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Activity Overview


The Judicial Branch deals with all sorts of court cases. Depending on the type of grievance or law broken, there are different types of trials, of which civil trials and criminal trials make up the majority.

In this activity, students will be able to create a T-Chart that visualizes the differences between a civil and criminal trial in the United States court system. Students will research at least three differences between each type of case and describe each alongside a visual representation.

Students may choose to analyze the following:

  • Who is the trial between?
  • What are the results of the trial?
  • Who decides the case?

Extended Activity

For an extended activity, students will create a T-Chart that summarizes a famous criminal or civil trial. Students will need to visualize and summarize the event(s) that led to the trial, the arguments for each side, and the ruling of the court with potential punishments imposed.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group



Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Student Instructions

Create a T Chart comparing Civil vs Criminal Trials.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the titles for each cell, identify the differences you will be analyzing.
  3. In one column, write a summary for each question as it pertains to Civil Trials.
  4. In the other column, do the same for Criminal Trials.
  5. Create an illustration for each using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  6. Save and submit your storyboard.


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