Today we started in on the book, Monster by Walter Dean Myers. Because Monster is set mostly in a courtroom and is written as a screenplay, we rearranged the room to look like a courtroom and acted out the different parts. We had a few lawyers, a defendant, a judge, jury, and witnesses. Everyone had a chance to take on a role.
We had a couple of good discussions, including understanding that the "monster" on trial is Steve, a 16-year-old boy who has been accused of murder, and that he may spend the rest of his life in prison or be given the death penalty. We also talked about what punishment we'd rather be dealt, death or life in prison. Towards the end of class we talked about if Steve's age, race, and the fact that he's on trial effected whether or not the jury thinks he's guilty. We also discussed if we thought he was guilty and why. Some of you thought he was guilty, others had mixed feelings, like that it didn't seem fair he was being tried for murder though he didn't seem to have a direct hand in the victims death. Some thought he could be innocent, just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
For the most part, class seemed to go pretty well and I appreciate everyone's cooperation in class, despite Mrs. DeRaps's absence.