This is my favorite test prep activity and has never failed me. Students take on the role of lawyers and in groups, receive confidential folders with "clients" who are either guilty or not guilty of bad writing. In each folder, students will receive a photo of their client, a sample Research Simulation Task (but this can be used with ANY writing) and a rubric to score. Students will go through the steps of identifying if their essay is written well or not using PARCC released samples. The attachment includes the court of law task sheet, and 3 handouts to guide them through this process. The day in court presentations will have students argue to the class (the jury) if their client is innocent or not.
Attached- Court of Law Task Sheet, Rubric, Student Self Assessment AND a 3-Day handout guide for the process.
NOTE- I simply create confidential folders with a photo of a celebrity, and a PARCC released sample. (I google the released ones from the state for students to use with the 3 attached handouts.) This can be used for any writing, not just test prep.