In this second lesson, students will discuss some of the vocabulary of the court as it relates to the case in which they will be involved. A PowerPoint helps to reinforce this vocabulary. They will also see a diagram for the courtroom, so that they may establish their own “blocking” for their depiction of the mock trial. They share their character analysis handout (homework) with one another, and discuss the way in which they plan to portray their character before performing the mock trial in their groups.
Theatre — Creative Expression
DEVELOPMENT OF THEATRICAL SKILLS
CREATION / INVENTION IN THEATRE
Should one’s “character” influence judicial decisions? Why or why not?
Teacher observation based on the following rubric:
|Rubric Categories||Absolutely||Almost||Not Yet
|Speaking and Listening
Hook: “Close your eyes and imagine yourself involved in a courtroom drama. In the role that you play, you must “become” that character, emotionally and physically. Please listen for directions.”
Show the courtroom diagram (on PowerPoint), using vocabulary, for example: the plaintiff and prosecuting attorney are sitting closest to the jury (PowerPoint notes for teacher before showing may be helpful), and talk about “blocking”. Blocking is the position actors take on stage; in this case the positions will simulate a courtroom trial. What will the “blocking” look like (description in theatre standard 2.2): full front, quarter, profile, and full back). For example, the defense and prosecuting attorneys ask questions of the witnesses by looking at them, with a quarter toward the jury (which isn’t there, but imaginary!). Ask students to identify where each member of the trial would be seated. Be sure to use the proper vocabulary (only some is introduced here) as you talk about the diagram and “blocking” for the courtroom.
Continue with the PowerPoint. Lesson 2 discussing some of the vocabulary with a Quiz Show giving definitions for some of the vocabulary for the unit.
See vocabulary handout (PDF) for all vocabulary (note: only some are on the Quiz Show).
In the groups, facilitated by “David” as director (he has the fewest lines in the mock trial) have each group share their homework: the completed Character Analysis forms (PDF), and discuss their plans for the portrayal of each character Discuss rationale and give examples.
The director leads his team as they set up the blocking and courtroom scene in their area of the classroom. (Put the PowerPoint diagram of the courtroom up on the screen). The producer (Bailiff) can check with the group to see that the Judge, Plaintiff, Plaintiff/Prosecuting Attorney, Defendant, Defense Attorney, and Witnesses all have their correct “name-signs” visible. (This is to reinforce the correct vocabulary).
Each group of eight performs the mock trial in different areas of the room
Student oral reflection and drawing conclusions: Pair/Share: If I were to perform this role again, I would be sure to change [blank]. I found [blank] to be effective in the way we developed the characters in the mock trial as a team.
Have some share their conclusions regarding their performance of the trial with the whole group. Tell them not to forget the details of this trial, as the jury needs to meet very soon! (You may want to have students “perform” the trial a few times in ELA block, maybe portraying different characters)
Differentiation can be addressed in the assignment of the roles. Large and small group instruction and careful grouping assignments will be useful for ELL and also GATE students.
Have students make a video of the mock trials, and each group further evaluate their portrayal of the roles.