The Federal Court System


Civics The Judicial Branch: Justice and the Law The Federal Court System
Students review the difference between federal and state courts. Then they learn about the three levels of the federal court system, focusing on the components of U.S. District Courts and the U.S. Court of Appeals. Next, they learn about the types of federal judges in these courts. Finally, they hear from an individual judge in the U.S. court system and describe how that judge’s life prepared him or her to serve on the bench.

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

1:1 Devices
Teacher Pack

The Pack contains associated resources for the learning experience, typically in the form of articles and videos. There is a teacher Pack (with only teacher information) and a student Pack (which contains only student information). As a teacher, you can toggle between both to see everything.

Here are the teacher pack items for The Federal Court System:

Preview - Scene 1
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Overview

In this experience, students review the difference between federal and state courts. Then they learn about the three levels of the federal court system, focusing on the components of U.S. District Courts and the U.S. Court of Appeals. Next, they learn about the types of federal judges in these courts. Finally, they hear from an individual judge in the U.S. court system and describe how that judge’s life prepared him or her to serve on the bench.

You may also use the experience The State Judicial Branch to learn more about the differences between state courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Objectives:

  • Explain how the federal courts are organized.
  • Describe the selection process for federal judges.


“I’ll see you in court!” Have you ever heard that—possibly on a TV show? What happens in all these courts? If a company goes bankrupt, what kind of court deals with that case? What court handles adoption cases and other family-related matters? You will learn about the court system in this experience.

Objectives:

  • Explain how the federal courts are organized.
  • Describe the selection process for federal judges.




A judge often uses a gavel as a signal to bring a courtroom to order.


Start by seeing how the overall U.S. court system works by watching How Does the U.S. Court System Work?


List several types of cases that might appear in federal courts and state courts.





Discuss student responses to be sure they understand the basic difference between state courts and federal courts.

Your students may be unfamiliar with the terms appellate and appeals. If so, work together to come up with a class definition within the context of this experience:

  • appellate (adj): having the authority to review another court’s decisions
  • appeal (noun): a formal request to a court to review and change a lower court’s decision


When everyone is ready to continue, unlock the next scene.

End of Preview
The Complete List of Learning Experiences in The Judicial Branch: Justice and the Law Unit.
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