For the "Do Now" today, I am giving students time to get into costume, read over their evidence, and arrange the room for Friar Lawrence's trial as a culminating assessment for Romeo and Juliet. Over the past couple of weeks, we have read the play and viewed Baz Luhrmann's production of the play. Today, I will be assessing their understanding of the play with a performance assessment. The purpose of the mock trial is to try Friar Lawrence for involuntary manslaughter. The prosecution will argue that Friar Lawrence was responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet due to his negligence. They will participate as bailiff, judge, jury, witnesses, defense attorney, and prosecuting attorney.
I chose to do this performance assessment because I think it is a great way for students to demonstrate their presentation skills (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4), speaking and listening, and ability to state and defend evidence (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1.a).
During the mock trial, my role is minimal. The judge will lead the court through opening statements, calling of witnesses and closing statements (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4). I will be using the mock trial judging form on pg. of 16.
We selected roles for the trial by having students volunteer for the roles. Then, I made random selections (names in a basket) to make the final decision. Believe it or not, I had to do this because so many students were anxious to play the roles.
As we are listening to the testimony, I will be listening for textual evidence (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1) as the witnesses and attorneys state their questions and recount the events in Romeo and Juliet. This will force students to prove what they are saying with evidence. They will be allowed to bring notes up to the witness stand. Attorneys will have their notes at their respective desks as well.
Since there is nothing on the judging form for the judge, bailiff, and jury, I will be judging them by how well they perform their roles AND by the notes they will submit at the end of the trial. In fact, I 'll collect Opening Statement Notes, Jury Notes, and summary notes from everyone so that I have a record of their participation when I begin to assign grades for this assignment. As an incentive, I told students that if they came to court dressed up, they could earn extra credit.
Highlights of the trial
The bailiff swears in all of the witnesses before they take the stand.
Opening Statements get the trial underway.
The Nurse takes the stand takes the stand for the prosecution.
The defense cross examines a witness.
The defense poses for a pic before the verdict.
The jury finds Friar Lawrence guilty!
Friar Lawrence gets escorted out of the courtroom.
After the jury delivers the verdict, we will poll the jury (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1.b) to see why they came to their decision. These jurors will have deliberated out in the hall and taken a vote to determine Friar Lawrence's fate, so any of them should be able to explain their reasoning using evidence from the text and from the trial.