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The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Civics mock murder trial

Allegations fly across the courtroom as the judge’s anvil pounds against his desk. Such are the sounds one would hear in a senior civics class during the week of Jan.15. Robert Foshee’s civics class acted out a mock murder trial all week.

A mock trial was a fictional case that the students prepared, process and executed. Foshee wanted the students hands on experience in a real courtroom atmosphere.

“The students learned all the factual information from the civics book and I wanted them to be able to put it into practice,” Foshee said. “I think they will understand what I’m trying to teach them better if they can actually use what they learned.”

Some students felt this non-traditional approach helped them learn more then they normally would.

“Doing a mock trial really helps me understand what the book is talking about because you get to put it into practice,” Lindsay DeCosta, ’02, said.

Preparation for the mock trial had a few steps. First the students were given their parts/roles and it was their responsibility to learn them. Then Foshee gave them the background information of the case, which they used to write an opening statement and prepare questions for their witnesses.

The broadness of the stories Foshee gave the students allowed them to improvise a little. “I like being a witness because anything my script doesn’t say I could make up,” Chelsea Myers, ’02, said. “That makes the trial more interesting because no one knows what I are going to say.”

This fictional trial offered the students the opportunity to play different roles.

“The trial lets you play different roles and it makes you think,” Nick Jones, ’02, said. “It is like a game that makes learning more exciting.”

Not only did the trial give the students information, it gave them a taste of the real world and what a real courtroom might be like.

“This is really good practice if you want to get involved in law,” Brian Maldonado, ’02, said. “Being a lawyer is a lot harder than I thought it would be.”

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