Mock trial for class of 12-31 students
This mock trial is loosely based upon the facts of the case of Rubin “the Hurricane” Carter, and some of the actual grand jury testimony (modified slightly) in that case is used in this mock trial. I've used this mock trial for standard-level as well as honors-level high school students. Interestingly enough, the standard-level students get into the trial more fervently than the honors kids.
12 Witness profile sheets and instructions
Judge profile sheet
Map to Mass. State Social Studies Standards and Common Core Standards
This mock trial is an accordion trial: You can do it with as few as a dozen students, and I've done it with as many as 31 students. For trials with small classes, I have drawn my juries from study hall volunteers, a larger “outside audience” which adds an incentive for students in my classes to take the trial seriously. Alternatively, you could just have a bench trial where the judge decides the case. There are certain witnesses that can be eliminated or consolidated for smaller classes, and they are marked as such, and you can adjust the number of attorneys on each side from 1-3 based upon the class size.
- Thomas R Eddlem
Note: This mock trial is not part of my book "Primary Source American History," but my other two mock trials are. If you like this (or the free readings on my store), consider getting the complete set by ordering the electronic book as well.