Free Civics Studies Lesson 7: The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court and its branches — What it is to America and Americans.

Read the current chapter online: “The Supreme Court.”


Learn more about the Supreme Court from The Book of Knowledge:

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. The number of judges is fixed by Congress; … appointed by the president. Congress also established circuit courts and district courts below the Supreme Court. They are entirely separate from the state courts, with which the Federal Government has nothing to do unless the Constitution is violated. The Circuit and district courts try men who have broken the Federal laws by such acts as robbing the mails or using them for bad purposes; by making imitations, called counterfeits, of money; or by cheating the United States out of taxes.

The Federal courts also try cases between citizens of different states, cases having to do with sailors and ships and the like. Where ambassadors are concerned or where a state sues another state or citizens of another state, only the Supreme Court can try the case. The Supreme Court can declare an act of Congress or a state legislature “unconstitutional.” If it does this, the act is wiped out. This is a very great power which few other courts in the world have….

“How the United States is Governed” from The Book of Knowledge

Additional Resources

Homes of the Court
The history of the various places that have housed the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Building
The history behind the new building from the Architect of the Capitol.

Visitor’s brochure with brief bios of current justices.

History Timeline
Justices throughout history with audio clips where available.

Supreme Court Nominations
Who was nominated by whom and when.

How the Court Works: Dignity, Formality and Tradition
From the Supreme Court Historical Society.

The Court and Its Procedures
How it works.

The Chief Justice’s Role
Presiding officer and more.

Types of Cases the Court Hears
More from the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Comparing Federal and State Courts
Chart showing the different structure and cases heard.

Frequently Asked Questions
Just the facts.


The Whispering Gallery
Demonstration from a Capitol tour guide. (You may want to install an ad blocker before viewing.)

The Supreme Court
Informational video from C-Span.

Court Quest
Interactive where students send the cases to the correct court.

7 Things You Might Not Know About the Supreme Court
For fun from the History Channel. Suggestion: make your own list of 7 things you did not know as a way to wrap up!

Supreme Court Quiz
Fun trivia for wrapping up.

Units & Lesson Plans

Courts and Judges
Lesson from The Heritage Foundation.

Landmark Supreme Court Case Lessons
How would you decide?

Notebooking Pages & Printables

Supreme Court of the United States Activity Booklet
Nice for wrapping up.

Supreme Court of the United States Coloring Booklet
Focusing on the symbols.

How the Supreme Court Works
Excellent infographic from

The Supreme Court Notebooking Pages
Our free and simple notebooking pages for copywork, narrations, dictations, or wrapping up.

Enjoy the entire series:
Free Civics Studies

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