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    mock trial
    By Sari

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    I did this with eighth graders, and they loved it.

    I assigned the students to various roles based on a story we had read. It was challenging coming up with enough roles, but we had:

    prosecution team (4-5 students)
    defense team (4-5 students)
    many witnesses (characters from the story)
    2 defendants (again, characters)
    Even characters who were pretty minor in the story appeared as witnesses so that everyone could have a part.

    One piece of advice I would offer is to videotape the trial if you can. That way you can assist the students during the trial and then use the tape to evaluate them. I found it extremely helpful to be able to go back later, watch the tape, and make assessments based on that. Trying to assess during the proceedings would have been very difficult.

    As long as you are using the tape only for your own viewing, there should not be a problem with needing permission.

    I'm not sure what your topic is or what your resources are, so I don't know how useful my advice will be for you. I hope it helps you some.

    Good luck. This is a great idea.

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