Graphic Organizer/Worksheet


Four cases and questions to help students understand how the Supreme Court uses the Balancing Test to decide constitutional law issues. Some cases are real (Tinker v. Des Moines) and some are hypothetical.


  • Social Studies > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12


law supreme court



Access Privileges:

Public - Available to anyone

License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
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Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 2, as of 2008-04-29.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 3
Appropriate Pedagogy: 2

Reviewer Comments:

This is a very good lesson that could be used in a US Government course during a unit on the Bill of Rights. The lesson examines the balancing test that is used by courts to rule in cases of individual versus group rights. Students read over four different scenarios and identify the rights at issue. They are then asked to decide how they would rule if they were a member of the Supreme Court. The lesson includes a detailed answer key. The lesson could be extended in many ways including drawing conclusions as to how the Court has ruled on similar issues, conducting a greater examination of the Bill of Rights, and as an introduction to a mock Supreme Court activity where students could research various cases and present arguments in a formal presentation. Although the lesson lacks written objectives and a detailed lesson plan, it is an activity that could be easily incorporated into a Government course. As a result of completing this lesson, students should gain a greater understanding of the challenges the courts face when trying to protect individual rights.

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