Once Upon A Crime: Using Stories, Simulations, and Mock Trials to Explore Justice and Citizenship in Elementary School

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9781550592986: Once Upon A Crime: Using Stories, Simulations, and Mock Trials to Explore Justice and Citizenship in Elementary School

Did Goldilocks wilfully trespass and destroy the property of the three bears? What crime did the wolf commit against the three little pigs, and is the wolf obligated to repair the pigs’ homes? Was Peter Pan guilty of kidnapping? In Once Upon a Crime, students use familiar stories to experience what it is like to investigate a crime scene, uncover important facts, weave together an argument supported with evidence and witnesses, and present their findings in a trial that simulates a court hearing. They also learn about other ways of resolving conflict, such as mediation, negotiation, and restorative justice processes. Through these activities, children engage in critical thinking, hone their literacy skills, and learn about the role law plays in their lives and their rights and responsibilities as citizens.

This book offers step-by-step instructions for conducting mock trials based on fairy tales and other multicultural stories. Five complete trial scripts are included for classroom use. Also included are ideas for adapting contemporary stories into civil and criminal trials, and mediation and negotiation activities. Once Upon a Crime complements the authors’ previous book, Let’s Talk About Law in Elementary School, which helps teachers integrate law-related ideas and pedagogical approaches into social studies, language arts, and science.

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About the Author:

Wanda Cassidy, PhD, is an associate professor of education and the director of the Centre for Education, Law and Society at Simon Fraser University. Her research and publications focus on citizenship and human rights education, including legal literacy for youth, ethics of care, marginalized youth, and cyberbullying/cybercivility. In 2011 Dr. Cassidy was awarded the prestigious Isidore Starr Award by the American Bar Association for excellence in law-related education.

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