The Trial of SpongeBob SquarePants
is a fun activity to help students practice using logical evidence and reason (logos) in persuasive writing and speech.
The Common Core State Standards
for seventh, eighth, and ninth grades mention the word "evidence" nearly twenty times! But one of the things my students struggle the most with is how to use logical evidence in persuasive essays, speeches, or debates. So I wanted to create a fun way for students to experiment with this skill.
In this two-day activity, within the context of a silly murder mystery featuring the accused Mr. SquarePants and a dead Mr. Krabs, students will take a prepared set of physical evidence and eye-witness testimony and select and organize the facts that most help them as either defense attorneys or prosecution attorneys. All the while, students will practice the following skills:
* Arguing persuasively using logical evidence
* Discriminating between evidence that helps them prove their point and evidence that either doesn't help or actually hurts their case
* Organizing evidence in a logical sequence
* Understanding and explaining what a particular piece of evidence proves
Your students will have a blast with this. It's structured in a way that struggling students can still understand the concept and participate, while advanced students can get wildly creative with it (I had one student defense team use the logical evidence to prove not only that SpongeBob was innocent, but that I
was likely the real killer!)
This activity could be used in either an English class or a government class as a great way to introduce students to...
* Persuasive essay writing
* Persuasive speaking
* Mock trials (this is how I use it in my class)
The product will come in a zip file containing a PDF file along with the original Word file--just in case, like me, you like to make little tweaks to purchased lesson plans. The file will also contain a teacher's guide
with lesson plan instructions, objectives based on the Common Core Standards, and a key with possible answers for both the defense team and the prosecution team.
If you like logical-argument and mock-trial aspects of this product, check out my activity for Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" - Insanity Plea
TRADEMARK NOTE: SpongeBob SquarePants is a trademarked and copy-written character of Viacom International Inc. The creators of SpongeBob do not authorize or endorse this product, which is why I am sharing it for free.
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Created by Arik Durfee