Honors students hold mock trial

Posted on 11/17/2017
An attorney, Haileigh Nissley, presents evidence to a witness, Jessica Smith, while the judge, Logan Smart, looks on.

     Tenth-grade English honors students held a mock trial during class Monday, Nov. 13 to determine the fate of Ralph, the protagonist from William Golding’s novel The Lord of the Flies
     Upon the boys rescue from a Pacific isle, Ralph has been charged with criminal negligence by the fictitious Golden County due to the deaths of Simon and Piggy, both characters in the novel.
     The 50-minute trial served as a capstone project for the classes’ novel unit Lord of the Flies. Students were chosen to act as the various judicial roles such as judge, jury, or attorney. In preparation for the trial, Huntington County Superior Court Judge Jennifer Newton came to Huntington North as a guest speaker a week prior.
     During her time at Huntington North, Newton spoke about responsibility of civic duty and gave a thorough explanation of the judicial roles and responsibilities in the courtroom.
     Armed with their newfound knowledge, students worked with their peer project groups to research their assigned character’s background, as well as creating various arguments either for, or against the innocence of Ralph.
     “I knew I was going to have a hard time portraying my character [Jack Merridew, the book’s antagonist] because we had already read the book and we’re naturally going to root for Ralph,” said Jack Britten a student in Mr. Tim Misiora’s first-period class.
    Many of the students involved took advantage of the uniqueness of the project with some developing intricate backstories for their characters, rehearsing outside of school, or even dressing the part the day of the trial.
     “One of the big strengths of the project was that it allowed students to use different skills and knowledge from their different classes; it’s a little Government, a little Speech, some English, and Theater,” said Honors 10 English Teacher Mrs. Rachel Yarger.
     Between the four honors classes, Ralph was found not guilty three times with the fourth found to be a hung jury.
     “I was really pleased with how well the students met and exceed our expectations,” said Misiora. “They really did a great job. I can’t say enough good things.”
     Misiora also added, “This was the first year we’ve done this project; I’m excited to see how we can expand upon it next year.” 

 

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