Mock Trial Preparation: Friar Lawrence stands trial for the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

16 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson

Objective

SWBAT demonstrate an understanding of the character motivations and theme by collecting evidence for a mock trial.

Big Idea

Working in differentiated groups to defend, prosecute, or research for the mock trial

Mock Trial Model

10 minutes

The mock trial will serve as the culminating assessment for our Romeo and Juliet unit. Rather than give a pen and paper test, we are trying Friar Lawrence for involuntary manslaughter for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. During our reading and viewing of the play, we have been considering who we might hold responsible for their deaths, so now it is time to put all of that evidence that we have collected together in one performance assessment. I am choosing to have a mock trial because I think it is an interesting and fun way to end the unit AND because it allows students to practice their listening and speaking skills.

At the beginning of class today, I will have a sample mock trial script on the white board.  I chose this script because it is a simple case from a familiar story, and I just want them to get the flow of the court case as well as some ideas for drafting their talking points.

I will have several students take parts and we will read it together (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.6). The purpose of this activity is to have students practice the type of speaking and listening that would occur in a courtroom and to see what each role in the mock trial looks like.


Mock Trial Group Work

60 minutes

During the mock trial group work time, the following groups will meet to prepare for the trial (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4), (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1.a, and CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1.b):

1) Defense, defense attorneys, and witnesses for the defense

  • The group will decide who the witnesses will be and disclose them quickly to the prosecution
  • Each witness will read the handout on types of questions and write questions that the defense attorney will ask them during the trial.
  • If the defendant decides to testify, he will also write questions for the defense attorney.
  • This group will be reminded that they should also consider cross examination questions once they hear the testimony of witnesses from the other side.
  • The defense attorney will develop an opening and closing statement and read and become familiar with the standard objections listed in the packet.

2) Prosecuting attorney and witnesses for the prosecution

  • The group will decide who the witnesses will be and disclose them quickly to the defense.
  • The group will decide on potential evidence.
  • Each witness will read the handout on types of questions (from above) and write questions that the prosecuting attorney will ask them during the trial
  • This group will be reminded that they should also consider cross examination questions once they hear the testimony of witnesses from the other side.
  • The prosecuting attorney will develop and opening and closing statement.

 

All questions and answers should use information specifically stated in the text or inferred from statements made in the text (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1). I'm making sure that they do this part because I can assess whether or not they read for understanding and can support their statements with textual evidence.


3) Judge and Bailiff

  • Jury and Bailiff will work together to script their parts during the trial

4) Jury

  • Jury will meet to research charges of involuntary manslaughter or negligence
  • Jury will sketch the organization of the room and be prepared to move the furniture on trial day. I also found a recommended layout.

Closure: Homework Tasks

10 minutes

At the end of class, students will make a list of their homework tasks to ensure that everyone in their group is prepared to put on their case/participate in the trial next class. I am having them do this as a way of staying organized and prepared for this activity.

Mock Trial Rubric

5 minutes

I will spend some time going over the mock trial judging form on page 18 so that students know how they will be graded in the trial. In addition, I will be collecting all of notes that jurors are taking as they listen to the case. In fact, I will be collecting notes from each member of the team to demonstrate their preparation and participation in the trial.