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Court Reporting at a Mock Trial

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Keywords: Journalism, Court Reporting
Subject(s): Video, Podcasting, Information Skills, Photography, English/Language Arts, Journalism
Grade P-K
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Francisco Middle School, San Francisco, CA
Planned By: Marna Blanchard
Original Author: Marna Blanchard, San Francisco
Do Now: Students will set up equipment to record trial.

AIMS: Students will record trial with still photos and on video.
Students will take notes during the trial for newspaper and online article
Students will incorporate background information into their notes and rough draft for article

Standards Covered:
English Language Arts: 2.3 Write research reports:
a. Define a thesis.
b. Record important ideas, concepts, and direct quotations from significant information
sources and paraphrase and summarize all perspectives on the topic, as appropriate.
c. Use a variety of primary and secondary sources and distinguish the nature and value
of each.
4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the
development, organization, and style are
appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce
and publish writing as well as to interact and
collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient
command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum
of three pages in a single sitting.
HSS Standards:
Analyze the significance of the States’ Rights Doctrine, the Missouri Compromise (1820), the Wilmot Proviso (1846), the Compromise of 1850, Henry Clay’s role in the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854), the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision (1857), and the Lincoln-Douglas debates (1858).
Describe the lives of free blacks and the laws that limited their freedom and economic opportunities.

1. Do Now!
2. Court Reporting Group will break into three sections: A) Video/sound recording group
B) Still photography group
C) Reporters
3. During the case each group will be record their information.
4. Each group will rough out a quick draft of their part in the case
5. Each group will upload their roughed out notes, photos and videos for later revision.
Homework: Reporters-Revise your rough draft, Video/sound people- using your the draft you've uploaded to the wiki, download and edit once more, Still photographers- begin writing captions for key photographs from photos you've uploaded to the wiki.
This lesson is one of a series that are part of a larger Project which culminates in a report on culminating Mock Trial.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This project encompasses several curricular areas: journalism, English and Social Studies. The case it based on actual, historical case, as told through the lens of an historical novel, thus allowing students to do a literature study and incorporate research from actual events from that time period. Further students can take on the role of reporter at the Mock Trial, reporting the events for the school newspaper and website.
Students will write a reflection about their experience in the trial. Students will also complete a biography on person either from the novel or from that time period. Students will choose a topic with a Human Rights/Social Justice aspect to research and report on for a later project, known as the I Search.
Links: http://www.loc.gov/families
Materials: Microphones, Headsets
Other Items: 1 Digital SLR Camera
1 Tripod
1 Headset
1 Microphone