Using Case Studies in the Classroom

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This resource provides instructions for seven Street Law strategies for teaching about U.S. Supreme Court cases in secondary school classrooms:

  • Anatomy of a case
  • Choosing unmarked opinions
  • Classifying arguments
  • Judicial opinion writing
  • Student law firms
  • Applying precedents
  • Moot court

The strategies vary from basic to complex, and authentic student work increases as you move along the spectrum. Generally, the process focuses on developing student skills in analysis and critical thinking as much as developing knowledge about the outcome of a specific case.

All of the strategies are based on five case elements: facts, issues, precedents, arguments, decision. These elements are like the ingredients of a recipe. You create the final product by combining the elements in various ways. 

Because this strategy can be used to explore cases about issues related to race and social identity, Street Law recommends: Teaching Street Law Content Involving Race and Social Identity. This resource can help teachers bring content about race and social identity into their classrooms. It offers some advice and questions to help guide decisions about teaching this content while affirming students’ identities.

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