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iCivics: Jury Roleplay Game

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required

Website: http://www.icivics.org/games

Website Example: http://www.icivics.org/games/we-the-jury

Tech Product Equipment

Computer(s), Internet access, projector

Activity Description

To help students understand the jury system, this interactive game presents a court case, and the player takes the role of a juror, trying to convince other jurors of his position. New evidence is added periodically. There is a time limit for the deliberation. The student receives a score and a certificate at the end of the game. This game fits into a lesson on the judicial system and trial by jury.

Preparation

  1. The game is an Adobe Flash based game, so be sure you have the latest version of the Adobe Flash browser plug-in so it will play the game.
  2. Preview the game so that you understand what your students will be doing and how the game functions. Registration is not necessary unless you want to be able to save your game.
  3. You may need to introduce some of the vocabulary before the students play the game.
  4. In order get students to the Web site to play the game, you can make a Favorite or Bookmark the site on each computer browser, e-mail them the link, e-mail a word processing document with the link in it, or post the link on your class Web page.

How-To

  1. Explain to the students that they will be working in pairs to get a jury to agree on a verdict.
  2. Demonstrate to whole class how to start the game, explain that they should all choose the same case, and how evidence will be presented.
  3. Choose one case, Mr. and Mrs. Smith v. Auburn Bunston Dealership, and play this game all the way through with the whole class.
  4. Assign students to a computer in pairs to play the other game, Yolanda Yates v. Georgia Gentry.
  5. Watch the final arguments as a whole group, and have students explain what the case is about.
  6. Circulate while students are playing and provide help as needed. This game may be challenging for some.
  7. You can even provide an incentive or prize for the pair that reaches a verdict first.

Teacher Tips

  • It may take some practice for students to understand how to play.
  • Once in the jury room, the player chooses the juror they want to convince. When they select the juror, they can read what the juror says. They need to pick the piece of evidence that relates to what the juror says, and discuss it with them by choosing the comment that supports the players point of view. If the player chooses the wrong piece of evidence, the conversation choices will both be irrelevant.
  • There is a Teacher's Guide (PDF) that talks about registering your class and how to use the site's class functions.

More Ways

  • Go to the Web Site (immediately above) to see nine other games related to citizenship and civics topics that could be useful in your class.

Select subjects and subcategories

Social Studies

  • American Government
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.