story of two trials. Megan, a college freshman, is prosecuted for illegally downloading music files from the Internet as her grandmother fights to get the fair market value for their home in an unrelated eminent domain proceeding. The novel traces the progress of both Megan’s criminal case and the civil eminent domain dispute in clear language at a pace that naturally invites discussion. A preview is available here.

Each booklet includes a glossary of terms used in the story and some have an annotated courtroom diagram. Lesson plans are also available.

So, when your curriculum planning begins for next year, take a peek at Justice Case Files. Until then, enjoy your summer and take that well-deserved rest. Justice Judy