This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.


8th Grade Mock Trial

One student describes it as “the coolest project I have ever done!” Another says, “It is an engaging and exciting learning experience.”

Villa’s Mock Trial process is a hands-on, cross-curricular approach to constitutional law and the legal system. 8th grade history students spend months working with teachers and outside experts—including law enforcement, forensic specialists, and attorneys—learning the components of a legal case.

preparatory mini-trial in the fall helps them learn essential skills and information including:

  • criminal investigation and evidence gathering techniques with the Seattle Police Department
  • how to conduct forensic testing of trial evidence in Science class
  • how to build a case and prepare for a trial

Later, after studying Westward Expansion, students delve deeply into American history as they investigate Andrew Jackson’s role in the Cherokee Removal Act and the Trail of Tears.

Classes work together to prosecute and defend Jackson, building cases from primary source material including:

  • speeches and letters
  • art
  • Congressional acts and military orders
  • narratives

They think critically every step of the way as they analyze both sides of the issue, write witness testimony, and develop complex legal strategy.

Students then enact the trial as prosecutors, defenders, and witnesses in front of a federal judge and volunteer jury at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Seattle.

Ad for Curriculum Guide