Lessons

If you have any questions, contact judicialoutreach@jud.ca.gov

Details (click arrow):

Grade levels listed with each lesson are recommendations only. Once a match is made, you will have the opportunity to coordinate with the judge ahead of the visit to best prepare the lesson. If a teacher wishes to deliver the lesson on their own, they may do so using the Lesson Plan notes for guidance.

Visits include time for students to get to know the judge, ask questions about their role, path to the bench, types of cases they hear, etc. Judges will not provide lectures on responsible citizenry, community service, or other topics unrelated to the operations of the judicial branch.

If you have any questions, judicialoutreach@jud.ca.gov

"No Animals Allowed" Grades: K-5

Translation: Spanish, Mandarin

Early learners receive an introduction to the 3 branches of government. Through a set of scenarios, the class is challenged to determine the difference between a rule and a law.

No Animals Allowed is the most requested lesson for young learners.

"No Vehicles Allowed" Grades: 6-8

Translation: Spanish, Mandarin

This lesson offers students a close look at the purpose and function of law, and the importance of considering the intent of lawmakers. Through a set of scenarios, students will analyze a sample law and its application.

Salem Witch Trials Grades: 5-8

Translation: Spanish

Students role-play through a provided script and learn about the importance of our jury system, the function of the judicial branch as a equal in our 3 branches of government, and citizens' protections under the Bill of Rights.

  • Students will compare and contrast this historic court case with and without the Bill of Rights.

  • Focus on Amendments 6 and 7.

Voter Rights & The U.S. Constitution Grades: 3-5 & 6-12

The Right to Vote and the Fight for the Right to Vote are the backdrop to learning how and when the Constitution is challenged, when it is amended or ratified. This lesson looks at the similarities used to build consensus in the late 1800's and in more modern times.

  • Focus on Amendments 14, 15, and 19.

Preparation materials are available for the teacher to use in the classroom before the visit. On the day of the visit, the lesson will include the opportunity for students to reenact the trial with assigned "actors" reading from a provided script.
The visiting judge will engage students in a discussion to challenge their critical thinking skills as they learn about provisions of the U.S. Constitution.
History teachers: this is a great lesson to include when covering women's rights, voting rights, and Amendments 14, 15, and 19.

Riley vs. California Grades 9-12
(adaptable for lower grades)

Translation: Spanish

Riley v. California, 573 U.S. 373, is a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court unanimously held that the warrantless search and seizure of digital contents of a cell phone during an arrest is unconstitutional.

The visiting judge will take students from its origins in San Diego, where it started with a traffic stop. Students will learn how arguments were framed for both sides, and how the case worked its way all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Materials are provided for teachers to discuss the case before and after the visit.

This lesson walks students through a 100-year timeline that was the Suffragette Movement with a colorful presentation (See end of document for speaker notes). An Ice Breaker exercise is included to challenge student's understanding of the law. This lesson may be tailored to fit flexible timeframes.

Source: California Lawyer's Association

"¡Sí Se Puede!" Grades 5-12

(Offered in Mar/Apr only). This lesson commemorates California civil rights leaders Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. From the fields to the union hall to the courtroom, a visit by a judge with this lesson will help your students understand the "fight in the fields," the motivation on both sides, and how the courts settled just one of the many conflicts brought on through the farmworker movement. Students will further their knowledge of the law, the role of the courts, and build their curiosity of and appreciation for our state history.

A library of materials are available to help teachers prepare students for the visit.

Source: Los Angeles Latino Judicial Officers Association

New! Hispanic Heritage Month

Sleepy Lagoon Trials 2022.pptx

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a lesson about the largest mass trial in California's history where 22 young men and women were arrested and charged with a crime all because of the way they dressed.

Source: Los Angeles Latino Judicial Officers Association