Students stage a mock trial

Was Johnny Cade, a young member of "The Greasers," guilty of the murder of Bob Sheldon, from the rival gang "The Socs?" That is what juries had to decide during a series of Mock Trials staged by students in Chelsea Zehnacker's Grade 7 English Language Arts classes on June 2. 

Weeks ago, the Marlboro Middle School students were divided into two teams—the prosecution and the defense. Team members had to work together to analyze a crime scene (which was pulled from the fictional book "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton), collect evidence, and develop their cases. At each trial, the two sides argued their cases before the jury; cross-examining witnesses, writing on-the-fly rebuttals, and presenting closing arguments. 

The entire exercise taught the students skills related to public speaking, critical thinking, and the art of forming a persuasive, cohesive argument. Kudos to them!