"Create Your Own Case Study: A Fourth Amendment Case Study Analysis Project"
BACKGROUND: Students have spent a couple of days learning about the Fourth Amendment, searches and seizures, search warrants, the Exlusionary Rule and the exceptions to the rules. In order to deepen understanding of not only the Fourth Amendment, but also case study research tools, students will be researching their own Fourth Amendment case, summarizing it into case study form and creating a set of multiple choice questions for other students to answer that will require analysis and demonstration of Fourth Amendment principles. In addition, students will possibly be able to learn a new technological tool for gathering information, the Google Docs FORM.
STARTING THE PROJECT: Students will be responsible for selecting a Supreme Court Fourth Amendment case to read, research and understand. I highly recommend going to the following website as a source for your beginning materials:
This site has a good, basic collection of some of the most important Fourth Amendment cases in American history, going back to the 1800s. In addition, the site offers reasonable summaries of each case to start you off.
If you wish to use another website or to google another 4th Amendment case, you can, but I have designed this assignment for use with the site above.
Read through some summaries and select one that sounds interesting. The more unusual the case, the more fun it may be to analyze the "what ifs" of the outcome.
Read the case summary, do background research if necessary, so that you CLEARLY UNDERSTAND all aspects of the case, the arguments of the two sides of the case and the conclusion of the Supreme Court, including any dissenting opinions, as applicable.
SUMMARIZING YOUR CASE: It will be your job to summarize your case IN YOUR OWN WORDS for others to read and analyze. Students that simply copy and paste the summaries from the website will be penalized for plagiarism. Make sure that your summary covers all necessary facts of the case and the arguments from both sides. DO NOT INCLUDE ANY INFORMATION REGARDING THE COURT'S OPINION! That will be the job of the reader to analyze the case and see if they come up with the proper solutions.
CREATING YOUR QUESTIONS: Once you have analyzed the case and clearly understand all of the implications, it is your job to create THREE multiple choice questions regarding the information of the case and the application of what we have learned regarding the Fourth Amendment.
Your job in creating these questions is to make the reader think about the case. Simply asking "Is the defendent guilty? Yes/No?" allows the reader to select one option and move on without any evidence of thought. Make sure to include varied reasons in your questions, so that the reader must apply their understanding of the issues to answer them.
As best you can, incorporate the Fourth Amendment Exceptions into your case questions and answers.
CREATING YOUR FOURTH AMENDMENT CASE STUDY ANALYSIS FORM: Students will now use Google Doc FORMS to create an analysis form for the class to review. To do this, log in to Google Docs with your school google ID. Do the following:
SAMPLE CASE STUDY: Here is Mr. B.'s case study, based on the Mapp v. Ohio case. Please complete this case study, so that you see how my questions are formed to encourage critical thinking. Notice that I do not reveal the outcome of the case and that all of my questions require thought or knowledge regarding Fourth Amendment issues. Your questions should do the same.
SUBMISSION: You will share your case with me and I will compile all of them, so that we can address these cases as a class.
GRADING: This project will be graded on two elements: 1) The quality of the SUMMARY of your case, following the standards as outlined above. 2) The quality of your QUESTIONS to bring about critical thought on the part of the reader. TOTAL POINTS- 100