Civics 603

The New Hampshire Institute for Civics Education has free programming available to utilize in your fall curriculum, whether you need in-person or remote programming for your classroom.


We are currently enrolling for our Civics 603! programming.


The Civics 603! program offers a range of exercises for Grades 6-12

Civics 603! supplements middle to high-school (6-12th grade) students’ education on the Bill of Rights, the three branches of government, and civil discourse. Following are options from which to choose:

For grades 6 through 12, teachers may choose between two landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases involving important issues that touch on the students’ daily lives:

  • Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District (in which the Supreme Court held that students do not lose their First Amendment right to freedom of speech when they step onto school property and established some standards for regulating speech in public schools)
  • New Jersey v. T.L.O. (in which the Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures applies to public school officials and established the basic test for evaluating the propriety of school-based searches and seizures)


Teachers of 11th and 12th grade students may also choose:

  • 2018 First Amendment case Masterpiece Cakeshop, Inc. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which raised the question of whether a bakeshop could decline to make a wedding cake for a gay couple

The Experience

Generally, students travel to the New Hampshire Supreme Court and meet with court officials, learn about one of the cases and, using worksheets provided to them and with the assistance of law clerks, develop mock appellate arguments that they then present to lawyers acting as judges.The in-court program is approximately 120 minutes. At the conclusion of the program, students generally meet with, and ask questions of, one of the judges of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. About a week prior to the courtroom component, a lawyer travels to the school to give the students a one-hour primer on the case and the Bill of Rights, and prepare them for the upcoming argument.

If the school is unable to travel to the Supreme Court, Civics 603! is generally able to have the program go to the school.

This program will also be available virtually should schools continue to be closed in September 2020 due to the coronavirus.

The program is free to participating schools and support for transportation costs is available to qualifying schools.



FOR 11th and 12th GRADE STUDENTS



Teachers of upper-level advanced students (for example, 12th grade students in an advanced government course) may also choose to work on the 2018 First Amendment case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Inc. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which raised the question of whether a bakeshop could decline to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. This exercise fully engages students who are excited to discuss the many complex issues that the case raises.



FOR 11th and 12th GRADE STUDENTS


Civics 603! Is now offering a practical law class for upper-level high school students. Through the use of a fictitious criminal case, retired NH Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert J. Lynn and former federal prosecutor Dina Michael Chaitowitz will take your students through multiple stages of the criminal process: pretrial release, suppression, trial, and sentencing. The program is designed for three 50-minute classes but may be modified depending on the needs of your school. While the program was presented via Zoom in the spring of 2020, it can be presented live should regular school programming resume in the fall of 2020.


For more information, please contact Martha Madsen at

Our programs in action!

I am so pumped! I have so many ideas that I want to try. I love the idea of mock trials and making your classroom into a court
- Teacher
Looking for More Info?

Please contact us with any questions you may have about any of our programs or would like additional information.

Enews Sign-Up