Mock Trial of Alfred Dreyfus

What if scholars based mock trials on history? The fourth installment of a five-part series on the Dreyfus Affair asks learners to read various pieces of evidence before conducting a mock trial for a French officer. Teams answer different questions with the help of a reading road map to guide them before a spokesperson for each group makes their case.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Teach a pre-lesson about the court system or test for pre-knowledge beforehand
  • Compare the trial of Dreyfus to other contemporary trials that pupils have heard about to help them understand its relevance to today
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires printing and distributing different handouts for different groups in the mock trial
Pros

  • Includes a film and PowerPoint to present to the class for more context
  • Puts scholars in the point of view of a historian; they must analyze different pieces of a puzzle and try to find the truth through different narratives
Cons

  • None