My English 10 classes are reading Cry, The Beloved Country, and one of the characters kills someone-he says it's out of fear, but he's a black man in apartheid South Africa. So we decided to give him an actual/fair trial based on the facts [as presented in the novel].
I split the students into Prosecution and Defense teams, had 4 characters/witnesses that they could call, and I was the Judge & Jury :) They had graphic organizers to help structure their thoughts, and they had several days to work on this. I also suggested they create a Google Doc to compile their thoughts so that they wouldn't have to try to get together over the weekend.
They got sooooo into it! I was pleasantly surprised by my non-honors classes-they put more work in than the honors kids! Love it :) The best part was that I have a few kids that never do their homework step up and be the best ones out of the bunch!
This was my first time trying this so it was really exciting that my expectations were exceeded!
If you're interested in trying with your class, here's a picture of the graphic organizer the students used to plan their arguments. You can also get my CTBC Unit Plan at my TPT Store.
Never be afraid to try something new in the classroom! You never know; they may exceed your expectations. :)