I use this assignment when I teach 12 Angry Men, but it can be used to experience a deliberation in general. The format follows the format from the play, but the deliberation is done on a separate case.
Case: a boy that thought he was drinking Dr. Pepper, drives, crashes, which kills 5 of his friends. He did not know that his Dr. Pepper was spiked with alcohol by his friends.
1. Read the case.
2. Deliberate based on a deliberation schedule: vote by show of hands, discuss, secret vote, discuss and then show of hands. During the deliberation students take notes on a chart that mirrors the reflection questions asked at the end of the assignment.
Sample Deliberation Schedule:
1. First vote by show of hands. Write the outcome here:
Guilty__________ Not Guilty__________ Your Vote_________
Sample Reflection Questions (6 total):
2) Choose one argument that you really liked.
Record the argument and explain why you liked it.
4) Who in your group angered you?
Who in the group did you team up with or find you agreed with the most?
Going through this process can get pretty heated, so be aware! Feelings may get hurt and students may have personal experiences with incidents just like this one. So you may want to give a pre-talk about respect and how to have a civil discussion.
I don't usually make one student a Jury Foreman, but they always seem to figure out who is. There is always one student that steps up and we talk about that after as well.
I really enjoy this assignment and it is very memorable to the students.
1. Case story.
2. Deliberation Notes (chart)
3. Deliberation Schedule w/voting.
4. 6 Reflection Questions.
5. GUILTY NOT GUILTY slips (need to be cut out) for the secret voting.