1. Provide students with the facts and issues in a case and then provide them with a list of arguments. The list of arguments should include some arguments for each side, and can also include arguments for both sides and neither side. Depending on the skills and experience of your students, you may want to use actual quotes from the decision or from the written briefs or oral argument. As an alternative, you may want to paraphrase the arguments.
  2. Ask students to read and evaluate each argument and decide whether it is an argument for the petitioner, respondent, both, or neither.
  3. After students have classified the arguments, ask them to choose one argument for each side that they think is most persuasive. Ask students to explain why they found them compelling.
  4. Once students have mastered classifying arguments in a case, they might move on to generating their own arguments after reading background materials.
  5. Conclude the activity with a discussion about the decision. Ask students to reach their own conclusions before you tell them what the court decided (if it did). Possible questions to ask:
    • How would you decide the case? Why?
    • Once you have conveyed the court’s actual decision: Do you agree or disagree with the court’s decision?
    • What reasons or arguments did the court give for its decision?
    • What consequences do you anticipate with the decision?