Prepare for Trial
Students will learn the process for selecting members of a jury. In addition, they will learn vocabulary relevant to understanding court proceedings.
- Have students think about the interview they conducted in Lesson 3. Discuss how their interviewees answered the following questions: Were you questioned to serve on a jury? If so, what were some of the questions that you were asked?
- Have students name some of the questions that their interviewees were asked during their experience with jury duty. Explain that the process of asking potential jurors questions is called voir dire. Write the term on the board and have them repeat its pronunciation. Explain that voir dire is a French term meaning "to speak the truth."
- Distribute copies of Juror Selection (PDF) Student Reproducible 5. Explain that by asking prospective jurors questions, lawyers can choose the fairest people. Allow time for students to complete the reproducible.
- After the students have completed Juror Selection (PDF) Student Reproducible 5, ask if they have any questions about jury selection.
- When questions have been answered, distribute Courtroom Vocabulary (PDF) Student Reproducible 6. Allow time for students to read the handout.
- After students have read the reproducible, ask for volunteers to provide examples of each type of motion. Explain that they will see this vocabulary again in later activities.
- Distribute I Object! (PDF) Student Reproducible 7 to students. Have them complete the activity for homework.
After students have completed I Object! (PDF) Student Reproducible 7, discuss the possible answers for each question. Ask for volunteers to rewrite the witness statements so they are no longer objectionable. If you have time, play an I Object! game with students. Divide the class into two equal teams. Have each team prepare one witness statement per person. The first team will read their witness statements while the other team objects. Then the teams switch roles. The team with the most correct objections at the end wins!