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Teacher Resources

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    to Conduct a Classroom Mock Oral Argument

    Teaching the judicial branch can be daunting. The resources below will help you and your students understand the structure and function of our court system both on a national and state level. The videos provide the background needed for understanding the judicial branch of government. The mock oral argument packets provide a classroom lesson regarding the appellate courts.

    Because many teachers can not travel to the Florida Supreme Court for a visit, teacher packets and additional resources have been provided for use in classrooms.


    1. WATCH the videos below to learn about the Florida Supreme Court/Florida State Courts System and "How to Conduct A Mock Oral Argument in Your Classroom." Links to other videos are provided for additional reference.
    2. REVIEW the Mock Oral Argument cases and choose the case(s) you would want to use.
    3. GATHER materials needed: stop watch, signs, etc.
    4. TEACH & DISCUSS the judicial branch, the Florida State Court System and Florida Supreme Court.
    5. TEACH & DISCUSS the appropriate amendment related to the mock oral argument - EITHER First or Fourth Amendment.
    6. ASSIGN the roles AND hand out roles to appropriate students.
    7. CONDUCT the mock oral argument.

    VIDEO: Mock Oral Arguments

    Watch the short Instruction Video: "How to Conduct A Mock Oral Argument in Your Classroom." The student video is provided for additional observation.

    • Instructional Video*

    • Student Video in the classroom* - (use this video to see how a Mock OA can be done in your classroom. NOTE: This video combines the Marshal and the Clerk position and rushes the arguments due to time constraints. Typically, the oral argument is more free-flowing and takes longer to conduct [20 minutes].)

    Feel free to contact Emilie Rietow, 850.921.9446 /, for additional help and ideas regarding how to conduct a mock oral argument in your classroom.

    VIDEO: Learn about the Florida Supreme Court and Florida State Court System -

    Watch the Florida Supreme Court's educational video in your classroom.
    This short six-minute video explains the court system in Florida and gives an overview of the Florida Supreme Court.

    (Note: if the video does not play automatically, click the "PLAY/PAUSE" button several times to activate.)

    VIDEO: The Judicial Branch -

    iCivics.orgWatch the iCivics Judicial Branch video. This short six-minute video is made by teens for teens and explains court cases, how they are structured, what judges do and the differences between trial and appellate courts.



    VIDEO: Judicial Independence, Merit Retention and Selection -

    The Vote's in YOUR courtWatch The Florida Bar video explaining judicial independence, merit retention and selection and how voters play a role in our judicial branch. This video has a special introduction from Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

    The Vote's in Your Court Video
    - Window Media Player Version

    For more information regarding merit retention vote, including a Q & A page, please visit The Florida Bar Website regarding judicial merit retention.

    VIDEO: The Rule of Law - from the Bill of Rights Institute (

    Bill of Rights Institute - Rule of Law videoDo you understand why the rule of law is important for maintaining free society? This short, engaging video on the constitutional principle of the rule of law. Exciting visuals from current events, an engaging historical narrative, brief scholar interviews, and memorable quotes will make this 8-minute video perfect for use on Bill of Rights Day, and every day! A short viewing guide is also available to guide you through the content. For in-depth exploration of this principle, including primary sources and additional, resources, visit the Bill of Rights Institute web page.

    *These videos use Windows Media Player. To download a free media player.

    Additional Web Resources: