Search and Seizure Mini Trial/Debate Activity

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The Mini Trial/Debate Activity is a great way to help students hone their analytical and oratory skills. They allow the student to apply real case law to a fictional but life-like fact pattern. These are the skills trial lawyers must use every day. These are the skills expected in the Common Core – critical thinking and problem solving ability. Here is how the Common Core expresses expectations in the English Language Arts standards related to Social Studies for high school students:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.8
Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.1
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.

What follows are three short search and seizure fact patterns with supporting case law for the students to cite in the arguments. The fact patterns are similar to the case law and the subject matter is about crime. The first fact pattern is about drug trafficking. The second fact pattern is about counterfeiting. The last fact pattern is about check forging and non-violent bank robbery. There is a bit of humor in each fact pattern.







You can use this activity anyway you like. You can use it as a formative assessment to gage student understanding as you go. You can also use it as a summative assessment at the end of the unit.

Here is what you get in this packet:

• Setting up the Mini Trial/Debate (for teacher)
• Mini Trial/Debate Procedure (handout for students)
• Mini Trial/Debate Fact Pattern # 1(handout for students)
• Summary of 2-3 Supreme Court Cases and the Fourth Amendment (handout for students)
• Key Arguments in Mini Trial/Debate Fact Pattern #1 (for teacher)
• Mini Trial/Debate Fact Pattern # 2 (handout for students)
• Summary of 2-3 Supreme Court Cases and the Fourth Amendment (handout for students)
• Key Arguments in Mini Trial/Debate Fact Pattern # 2 (for teacher)
• Mini Trial/Debate Fact Pattern # 3 (handout for students)
• Summary of 2-3 Supreme Court Cases and the Fourth Amendment (handout for students)
• Key Arguments in Mini Trial/Debate Fact Pattern # 2 (for teacher)
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17
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Search and Seizure Mini Trial/Debate Activity
Search and Seizure Mini Trial/Debate Activity
Search and Seizure Mini Trial/Debate Activity
Search and Seizure Mini Trial/Debate Activity
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