Education Technology

NCSS: Comparison of Decisions

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students will examine how society and an historical period influences the interpretation of the law. They will examine two Supreme Court decisions dealing with the "separate but equal doctrine."

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the NoteFolio (tm) and TImeSpan(tm) Apps on the students' graphing calculators following the attached instructions.

Review the key points from Activity 1. Let the students relate to you what they have learned about the Supreme Court process. Explain to the class that they examine the Court's interpretation of one Amendment through two different cases.

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Distribute the NoteFolio (tm) and TImeSpan(tm) file(s) to your class using TI Connect(tm) and the appropriate TI Connectivity cable
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Describe the processes of the Supreme Court as outlined by the U.S. Constitution.
  • Analyze Supreme Court decisions to determine the merits of each case.
  • Compare the influence of society and historical period on two Supreme Court decisions that deal with the same topic.
  • Evaluate the effect of one Supreme Court decision on society and his/her life in particular.
  • After the Activity

    Toward the end of the class period, bring the class together and lead a discussion of how society affects the interpretation of the Constitution. Also explore how individual cases can invite different interpretations. Ask students to consider the fact that our society has changed considerably over time without the violent upheaval of revolution. Ask them to consider whether or not our form of government should be credited for that, and whether or not this is unique among other nations.