2nd graders hand over a 'not-guilty' verdict in mock-trial - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

2nd graders take part in mock trial for the Big Bad Wolf


It was a day in court for a group of Michiana second graders, as they tried a story-book character for his alleged crimes.

Jan Oltman's second grade class at Merritt Elementary School heard the case against the Big Bad Wolf in Wednesday's mock-trial.

All the students were given a role. There was the prosecution and defense, a jury and a group of witnesses. As for the judge? Steve Wolfram played that part. He's a real attorney. "It's not too young for them to learn their constitutional rights and appreciate that we're fortunate to live in the U.S. where we have those rights."

He started the mock trial program and he offers it to local elementary schools. "I've just enjoyed it so much and I'm really astounded by how well second graders can grasp the concept of a trial."

He walks the students through the entire court proceedings. The swearing in, court room etiquette, questioning the witnesses, and the deliberation process.

He handed the case over to the jury and after a few minutes of deliberating, they claimed a hung jury. Wolfram had the jury try to vote again and the final verdict? "The jury has reached a verdict of not guilty. Mr. Wolf you are free to go," Wolfram told the class during the trial.

A successful day for the defense, but their teacher says it was more than that. "They've learned a little bit more about our government and our country and how rules are made and if they're broken this is what happens and this is the procedure you have to go through," says Oltman.

Wolfram developed the program and has visited a handful of schools in the area. He says that while it's a fun activity, the mock trials do meet some of the common core standards for social studies.

To see about having Wolfram visit your classroom, call him at 269-429-3411.

Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.