The Outsiders Trial: A Webquest

Report
Law & Justice Classes (9-12)
Woodstock High School
Cari Cain
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The Outsiders is a novel by S.E. Hinton about rival gangs the
“Socs” and the “Greasers”. The two gangs have an ongoing
battle and this will eventually lead to the death of a member
of one of the gangs. This WebQuest will guide Law & Justice
students through the different stages of a trial while reading
different sections of the book.
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Essential Question: Who are the essential participants in a
mock trial?
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The class will be split into 4 groups and will read sections of
the book as assigned by Ms. Cain. Each group will be
assigned a different perspective of the case and develop
opening arguments, witness lists for both sides, witness
examinations, possible evidence, and closing arguments
The different perspectives include:
 A. The prosecution will argue that it was murder
 B. The defense will argue that it was not Johnny at all
 C. The defense will argue that Johnny’s situation is caused by his
environment/home life
 D. The defense will blame it on gang violence and show what gangs
do to the community
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1. You will be placed into 4 groups by Ms. Cain-group assignments are
final.
2. You will read The Outsiders through chapter 5 and then view the
fight/murder scene from the movie using the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=malncB0BXIw&safety_mode=true&p
ersist_safety_mode=1&safe=active
3. Next, you will visit the following websites to gain a better
understanding of the trial process and the different roles each person
plays
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Elements of the crime of murder
http://criminaldefenseattorneys.vanwagnerwood.com/
Summary of the “Rules of Evidence”
http://library.findlaw.com/2001/Jan/1/241488.html
Tips for writing an opening statement
http://www.perno.com/law/docs/Opening%20Statement.htm
Tips for writing a closing argument
http://www.perno.com/law/docs/Closing%20Argument.htm
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Direct examination of witnesses
http://criminaldefense.homestead.com/Direct.html
Cross examination of witnesses
http://criminaldefense.homestead.com/cross.html
Tips for closing arguments
http://www.perno.com/law/docs/Closing%20Argument.htm
Trying juveniles as adults
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/juvenile/stats/
Death penalty for juveniles
http://www.capitalpunishmentincontext.org/issues/juveniles
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4. As a group and from your assigned perspective you will
complete the following for both sides-prosecution & defense
and submit to your group page on the WebQuest site:
 1. Opening argument
 2. Witness lists
 3. Witness examination questions
 4. Evidence list
 5. Closing argument
5. Your group will create a video of your “mock trial” using
the documents you submitted to the WebQuest site. There
will be a room reserved in the media center with a tripod and
flip video camera for your group to use at their assigned
time. These times will be assigned as we near the end of the
project
 6. Videos will be shown to the “jury”-which will be your
classmates and they will determine Johnny’s fate
 7. Finally, we will read the rest of the book as a class and
each student will discuss in a 2 page paper which point of
view you agree with and what verdict you think was just

Points Possible:
50
10 Points
5 Points
0 Points
Opening argument
Opening arguments from
prosecution and defense provide
a clear, strong statement of the
attorney’s position
Opening arguments is present
but does not make the attorney’s
position clear OR only one side
(prosecution or defense) is
present
No opening arguments
Witness list &
examination questions
All possible witnesses are listed
and an extensive list of direct and
cross examination questions
relevant to the assigned point of
view.
Incomplete list of witnesses
and/or questions are present but
not in-depth. Direct or cross
examination questions are
missing
No witness list or examination
questions
Evidence list
All possible evidence associated
with the crime are listed for both
sides
Evidence is listed, but not a
complete and/or evidence from
one side is missing
No evidence list
Closing argument
The closing argument is strong
and leaves the jury with a solid
understanding of the attorney’s
defense
The closing argument is present,
but not strong and does not leave
the jury with a clear
understanding of the attorney’s
defense OR only one side
(prosecution or defense) is
present
No closing argument
Videos
Video covers extensively each of
the following: opening/closing
argument, witness list and
questions
Parts of the video are missing or
are not covered completely
No videos
Points Possible: 50
10 Points
5 Points
0 Points
Point of view support
You gave 3-4 reasons for
supporting/not supporting your
assigned point of view
You gave 1-2 reasons for
supporting/not supporting your
assigned point of view
You gave little or no reasons for
supporting/not supporting your
assigned point of view
Verdict
You gave in-depth reasoning about
your opinion of the verdict and 3-4
supporting ideas
You gave your opinion of the
verdict but did not explain clearly
and only gave 1-2 supporting ideas
You did not give your opinion of the
verdict and had no supporting ideas
Format
Your paper had an introduction,
body, and conclusion
Your paper had a body and either
an introduction or a conclusion
Your paper had only a body
Length
Your paper was 2 pages long
Your paper was 1 page long
Your paper was less than 1 page
long
Mechanics
There are no grammatical or
spelling errors in your paper
There are few grammatical or
spelling errors in your paper
There are many grammatical or
spelling errors in your paper
Group score and student paper score will be added for the final student score.
Total possible points are: 100
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Congratulations on a job well done! The trial is over and your verdict is in.
There are several things that I hope you’ve gained from this experience:

A new understanding of how the trial process works
 The responsibility of telling the truth and respect for the judicial system
 The idea that juvenile defendants must be treated with special care since they have a
better chance at turning their lives around after serving a sentence
 An opinion concerning the death penalty for juveniles
-Research true cases involving juvenile offenders charged with capital crimes and see if you think
their punishment fit their crime.
-http://www.crimeandinvestigation.co.uk/crime-files/menendez-brothers/biography.html
-Look on the internet and find what the laws are involving juvenile offenders and the death penalty
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/execution-juveniles-us-and-other-countries
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Pictures
http://www.freewebs.com/greasergirls4ever/theoutsiders.ht
m
Book references http://www.enotes.com/outsiders/chaptersummary
Standards
https://www.georgiastandards.org/standards/Pages/Browse
Standards/BrowseGPS.aspx
http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs/NETSS_Standards.sflb.ashx
PS-LCRP-3. Students will identify and explain the various
roles of courtroom participants
 SSCG22 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the
criminal justice process
 PS-LCRP-9. Students will explore the roles of each
participant in the pretrial process
 PS-LCRP-11. Students will participate in a mock trial
 PS-LCRP-12. Students will examine the post trial process
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Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge,
and develop innovative products and processes using technology
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use
information
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and
work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual
learning and contribute to the learning of others
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related
to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology
concepts, systems, and operation

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