Students in the Gifted Language Arts program at SAMS recently completed work that involved participating in a Mock Trial. Teachers from all over Lorain County choose the book, The Outsiders, to base an actual Mock Trial on. The trial, held at the Elyria Courthouse and Justice Center, is an annual event where students act as lawyers, witnesses, juries and bailiffs in a real courtroom. The characters come to life through the students’ role playing which includes immersion in all aspects of the legal process. Students were able to play all of the key roles, except the role of judge.
Students were divided into three different courtrooms, as our teams were split into the prosecution, defense and jury. Our school competed against area districts. Our students were extremely prepared, as the prosecution won in their courtroom and our defense won in their courtroom.
This opportunity addresses the Language Arts and Social Studies State Standards, the higher levels of thinking and many of the gifted processes of critical thinking, creative thinking and communication skills.
One of the highlights of the time spent in the courtroom was the learning opportunity that the students had. At the Mock Trial, actual judges and lawyers act as judges for the students. After the trials were complete, these individuals took time to explain certain aspects of the trial. They answered questions that the students had and were are able to share insight into the legal system.
Our students were well prepared and did an excellent job! Congratulations!