Students learn about the processes of court and how the Rule of Law is applied when arguments are presented in court. After applying the facts of the law to the case, they will use their written essays to write (in part), and perform a mock trial convicting Cut Eye Higgins of kidnapping (Podcast E closes the unit).
4.5 Students understand the structures, functions, and powers of the local, state, and federal governments as described in the U.S. Constitution.
Dimension 2, Civic and Political Institutions
By the end of Grade 5:
D2.Civ.1.3-5. Distinguish the responsibilities and powers of government officials at various levels and branches of government and in different times and places.
D2.Civ.2.3-5 Explain how a democracy relies on people’s responsible participation, and draw implications for how individuals should participate.
D.2 Civ.3.3-5: Examine the origins and purposes of rules, laws and key U. S. constitutional provisions
D2.Civ.4.3-5. Explain how groups of people make rules to create responsibilities and protect freedoms.
D2.Civ.5.3-5. Explain the origins, functions, and structure of different systems of government, including those created by the U.S. and state constitutions.
D2.Civ.6.3-5. Describe ways in which people benefit from and are challenged by working together, including through government, work- places, voluntary organizations, and families.
Dimension 2, Participation and Deliberation
D2.Civ.8.3-5. Identify core civic virtues and democratic principles that guide government, society, and communities.
D2.Civ.9.3-5. Use deliberative processes when making decisions or reaching judgments as a group.
D2.Civ.10.3-5. Identify the beliefs, experiences, perspectives, and values that underlie their own and others’ points of view about civic issues.
Dimension 2, Processes, Rules, and Laws
D2.Civ.10.3-5. Identify the beliefs, experiences, perspectives, and values that underlie their own and others’ points of view about civic issues
Part 1: Interacting in Meaningful Ways
P1.4.1 Exchanging information and ideas with others through oral collaborative discussions on a range of social and academic topics
Text Types and Purposes
Production and Distribution of Writing
Comprehension and Collaboration
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Craft and Structure
1.0 ARTISTIC PERCEPTION
Processing, Analyzing, and Responding to Sensory Information Through the Language and Skills Unique to Theatre
2.0 CREATIVE EXPRESSION
Creating, Performing, and Participating in Theatre
Students apply processes and skills in acting, directing, designing, and scriptwriting to create formal and informal theatre, film/videos, and electronic media productions and to perform in them.
Development of Theatrical Skills
2.1 Demonstrate the emotional traits of a character through gesture and action.
Creation/Invention in Theatre
5.0 CONNECTIONS, RELATIONSHIPS, APPLICATIONS
Connecting and Applying What Is Learned in Theatre, Film/Video, and Electronic Media
to Other Art Forms and Subject Areas and
Students apply what they learn in theatre, film/video, and electronic media across subject areas. They develop competencies and creative skills in problem solving, communication, and time management that contribute to lifelong learning and career skills. They also learn about careers in and related to theatre.
Connections and Applications
Careers and Career Related Skills
5.3 Exhibit team identity and commitment to purpose when participating in theatrical experiences.
These objectives will be assessed through the student’s contributions to the writing of a mock trial and their artistic performance of the same.
|Quality Criteria||Absolutely!||Almost!||Not Yet|
|“Character” was maintained and believable. Use of props and simple costume pieces were appropriate.|
|Effective collaboration including coming prepared, listening, speaking, and adding points to conversation in an organized manner and following agreed upon rules is evident.|
|Students understand the processes of a court trial as observed through their performance and addition to script.|
|Writing and group discussions reflect understanding that citizenship calls for civic responsibility for order and group survival.|
|Essay supports student point of view with reasons and details.|
|The opinion is clearly stated using the organizational structure provided, and related ideas are grouped to support purpose.|
|Reasons are supported by facts based on the law and details of the case.|
|Linking words are used to support opinion, such as: for instance, in order to, in addition.|
|A conclusion statement related to the opinion is included.|
Slide 41 and 42: This is a photo of an actual courtroom from the days of the early development of California.
Ask yourself: What are the laws in this case that must be considered before you enter this courtroom?
Have students share out and review: Compromise of 1850 – California is a free state, Fugitive Slave Act ~ if a fugitive slave escapes, even to a free state, he/she can be captured with a warrant, or without a warrant (if taken to the court), African Americans cannot testify in court, or have a court trial by jury. Remember that kidnapping is taking someone forcefully, aware that they were not fugitives. Proven beyond a reasonable doubt, all 12 jurors must agree.
Slide 43: Under the Rule of Law, even Cut Eye Higgins, whom we have known to be a scoundrel in the past, is deserving of a fair trial. He is innocent until proven guilty. He is not “guilty” until proven so, beyond a reasonable doubt by the jury. Discuss (this means each juror may have a small amount of doubt, but are almost positive that he committed the kidnapping)
OPENING STATEMENTS (15 MINUTES)
Slide 44: The opening statements in this trial will give a summary of the facts of the case and what your position will be as one of the attorneys. Each student should write their own opening statement, with half the group assigned to prosecution,and half to the defense. This will give the teacher the opportunity to check the writing of individual students. They may then meet in the two attorney groups, prosecution and defense, and make decisions on their final opening statement as an attorney group.
The final summary may be one of your teammates, and/or a combination of some of your group’s summaries. Discuss together and have your decision made for an opening statement. Write in your group’s very best opening statement.
Slide 45: In groups of eight, for this first read-through, you will be reading up until the judge calls a recess.. A read-through is important in becoming familiar with the drama storyline. You are not on stage yet, acting it out, you are reading through the dialogue together in partners. In this case, the read-through is important to learn and become familiar with new vocabulary. We will discuss vocabulary after the read-through.
Your scripts will show additional missing dialogue, specifically the attorney’s, opening (and closing arguments we will address later). You have written your own opening, giving a summary of the case to the jurors from the attorneys. Stop the read-through at the recess called by the judge as shown on the script.
Slide 46: Pull group back to your attention:
After learning of new information at the trial, you must spend some time analyzing Exhibit A, the Warrant, and Exhibit B, the Free Papers. Examine them both very carefully. What do you notice that may have an affect on the arguments you make, or that the defense attorney might make?
Teachers: Delving questions as needed:
Which came first, the warrant, or the Free Papers? Would this make a difference? How? Do the exhibits look official? What do you know about the exhibits? In what way would this help the defense or the prosecution? Will Exhibit A and/or B influence your closing arguments?
Slide 47: The closing arguments in a courtroom are very much like the three details and facts you used to persuade in your essay. After reading the remainder of the trial, and filling in what you think should be in the missing dialogue sections, decide upon the best closing arguments. Use the arguments from your essays, or change what you had written for the trial ~ afterall, you have new evidence! Turn your final script to me.
Our next read-through will be using the most detailed scripts, so work carefully to consider the facts, the law, and solid persuasion based on both the evidence and law!
Teacher Note: Groups of 8 will play roles in the next read-through which will include the closing statements and the trial that follows the Recess where you left off before (and include the new exhibits). Choose as many well-written versions of the trial (with student’s arguments as the number of groups you will have. Make copies for students in each group (there are 8 parts). If you already know which roles each student will play, they may bring props from home for the read-through in character, and/or you can bring small items such as neck ties (Praiseworthy or defense attorney), or jackets for woman attorney, plaid shirts, funky hats (which Judge should ask them to remove in court), etc.
I need a volunteer to come to the front and decide on a way to demonstrate the character of Cut Eye Higgins as he steals money from a person’s back pocket.
(Class discusses “character”: motivation, objective, physical movements, emotional, facial expression, dialogue (if applicable) For example, Cut Eye might laugh in an evil way after slipping the money from the pocket –or say something such as, “Ha, they will never know what happened.”
Have everyone stand – walk about the room as Thomas, who has just discovered his family is gone! (no dialogue)
Pose or freeze as Mrs. Clapp, who is watching the Jacksons being driven away in the back of the wagon.
Walk as if you are Praiseworthy, entering court as the prosecuting attorney.
Everyone sits: Have a “review” discussion about staying in character, analyzing the individual’s motivation, objective, looks, feelings, speaks, and moves. (In order to be believable)
Read Through in Character: (15 minutes)
In groups of 8, have students complete the mock trial (in character) where they left off before recess.
PART 2 (40 MINUTES)
Using a civil discussion, either use whole group discussion or small group on the guilt or innocence of Cut-Eye. Each point made, must be related to the Kidnapping Law, Fugitive Slave Act, Compromise of 1850, and how the details and actions of the case relate to the same.
It is assumed that Cut-Eye will be found guilty by the class! Follow the following podcast to bring closure to the unit.
Pass out the podcast script for students to read along ~ and this time, Sing-a-long! After the song and laughter, the podcast closes the unit closes with a final letter from Louise Clapp. This is an important closure and reflection for the unit.
Note: A positive outcome for African Americans was rare – this case with Praiseworthy and the children taking civic action for the Jackson family would not have likely happened at the time, although there are a few documented cases of trials involving kidnapping (Stovall v. Lee). With it not being legal for minorities to testify in court, or bring their cases to the judicial system, laws were broken, minorities were not represented, and justice was NOT equal for all.
****Teachers: Please take photographs and send them to literacyandthelaw.com Also, please send your ideas, comments, samples of student work. With a parent “release” I can post some on our website. I will send the release on request.
Slide 50: Reflection (handout available) This written reflection, when given the time, can be valuable as an assessment tool ~ and also cements learning. You may wish to have students write individually and then share with a partner.
Bibliography of books for your Gold Rush Library: (Unfinished)
Dannenberg, Julie, Women Writers of the West,Fulcrum Publishing ISBN1-55591-464-0
Levy, JoAnn, They Saw the Elephant, Women in the California Gold Rush, ISBN p-208-02273-2
Rawls, Jim, Dame Shirley and the Gold Rush, Steck-Vaughn Company ISBN 0-8114-8062-3