In-School Mock Trial Mini Units
Grades 1-5

 Discovering Justice’s Mock Trial Mini Units helps teachers bring teaching civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions to life in their elementary classroom through a two-week-long interactive unit during which student lawyers work to analyze, build, and argue a case.

This summer, Discovering Justice worked with a group of teachers to create units that are aligned to specific grade-level standards, structured as an engaging mock trial over the course of 7-10 lessons, and accessible to be taught fully virtually, in-person or hybrid!

You can find the units in this google folder, which includes each grade level unit material as well as a letter explaining the pilot of these units. If you plan to teach one, please put your name in the google sheets form, and be sure to fill out the survey form post teaching the unit as well! so we can get feedback! Please feel free to share these resources with your colleagues and networks.

Suggested Grade Level
Brief description of the mock trial
Essential Question (in addition to what is justice?)
Grade 1
In the case of Animals v. The Little Red Hen, the animals take the Hen to court for a piece of her bread!
What makes a good community member?
Grade 3
In the Colonists v. British Soldiers, students argue over who’s to blame for the deaths in the Boston Massacre.
How do we resolve tensions between groups with differing opinions? Who is responsible for actions taken by a group?
Grade 5
In Patterson vs. Cross School, a student sues her school for infringing on her 1st Amendment right
What does it mean to have freedom of speech?

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U sable both in-person and virtually, these mini units engage students in a mock trial based on grade level content and literacy standards as well as key K-12 practice standards. Students will practice perspective taking, analyzing evidence, using evidence to build an argument, discussing themes of justice, and making connections to historical and current events along with their broader community/world.

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