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Once Upon A Crime: Using stories, simulations, and mock trials to explore justice and citizenship in elementary school
by:Ruth Yates, Wanda Cassidy
Conflict is a part of everyday life, and children are always assigning guilt and responsibility, making and enforcing rules, and questioning and testing the limits of authority. Yet while children have firm notions about what is fair or just, they often do not yet have the communication skills needed to untangle disputes or the analytical skills to...
Conflict is a part of everyday life, and children are always assigning guilt and responsibility, making and enforcing rules, and questioning and testing the limits of authority. Yet while children have firm notions about what is fair or just, they often do not yet have the communication skills needed to untangle disputes or the analytical skills to understand another person's point of view. The storybook mock trials and conflict resolution activities introduced in this book provide an engaging and safe way for children to develop their understanding of fairness and justice and how these concepts relate to rules and law. Further, the experience of participating in a trial can help children understand more about social responsibility and citizenship.Storybook mock trials are make-believe trials based on well-known and well-loved stories. By holding a simulation of a real trial and putting these well-known characters on the stand, children not only learn about law and justice but also discover how to identify with a role, how to articulate a perspective, and how to give a reasoned decision. Through this experience, they enhance their ability to appreciate different points of view, weigh the reliability of evidence, and reflect upon issues of power and social responsibility. (2012-07-20)
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