This is a reading packet intended to give students a real life experience of our court system. There are multiple testimonies, courtroom vocabulary, and critical thinking expectations. This is a group work assignment, and can be branched out into multiple lessons.
[Teacher Notes: It is advised that you read through the court case a few times before teaching this lesson. However, this can be used as a quick substitute activity, as well. Annotating and notetaking will be very important for comprehension. Students should be advised to read passages multiple times, as well as highlight/underline specifics. Branch out with topics that include but are not limited to: what does it take to be on a jury? What are some famous court cases that are infamous? How could juries or lawyers be considered bias? Etc. Note, there is not an answer key. This is frustrating for some students, but my best response is “Life does not have an answer key]
You Have the Right to an Attorney
Working in groups of three, you and your classmates will examine evidence provided in a falsified court case. You will determine the innocence or guilt of a certain character. Your decision should have reasoning and logic, as well as explanation for audience members. After reading the testimonies and exhibits of all court trials, you (the jury) will write a one-page response to the court.