Name: Meredith Higashi lesson

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NAME: Meredith Higashi

LESSON: Search & Seizure through a Structured Academic Controversy (SAC) and Supreme Court Simulation

SOURCE: Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001), Briefs for the Parties, Washington Supplement; original peer teaching lesson plan

TIME AND DAY: One 50-hour class period

MATERIALS: Handouts for the SAC activity

  1. GOALS

A. Clarify and review 4th Amendment concepts, including the exclusionary rule (ideally covered in an introductory 4th Amendment lesson or earlier homework assignment from the Street Law textbook)

B. Introduce students to balanced discussions about controversial issues

C. Enable students to step into the role of the Supreme Court by assessing policy considerations and arriving at a judgment

D. Provide a foundation for future classroom debates and active learning exercises


A. Knowledge

1. Learn and identify the key facts of a real case

2. Identify reasons for and against a particular outcome in a case

3. Understand and develop arguments about what constitutes a 4th Amendment search

4. Understand that the Constitution and other laws are open to different interpretations and applications

5. Develop a more concrete understanding of the 4th Amendment warrant requirement and the exclusionary rule

B. Skills

1. Active listening

2. Sharing opinions in a clear and concise manner

3. Summarizing arguments made by others

4. Collaborating with peers

5. Developing critical thinking skills through brainstorming

6. Engaging in respectful debate on opposing views

C. Attitude

1. The study of our constitutional rights can be interesting

2. The study of our constitutional rights is applicable to situations that we can readily envision

3. Knowledge of the law can help us protect our own rights, such as the right to privacy

4. Because laws are open to different interpretations and applications,

different perspectives enhance our understanding of what the “law”


5. Respecting and understanding others’ viewpoints is instrumental to

the learning process

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