Virtual Field Trip: N.H. Supreme Court
The New Hampshire Supreme Court is the highest court in the state of New Hampshire. It meets in Concord, where five justices preside over the state's judicial branch.
This virtual field trip takes students on a tour of the New Hampshire Supreme Court building and introduces them to the state's five Supreme Court justices.
A graphic organizer helps students record what they learn from the video, which, when combined with the activity, tackles the question: How does the Supreme Court help protect the people of New Hampshire?
The video is 28 minutes.
Before You Take Your Virtual Field Trip . . .
Ask students what this word means to them. When have they heard it used? When have they used it? Ensure that all students understand that has two important meanings: “justice” is fair behavior or treatment and a “justice” is a judge on a Supreme Court.
Discuss the big question
Use a brief guided discussion to encourage students to wonder: How does the Supreme Court help protect the people of New Hampshire? Prompt students with questions about why they think a state needs its own Supreme Court and what kind of work happens at the Supreme Court.
During Your Virtual Field Trip . . .
Organize facts and ideas
An optional graphic organizer is provided to help students identify and expand upon the three key ideas addressed during the trip. As they listen and watch, students can check off the key idea as they hear it mentioned. The chart below provides space for students to note supporting facts that relate to each idea. This graphic organizer could be used as part of a preview to the trip. It also works well as a review exercise after the trip and can be completed as a whole group or independently.
This graphic organizer helps students organize the information they learn in the virtual field trip.
Virtual Field Trip: The N.H. Supreme Court
Image Credit: New Hampshire Historical Society
Learn about the Highest Court in the Granite State
The New Hampshire Supreme Court in Concord, New Hampshire is the part of the judicial branch of government that works hard to protect the rights of New Hampshire’s citizens and uphold the New Hampshire Constitution. Let’s visit the court to take a tour and speak to the justices, and answer our big question: how does the Supreme Court help protect the people of New Hampshire?
After Your Virtual Field Trip . . .
Label the courtroom
The New Hampshire Supreme Court has several key physical features that ensure it protects and serves the people of New Hampshire. Provide students with the “Inside the NH Supreme Court” worksheet and support them as they use knowledge gained from the virtual field trip to match the correct label to each feature.
Inside the N.H. Supreme Court
Want To Do More?
Go further with these extension activities
Watch an oral argument. The New Hampshire Supreme Court provides a live stream of oral arguments on its website and video recordings of oral arguments from the previous year are also available for people to view. Ask students how making these recordings and live streams available to the public is part of protecting the rights of New Hampshire’s people. Then, watch a few minutes of an argument (previewed by teacher for to ensure content is appropriate for students) to see plaintiffs, defendants, and justices in action!
Be the judge. Using the “Noisy Neighbor” Activation from Lesson 7: “Rights and Responsibilities” in Unit 18 “Civics and Government Today”, help students simulate the appeal process. Imagine a local judge decided in favor of Dave and determined that Rosie was not allowed to practice her trombone at home. Now Rosie is appealing that decision in front of the NH State Supreme Court. Assign roles to students (clerks, justices, Dave, Rosie, lawyers, etc.) and support students as they write and perform a script that illustrates how the Supreme Court would hear this argument. Will the outcome change?
The New Hampshire Historical Society thanks The New Hampshire Supreme Court for assisting in the making of this virtual field trip.