Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

New Civic Ed Resources Debut at the Ohio Supreme Court

Teachers have a new resource for educating students about the judicial branch of government, thanks to new materials from the Ohio Supreme Court.

New brochures just came online to provide an overview of the Court’s civic education programs and the role and responsibilities of Ohio’s court system.

“It’s a nice package all put together,” said Sara Stiffler, the civic education coordinator for the Ohio Supreme Court. “A lesson plan ready to go.”

The packet includes tools to teach students of all ages about the court system.

From “comic books” to coloring books, they offer children a fun way of learning.

The “comics” are actually illustrated novels that tell a story sequentially, with word balloons and art. The genre also is referred to as “graphic novels.” The series, called the Justice Case Files, was created by the National Center for State Courts to give insight into how judges make decisions, how the courts protect the public, and why courts are so important to a democratic society.

Now the Supreme Court is offering personalized lesson plans for teachers that detail which Ohio learning standards the novels meet to give a “Cliffs Notes” version of how each book can be incorporated with classroom discussion.

“They point out what grade level the novels would be appropriate for,” said Stiffler. “Eighth graders, high school government classes, it talks about the themes throughout the novels.”

And students don’t need to have the paper copies.  Visitors can opt to get them electronically too.

“They could access the digital file of the graphic novels from the court’s website and just read it from their digital device,” said Stiffler.

It can be a useful tool in addition to a visit to the Supreme Court, or independent of a field trip, if teachers want to order them from the court.

“We’re getting a really good response,” said Stiffler. “Teachers like it.  They can see ways to use it for different reading levels, different classes or a homework activity.  Or maybe a day when a teacher is out for a professional development session, they can leave it for a substitute teacher so we are getting a really good response for that.”

To access, just go to the Ohio Supreme Court’s website and click Civic Education, then click Judicial Branch Education Resources, or just email us at CivicEd@sc.ohio.gov.

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