Middle School - Lesson Plans & Video

Justice in the Classroom is a series of educational programs designed to enhance the teaching of civics, history, and government for our nation's children and people everywhere. Currently there are three programs available with Virginia Standards of Learning [SOL] lesson plans attached. These programs are:

  • Justice in the Classroom - Rule of Law and John Marshall
  • Justice in the Classroom - The Rule of Law
  • Justice in the Classroom - Judicial Systems - Federal and Virginia

The videos and lesson plans teach how our fledgling democracy in the United States was floundering and nearly failed before John Marshall took on the daunting task of defining what the Constitution, and the judiciary, meant. Justice in the Classroom tells the intriguing story of the acceptance of the rule of law to assure the success of the Constitution and our liberties.

How it Works

Justice in the Classroom is an online slide show presentation tool designed to operate like a PowerPoint. Within each presentation are still slides as well as video segments. Instructions on how to use the presentation are located on the first slide after you press PLAY. Print documents (PDF) of the corresponding Standards and Lesson Plans are attached to each chapter.

Justice in the Classroom | Rule of Law & John Marshall

1 Chapter One:
America Exploration to Revolution

(1607 – 1781) Follow the establishment of the “New World” and its development, stretching 170 years as the burgeoning cradle of freedom grew while friction with England developed.
Play time without discussion, approximately 8:38

Middle School: 2008 Standards

Virginia
USI.5a, 5d, 6a Exploration to Revolution, USI.6c
National
NSS-C.5-8.2 Foundations of the Political System
NSS-USH.5-12.3 Era 3 Revolution & the New Nation (1754-1820s)

Middle School: 2015 Standards

Virginia
USI.5a Jamestown Settlement
USI.5e French & Indian War and Taxation
USI.6a Issues of Dissatisfaction That Led to the American Revolution
USI.6c Key individuals and Events of the Revolutionary War
National
NSS-C.5-8.2 Foundations of the Political System
NSS-USH.5-12.3 Era 3 Revolution & the New Nation (1754-1820s

PLAY Chapter One
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Lesson Plans
Middle School

Justice in the Classroom | Rule of Law & John Marshall

2 Chapter Two:
Fight For Our New Constitution

(1776 – 1788) Relive our fight for freedom, the American Revolution, ratification of our new constitution and the development of checks and balances of the three branches of government.
Play time without discussion, approximately 6:25

Middle School: 2008 Standards

Virginia
USI.7b Revolution & New Nation,
CE.2b Articles of Confederation, CE.6a, 6b
National
NSS-C.5-8.3 Principles of Democracy
NSS-USH.5-12.3 Era 3 Revolution & the New Nation (1754-1820s)

Middle School: 2015 Standards

Virginia
USI.7b Articles of Confederation; Constitutional Convention; Influence on the Bill of Rights
CE.2b Influence of Earlier Documents on the Constitution of the United StatesCE6.a, b Structure of the National Government; Separation of Powers
National
NSS-C.5-8.3 Principles of Democracy
NSS-USH.5-12.3 Era 3 Revolution & the New Nation (1754-1820s)

PLAY Chapter Two
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Lesson Plans
Middle School

Justice in the Classroom | Rule of Law & John Marshall

3 Chapter Three:
A Fledgling United States Of America

(1788 – 1800) George Washington is President. The Bill of Rights is adopted. John Marshall is the champion of the XYZ Affair, elected to Congress and appointed Secretary of State.
Play time without discussion, approximately 7:30

Middle School: 2008 Standards

Virginia
USI.7c Federal court system, Bill of Rights, John Adams, Two-party system
National
NSS-USH.5-12.4 Era 4 Expansion and Reform (1801 – 1861)

Middle School: 2015 Standards

Virginia
USI.7c What major national issues and events did the first five presidents face?
George Washington
Federal court system was established.
The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution of the United States of America.
John Adams
A two-party system emerged during his administration.
National
NSS-USH.5-12.4 Era 4 Expansion & Reform (1801-1861)

Chapter Three
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Lesson Plans
Middle School

Justice in the Classroom | Rule of Law & John Marshall

4 Chapter Four:
Chief Justice Marshall's Court and Cases

(1800 - 1835) John Marshall raises the judicial branch to be co-equal with the executive and legislative branches by the concept of judicial review and establishes the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.
Play time without discussion, approximately 8:45

Middle School: 2008 Standards

Virginia
CE.10b Marbury v. Madison
National
NSS-USH.5-12.4 Era 4 Expansion & Reform (1801-1861)
NSS-C.5-8.3 Principles of Democracy

Middle School: 2015 Standards

Virginia
CE.6a The Supreme Court Exercises the Power of Judicial Review
CE.9b Describing the Exercise of Judicial Review Including Marbury v. Madison; State Laws Must Conform to the Virginia and the U. S. Constitutions
National
NSS-USH.5-12.4 Era 4 Expansion & Reform (1801-1861)
NSS-C.5-8.3 Principles of Democracy

Chapter Four
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Lesson Plans
Middle School

Justice in the Classroom | Rule of Law & John Marshall

5 Chapter Five:
Marshall on the Constitution and Country

(1831 - 1835) The Supreme Court, led by John Marshall, further develops the concepts of equal justice, limited government and the enforcement of legal contracts.
Play time without discussion, approximately 7:12

Middle & High School: 2015 Standards

Virginia
USI.8c American Indian Removal Act, Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, Trail of Tears
VUS.6a Trail of Tears
GOVT.7b Checks & Balances of Judicial Branch
GOVT.10e Investigating and Evaluating How the Judiciary Influences Public Policy by Delineating the Power of Government and Safeguarding the Rights of the Individual
National
NSS-USH.5-12.4 Era 4 Expansion & Reform (1801-1861)

Chapter Five
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Lesson Plans
Middle School

Justice in the Classroom | Rule of Law & John Marshall

Full Program (Chapters: One - Five)

(1607 - 1835) Watch the journey of America, from Jamestown to the Revolution, from a struggling democracy to a Constitution defined by John Marshall, yielding a government built on the rule of law.
Play time without discussion, approximately 29:00

Full Program
slow internet? click here to download

Lesson Plans
Middle School

Justice in the Classroom | The Rule of Law

The Rule of Law

Justice in the Classroom | The Rule of Law is a discussion of the concept of the Rule of Law and how it is an integral part of our governing systems in America. Through this standards-based curriculum, middle and high school students learn the fundamental political principles that define and shape American constitutional government. Connections are made through activities like interpreting a political cartoon to illustrate that, under the rule of law and the Constitution of the United States, all individuals, including government officials, must follow the law.

Middle & High School: 2015 Standards

Virginia
CE.2a Fundamental political principles define and shape American constitutional government. Rule of Law: Everyone, including government officials, must follow the law.
CE.3 Duties of citizens: obey the laws
CE.4d Practicing respect for the law
GOVT.2b Early document supporting the idea that men have rights and establishing the concept of rule of law (English Petition of Right)GOVT.4c Fundamental principles of the Constitution: Rule of Law. The Constitution of the United States is supreme, and all individuals are accountable under the law
National
NSS-C.5-8.1, C.9-12.1 Revolution & the New Nation (1754-1820s)
NSS-C.5-8.3, C.9-12.1 Foundations of the Political System
NSS-C.5-8.3, C.9-12.1 Principles of Democracy

Lesson Plans
Middle School

Other Resources

Center for Teaching the Rule of Law

CTROL and its innovative Rule of Law Project are a web-based resource and training center for teaching the rule of law on a global scale.

CTROL Website

Justice in the Classroom | Judicial Systems - Federal & Virginia

Judicial Systems - Federal & Virginia

Justice in the Classroom | Judicial Systems - Federal and Virginia is a discussion of the Importance of the Federal and Virginia judicial systems and how they function. The program offers a standards-based curriculum for middle and high school students. Lesson plans discuss contemporary cases through primary and secondary source documents which illustrate the structures of both court systems and how they operate in our dual court system. The lessons engage students by encouraging classroom participation through graphic organizers, activities like a gallery walk, primary source documents, web-based media, and pre- and post-assessments, all based upon national standards and Virginia Standards of Learning.

Middle School: 2015 Standards

Virginia
CE.7a Structure and Powers of the State Government (Virginia)
CE.8a Structure and Powers of the Local Government
CE.9a Organization of the United States Judicial System as Consisting of State and Federal Courts with Original and Appellate Jurisdiction
CE.9c Civil and Criminal Cases
National
NSS-C.9-12.3 Principles of Democracy

PLAY Judicial Systems
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Lesson Plans
Middle School