Please see my other product which is a free rubric that accompanies this packet and is named Esperanza Rising Courtroom Trial Rubric. This can be modified for other literature pieces. This ready to use packet will help students create a persuasive essay that will be used in a courtroom trial based on the novel Esperanza Rising. I did this with my GATE 6th Graders and they thoroughly enjoyed the trial and were motivated to work on their persuasive essays. I had students choose the character they thought influenced the plot of the novel the most and should therefore receive the most profit (novel based on a true story and students could not choose Esperanza). I then had students work on their essays. After this I had students get into groups with other students who chose the same character (differentiating by interest) and together the group came up with what they would say during the trial. At the end of the trial I had students vote anonymously for the character they felt influenced the plot the most. I enjoyed this activity and my students were thinking critically. They were using their quotes from the novel as textual evidence and giving rebuttals. In this packet is also a KWL chart for prior knowledge and some projects based on the novel that can be modified to other literature pieces.