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Brown v. Board of Education: Five Communities That Changed America,

National Park Service

the National Park Service. has created a Brown vs. Board of Education lesson plan that places the landmark civil rights case within the context of five communities affected by school segregation, including Farmville, Virginia. Background reading on the website can help place school desegregation in a national context. Four photographs of a segregated African American school in Farmville give a stark visual representation of inequality in education during the 1950s. The website also offers ways these resources can be used in the classroom, and supplementary resources useful for further research.

Virginia Courts in Brief,

Virginia Court System

Virginia Courts in Brief offers a one page overview of Virginia’s judicial structure. The website profiles levels of the court from magistrates to the state Supreme Court, providing explanations about what each level of the judicial system does. Find out the difference between a civil action and a criminal case, what the Clerks' Office does, and how many judges are in Virginia.

Justice Learning: Lesson Plans for Current Issues,

NPR's Justice Talking and The New York Times Learning Network

Justice Learning provides lesson plans and classroom activities on a wide range of issues. Each issue challenges students to think about complex issues, such as free speech in classrooms. Some exercises encourage students to deal with more difficult issues, such as cross burning and free speech or capital punishment and juvenile offenders. Each issue challenges one to think within a national, state, local, or classroom context. At the end of each lesson plan, there is a list of “Other Information on the Web.” Researchers on any topics covered on the website may find these links a good jumping-off point for their studies.

Our Courts – Build a Curriculum,

Sandra Day O'Connor, Georgetown University and Arizona State University

The Our Courts website is a resource started by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to help students gain more understanding of civics. The curriculum builder includes lesson plans organized both by state (i.e., Virginia) and topic. Although most lesson plans are aimed at grades 5–8, they can be adapted for older students. Games are also under development, which can be played alone or with a classroom group.

U.S. Courts Educational Outreach,

Office of U.S. Courts

This website offers classroom materials on courtroom simulations, contemporary court cases, and other classroom activities. One courtroom simulation involves downloading music and movies, which is particularly relevant to students’ lives. The website also has interactive Double Jeopardy and Who Wants to Be a Million-Dollar Citizen games related to trivia about the judicial branch.

Impartial Judiciary, Speech by Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr.: Video,

Judiciary NOW

In a speech before the American Law Institute, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts, Jr. discusses the importance of an impartial judiciary. An impartial judiciary is both independent from other branches of government and unswayed by…

Panel Discusses Judiciary, Judges and Judicial Independence: Video,

Judiciary NOW

This panel discussion at Georgetown Law School highlights the importance of an independent judicial branch. The U.S. constitution legislated a judicial branch that was free from influence by the executive branch and the legislative branch of…

Naturalization Ceremony at Arlington Cemetery Video,

Judiciary NOW

This government video shows what happens at a naturalization ceremony by interviewing public officials, new citizens, and their family and friends. The ceremony portrayed in this video is unsual in some ways, because it took place in historic of…

U.S. Supreme Court: Loving v. Virginia,

Chief Justice Warren, U.S. Supreme Court

The Loving v. Virginia case was a landmark in both Virginia history and the Civil Rights movement. At the time of the case, interracial marriage was illegal in Virginia (and many other states). In this document, Chief Justice Earl Warren…