November 21, 2013

Mock Trial SUCCESS!!

Yesterday was great! Well, despite being sick and having to be at work while sick; but still!

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. :)


  1. I love doing mock trials. We do them a couple times each year based on stories we read, and my students really get into them as well. I always have a couple of artsy kids I ask to my my forensic artists, and of course, we always have our attorneys, a bailiff to keep everyone in line, and our accused. I allow students to serve as jurors while I play the judge. It's always a memorable experience. :)

    1. That's awesome! I wish I had more kids to be on a jury [I have small class sizes ~22]. I wanted to make sure that everyone had an equal work-load too :) I should have thought about letting my artsy kids doing the forensic art! Genius!