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Supreme Court Justice League

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Project Overview 

What is faster than a speeding bullet? More powerful than a locomotive? Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound? 

There's just something about a SUPER HERO that captures the imagination. Is it their sense of Justice? Courage? Passion? Integrity, honesty, selflessness? Probably all of these traits- and it's no coincidence that these ingredients are also what makes a good Supreme Court Justice Decision! 

The effect that Supreme Court case decisions have on our country cannot be measured- so instead, we will be designing iconic super heroes and telling their story in comic book form to capture the power and lasting impact of these precedents. 

Driving Question
Getting Started
Milestone 1
Milestone 2
Final Product

Driving Question

How can we use the timeless medium of superhero comic books to communicate the influence of landmark Supreme Court precedents? on modern court cases and controversial issues?

 

Getting Started 

 

To begin, students chose their Supreme Court case from a list of famous landmark decision. They extensively researched their case using resources provided by the teacher and their own. Students then had to determine the main idea, or Constitutional Principle. All of this had to occur before they could begin to design a hero!    

Milestone 1

 

During this phase, students began to design their heroes. They needed to create a hero that is a metaphor for the precedent of their Supreme Court Case. This was no easy task! There is a big temptation to focus too much on the obvious characteristics of the individuals involved in the case. But this would be missing the point. Students focused on the influence that the case has had on our interpretation of the Constitution- then they imagined a superpower that would communicate this influence!

 

Depending on your court case, it is not always easy to identify the principle... or to come up with a super power that connects with it. Students worked together to help each other achieve this goal.  

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Student:
Brooke
Court Case:
Marbury v Madison
Constitutional Principle: 
Supremacy Clause

Brooke identified the Supreme Power of the Constitution as the Constitutional Principle of this case. She designed a Super Hero with the power of super-strength to be a metaphor for this idea.

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Student:
Anna
Court Case:
Engel v Vitale
Constitutional Principle: 
Establishment Clause

Anna pin pointed the Establishment Clause- The constitution prohibits the government from establishing a specific religion. She dreamed up a new power of 'SUPER SCISSORS' that can cut through all known materials. 

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Student:
Fiona
Court Case:
NY Times v United States
Constitutional Principle: 
Freedom of the Press

Fiona realized that NY Time's Pentagon Papers were a symbol of our Freedom of the Press. Her heroine's power is 'planting ideas' in people's minds. Her costume is completely black & white, much like printed news- a nice touch (: 

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Student:
Autumn
Court Case:
Love v Virginia 
Constitutional Principle: 
14th Amendment- Equality

Autumn recogonized that the 14th Amendment promises equality for us all.

This heroine can borrow the power of any super villain she comes up against- meaning she is ALWAYS EQUAL to any opponent she faces. 

Milestone 2

 

Students put their heroes into action! They researched how their cases set important precedents that impact modern cases or controversial issues. Once they selected a current court case or controversial issue that interested them, they wrote imaginative stories that allowed their superhero to intervene! 

This is an important and intricate step. Their comic book had to accurately portray their case's influence on the modern issue, but at the same time, it had to be interesting and engaging- a comic book story that people would actually want to read! 

Final Product

Students finally showed off their work! They presented their cases to the class and explained how they portrayed htis in a comic book. For added effect, they dressed as their Super Hero! 

Students present their comic books, and they must also create a visual aide using Power Point, Google Slides, Adobe Spark, or some other program to guide their presentation.