If you have never conducted a Mock Trial before, the rubrics, job descriptions, and fill in the blank scripts provided here will save you hours of time! These documents help students to either build (or defend) a murder case. There are thousands of things that you could 'bring to trial' in your classroom! Over the years, my students have placed different characters from novels and short stories on trial as well as real figures from history. The initial planning and workload to prepare for a trial is extensive, but the final product is fun and amazing - it will be the activity students talk about when they come back to visit you years later...unforgettable!
The trial lawyers take on the biggest job, so there are rubrics provided for each lawyer type - a checklist that will help you (and the student) keep track of things like what should be included in an opening and closing statement, what a cross examination looks like, and how to examine your own witnesses.
The different types of murder charges are also explained to students (attempted murder, manslaughter, justifiable homicide, and first degree murder). Lawyers can then bring an appropriate charge for the defendant. Scripts are also provided for important court figures besides the lawyers, such as, the bailiff, jury, and judge.