Do you want students to understand the concepts of justice, the historical influences found in America during the 1930’s in the deep South, along with analysis of the literary elements found in the 1977 Newbery novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry? The solution is simple. Conduct a mock trial of one of its characters.
This trial is based on the novel, ‘Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry,’ by Mildred D. Taylor. At the end of this novel, a 13-year-old black boy, T.J. Avery, makes a poor decision and agrees to help white “friends” break into a store. But the decision becomes life-altering when the white store owner is attacked and his wife identifies T.J. as the assailant. The “State of Mississippi v. TJ Avery” is project that provides detailed information that will turn your classroom into a court room in no time and will allow your students to study in-depth both the literature goals and the American History goals that are found within most elementary and middle school curriculum.