Mock Trials for Government and Civics Classes: The Trial of Snow White
In this mock trial, your students will act as court officials, witnesses, and jurors to determine if Snow White murdered Prince Charming. What could have driven her to such a crime? And did she do it? Your government or civics class will have a great time as they determine her guilt or innocence.
There are 9 characters in this mock trial: 5 female and 4 male.
This mock trial is designed to teach the students the importance of performing their civic duty (i.e. jury duty), as well as understanding their rights as stated in the Bill of Rights. This activity works best after a unit on the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments. Because these are fictional rather factually-based cases, students will be asked to perform roles and inhabit characters. The defendant's guilt or innocence is often left up to the student portraying them. It is the duty of the lawyers to prove their case based on the evidence and testimony presented.
Here is a sample of how you could schedule this into your class. Of course, you could always modify this to better fit your classroom setup and schedule.
This outline is based on scheduling your mock trial to last ten days.
Day One: Discuss the mock trial and give out notes necessary for the students to understand the proceeding and terminology of the courtroom.
Day Two: Go over the case. Assign roles to each student.
Day Three-five: Students work individually on their roles. The first newspaper should be ready by the end of day five.
Day Six: Schedule individual time with each person/group and discuss how things are going and if they need help. This might be the right time to go over Constitutional challenges the lawyers might have.
Day Seven-Eight: Trial Commences.
Day Nine: Go over the trial with students. Discuss how things went and what they learned. This may be when final assignments are due.
Day Ten: I would add an extra day into the unit in case the trial runs longer than expected. I’ve found that oftentimes, the witnesses can be on the stand much longer than I planned for.
If you like this mock trial, please check out these other products by Room 311:
Mock Trials for Government and Civics: The Trial of Snow White by Dena Lopez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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