Lesson 8

You Are Hereby Summoned for Jury Duty

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SWBAT sift through evidence to decide a verdict for a case.

Big Idea

In order to form your viewpoint, it's important to think about the evidence presented.


5 minutes


5 minutes

I found this awesome jury duty clip to activate today's lesson. The speaker is talking directly to jurors and gives them a peek at a courtroom. Some of my students haven't seen a courtroom before, so I liked this video mostly for building some background. Once we've viewed this, I'll have the students talk with their partners about what they saw. 

1s tell 2s what you think might be the hardest part about being a juror? 2s tell 1s why you think many people don't want to serve on a jury?


After discussion, we'll take a quick minute to get our notebook pages set up and ready for the lesson. 

Close Read

15 minutes

While close reading today, I want you to look specifically for evidence that you think proves Mr. Smythe guilty or not guilty. Write your thoughts in the margins while reading. After you finish the close read, begin answering the juror notes questions on the page opposite of your juror sheet. It should take you about 15 minutes to read, annotate and answer the questions. I will call time when you should be ready to get into your jury groups. 

I will also show them some of the close reading marks we've been using for close reads this year. These are in addition to any thoughts they have about evidence while reading today. The nice thing about these marks is that you can change them to whatever suits your needs. If your kiddos are using something else, keep them consistent. 

Jury will Deliberate

15 minutes

At this point, the students will get together to decide on the verdict for the case. I'll just be dividing my kiddos up into two groups and letting them work in two areas of the room.  The kids will have some time to deliberate and fill out the questions included on the scenario form. The reading was pretty straight-forward, so I don't think any of them will struggle with the text, but I do think some kids are going to disagree about the verdict. I'm interested to see how their conversations go and what they might get hung up on during the conversations. All I plan to do is move around the room to hear their conversations. 


5 minutes

To wrap up today, the kiddos will complete a 321 chart. They'll tell me 3 things they found out, 2 interesting things, and 1 question they still have. This is more for the kids to just reflect on what they did today, but I would like to see the questions they still have. I'm sure some of the students will write specifically about the case, but others may have questions about evidence and jurors. Here are a few examples from my students.