Last updated: 6/8/2016

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English 8th February

English 8


How do the amendments to the Constitution support and guide the participation of jurors in trials?
  • Identify key ideas and inferences along with text support
  • Determine the central idea
  • Provide a summary
  • Trace and evaluate arguments 
  • Write arguments with support
  • Organize reasons and evidence in written arguments
  • Write with clarity
  • Write conclusions to support arguments
  • Write to inform or explain
  • Use appropriate and precise language
  • Write responses based on research
  • Use and correctly cite information from multiple sources
  • Prepare for discussions
  • Follow rules for discussions, set goals and deadlines, and define role
  • Pose and respond to questions

How do people change based on the personalities contained in a group?

How does an individual influence the opinion or actions of a group?

To what extent would you stand up for what you believe in?


(1) W.8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
(1) W.8.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
(1) W.8.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)
(1) W.8.5 With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
(1) W.8.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
(1) W.8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
(1) W.8.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
  • Students should be able to:
  • Understand the concept and importance of due process of law
  • Identify how the rule of law protects individual rights
  • Describe how jury service is a civic responsibility and protects individual rights
  • Identify key ideas and inferences along with text support
  • Determine the central idea
  • Provide a summary
  • Analyze examples
  • Determine meaning of words
  • Trace and evaluate arguments  
  • Comprehend complex nonfiction texts
  • Write conclusions to support arguments
  • Participate in group discussions
  • Pose and respond to questions
  • Review ideas from more than one perspective
  • dogged
    stubbornly unyielding
  • meek
    humble in spirit or manner; suggesting retiring mildness or even cowed submissiveness
  • bigot
    a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own
  • prosecution
    the institution and conduct of legal proceedings against a defendant for criminal behavior
  • defendant
    a person or institution against whom an action is brought in a court of law; the person being sued or accused
  • cross-examination
    (law) close questioning of a hostile witness in a court of law to discredit or throw a new light on the testimony already provided in direct examination
  • abstain
    choose not to consume
  • hung jury
    a jury that is unable to agree on a verdict (the result is a mistrial)
  • motive
    the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior
  • discrepancy
    a difference between conflicting facts or claims or opinions
  • tenement
    a run-down apartment house barely meeting minimal standards
  • writhing
    moving in a twisting or snake-like or wormlike fashion
  • conceivable
    capable of being imagined
  • alibi
    (law) a defense by an accused person purporting to show that he or she could not have committed the crime in question

The performing arts continue to be an essential part of academic curriculum. They help students to be more creative and inventive decision makers and teach powerful ways of communicating ideas, thought, and feelings.

Twelve Angry Men is a complex one-act play that uses simple language to communicate challenging themes of racism, group dynamics, justice, and integrity.

There are several ways that this play can be used in classrooms. The following activities suggest ways that it can be incorporated into an interdisciplinary learning experience touching on learning skills in literature, social and political science, dramatic arts, stagecraft, marketing and business management, public speaking, and film studies.

Students will read the play then choose from the following activities.

Reading a Play

Plays are meant to be heard and seen, not read. Each of the parts will be assigned to a student and read the play aloud. Someone will be in charge of reading stage directions. Acting troupes typically begin their rehearsal process by sitting and reading the entire play. This is called a "read through."

What a Character!

Students will be divided into small groups. Assign each group one of the characters. Have the group analyze their character and conduct one of the following activities:

 Write a profile of the character, describing his personality, appearance, and motivations.

 Conduct an "interview" with the character, with one group member role playing the character and the other role playing a newspaper reporter covering the trial.

Write a letter from the character to his long-time best friend describing the trial and his perspective on what happened.

Draw a picture depicting what you think the character would look like and what he would wear.

 Write new lyrics to a song that your character would sing as an explanation of his actions or beliefs.

 Fill out an order for what you think your character would have requested for dinner if the deliberations had continued and food had been ordered. Explain your choices.

Putting the Play in Context

Discuss the events that took place during the summer of 1956""the same time in which the play takes place. Some events include:

 Sinking of the Andrea Doria

 4-week old baby kidnapped from the patio of a Long Island family

 The Detroit Tigers and Briggs Stadium are sold for a record $5.5 million

 The "Suez crisis" occurred

 The U.S. motto "In God We Trust" was adopted

The students are reporters for a day and will be reporting on the trial in "Twelve Angry Men" and the events listed above. They will write articles for a mock newspaper. Each article should be no more than 300 words. Every story in a newspaper or magazine has a lead. The lead must grab the reader's attention and give them a reason to keep reading. Students will use a pyramid style writing.

Assign stories. Article assignments might include:

 Sinking of the Andrea Doria

 Sidebar on other fatal shipwrecks (be sure to include only those that occur before 1956)

 Profile of the defendant in the trial

 News accounts of the trial

 Interview with a juror

 Weather report (should be consistent with the weather reported in the script)



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