- Teacher Shane Safir holds mock trials with students to help them develop critical thinking, writing, stronger vocabulary and other literacy skills at the Race, Policy and Law Academy at Oakland Technical High School in California.
- She and another teacher even set up the classroom to look like a courtroom to create a more engaged atmosphere, according to Edutopia.
- Students also learn how to build arguments so they can verbally present their cases, making sure they’re backed with evidence
There’s an age-old cliché: Fake it until you make it. Giving students an opportunity to role-play through different real-world scenarios is not the same as pretending. However, allowing children to try new experiences while still in school gives them a way to test their skills in a safer environment.
Role-playing can take many forms, from mock trials, to having students write and perform plays using characters from history and literature. Students must tap into literacy tools, as well as organizational skills, to create and produce these kind of teaching moments, notes the United Federation of Teachers.
Trying out these new roles allows children to tap into different ways of communicating with each other, and often results in students who are far more engaged, according to a resource from Carleton College. Students who are focused have a better chance of embedding what they’re learning, as they discover abilities that may help direct them towards their next endeavor.