Courts in the Classroom
Supreme Court of Indiana
Division of State Court Administration
30 S. Meridian Street, Ste 500
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Dr. Elizabeth R. Osborn
Court History and
Public Education Programs
History Project Award
from the National Council
on Public History
Courts in the Classroom, in partnership with other community organizations, has created a series of scripted trials for teachers to use in their classrooms. The plays are based on historic cases and framed in a way to teach lessons about the modern workings of today's courts.
Three of the Indiana cases deal with issues related to slavery, the Civil War, and women's suffrage, and also teach students about how cases move through Indiana courts, beginning with county trial courts and ending at the Indiana Supreme Court. The Civil War case demonstrates to students the difference between federal and state courts.
The fourth scripted trial employs the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education to discuss issues related to school segregation. Additionally, Brown illustrates how cases from small towns across the United States end up at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Each scripted trial page contains a complete script, a teacher's guide for holding a class performance, historic documents and resources, and a photo gallery.
A reenactment that commemorates a famous 19th century case about women and voting, featuring hoosier suffragette Helen M. Gougar (script available for download). Learn more »
A reenactment of the 1871 Ex Parte Milligan case in celebration of Benjamin Harrison Day (script available for download). Learn more »
A drama that re-enacts aspects of a famous case that challenged the prohibition of slavery found in Indiana's 1816 Constitution. The case was brought on behalf of a young black woman, Polly Strong (script available for download). Learn more »
Brown v. Board of Education
A re-creation of the cases collectively known as Brown v. Board of Education and the historic Supreme Court decision that ended segregation in America's public schools (script available for download).
Learn more »