The best way to interpret a text is to live through the characters. The novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, has been studied in English classes for years; however, having students relive the famous trial of Tom Robinson is one way to have students understand the time period and the social situations involved.
Students have been given the opportunity to introduce two new witnesses that were not originally heard in the novel version of the trial. The requirement is that the new witnesses can only introduce evidence that does not contradict what is already stated in the text. Students worked in teams prior to the trial to ensure that all witness testimonies were aligned with the text. The Judge, Lucas Mackin, worked to make sure that he understood the legal proceedings of a Judge and how to conduct the Mock Trial.
Today the students started the Mock Trial, the prosecution and defense shared their opening statements and began to question witnesses. Working through the text as a team students were able to identify areas that were considered ‘perjury’ or not aligned with the text. Tomorrow students will continue through the witness testimonies, and closing statements.