Menu

R. v. Wyler Mock Trial Kit

Lesson Two: Introducing the Trial

Rationale

This guided trial rehearsal will familiarize students with the formalities of court, building the basis of a trial’s procedures and allowing students to better consider their possible role in the mock trial.

Procedure
1. Explain that trials are serious matters. This means that they must be conducted in orderly ways:

  • Show students the Indictment. The Indictment contains the charge against the Accused and other information. Explain that the Crown must fill it out and provide copies to the Defence Lawyer and the Court Clerk. Decide upon a crime and fill out a copy as a group for the trial rehearsal.
  • Use the Jury Trial Outline to illustrate the basic steps to take place in the mock trial. (The Trial Script elaborates on each of these steps.)

2. Project the Court Diagram overhead onto the screen so that the classroom can be arranged into a mock courthouse. If materials and time exists (especially if this is a cross-curricular activity with Arts Education), it may be advantageous to create a full courtroom set.

3. To rehearse the procedures of a mock trial and introduce students to possible roles for a mock trial, read-through the Trial Script as a class role-play:

  • Provide all students with copies of the script.
  • Assign reading roles for a Judge, Clerk, Crown Counsel, Defence Counsel, Accused, Witness, and Jury Foreman.
  • Other students may be assigned to the Jury or to Gallery.
  • Teacher can act as director.
  • Use the Indictment, completed in Procedure 1, for this read-through, and have students adlib their speaking parts based upon this framework.

The responsibilities for each role will be elaborated upon in Lesson 3.

4. Repeating the rehearsal several times may be helpful to accustom students to procedures and formalities. Rotating roles will also help students experiment with several possible roles for the mock trial.

FURTHER EXPLORATION
5. Teachers wishing to have their students view court procedures firsthand should check out Visiting a Courthouse.

6. The Ontario Justice Education Network has a full series of mock trial demonstration videos. Their step-by-step instructions will help with this activity and with students’ as they perfect individual roles.

Indictment

Mock Trial Materials

Jury Trial Outline

Mock Trial Materials

Courthouse Diagram

Mock Trial Materials

Trial Script

Mock Trial Materials

Albert Camus' The Plague: The Learning Resource