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HBHS English teacher Heather Deegan’s English 9 class created a simulation of a courthouse trial for their Quarter 2 assessment on January 4 and 5. The goal of the trial was to prove if George, a main character from the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, was guilty of killing his friend Lennie. Each student prepared for certain roles in the trial and had to find evidence supporting which side they represented.
Bennett Decoteau ‘20 played the role of a psychiatrist and stand-in lawyer. He prepared for the trial by doing extensive research, which included watching the movie version of the book. “I know the ending by heart,” he said. He also learned a lot about the science behind trials. “I liked the free rein of the project but also how it was still controlled.”
The prosecution lawyer of the trial, Madison Kepnes ‘20, prepared by coming up with good questions to ask the witnesses and researching the different kinds of murder charges. “I learned how to take in information and come up with a good question,” she said.
Forensic scientist for the prosecution, Jenna Connors ‘20, did a lot of research on collecting evidence and on the different terms used in the forensic evidence portion of a trial. She learned how much actually goes into being a forensic scientist. “Learning how to do it and making the evidence was cool,” she said.
Aidan Chretien ‘20, the lawyer for the defense, also did a lot of research for the trial. “A lot more than I thought goes into a trial; it’s not just guilty or innocent,” he said. He enjoyed the trial and being the lawyer.
The Mock Trial was definitely favored by students. Simulations like this one could also be a popular activity in the future with other books read in class. It helps students get more involved in what they’re reading.