Law & Government

Mock Trial

mock trial

This apprenticeship combines an exploration of our legal system with skill-building in communication. Students will learn about the core elements of a trial from the perspectives of lawyers, judges, bailiffs, and witnesses and then will practice communicating in a courtroom through a Mock Trial that they lead. The first few lessons expose students to legal concepts, vocabulary, and opportunities to practice communicating through a variety of roles in a trial. Then the apprenticeship shifts into preparation for a Mock Trial where students will analyze a specific case, select roles to play in the trial, and develop persuasive presentations of their role. After participating in that Mock Trial in an actual courtroom in Week 8, students will reflect on that experience and prepare presentations for their WOW!. This will include an explanation and analysis of the Mock Trial they led as well as an interactive presentation on our legal system that allows students to become teachers for their community: sharing information about how to navigate trials and courts and then quizzing the audience.

This apprenticeship embeds communication skill-building -- which is essential for college and a variety of careers -- within content about our court system. In an age where the U. S. criminal justice system imprisons more American citizens than any other point in human history, the framing around a Mock Trial allows students to engage with a topic that is relevant, high stakes, and interesting to many students.



The Introduction to Debate Apprenticeship extends’ students skills in critical thinking and argumentation, and familiarizes them with the process of deliberative decision making in a democratic society. By honing students’ skills in research, reading, writing, speaking and listening, they prepare themselves for a culminating debate performance at the WOW. The Citizen Teacher can play upon her/his own strengths in terms of determining a topic of interest for the students, or they can utilize a topic provided by the National Forensic League, Speech & Debate Honor Society.