Fifth graders try mock Constitutional court case (from our June print edition)

Students+studied+their+Constitution+Works+workbooks+to+prepare+for+their+case.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Fifth graders try mock Constitutional court case (from our June print edition)

Students studied their Constitution Works workbooks to prepare for their case.

Students studied their Constitution Works workbooks to prepare for their case.

Claire Van Praagh

Students studied their Constitution Works workbooks to prepare for their case.

Claire Van Praagh

Claire Van Praagh

Students studied their Constitution Works workbooks to prepare for their case.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






COLONIAL SCHOOL — The fifth graders played lawyers and justices in a mock trial involving the Denver Dispatch v. the U.S Government, using a program called Constitution Works. This program helped fifth graders learn about the First Amendment and the hard work that goes in to a court case.

Sebastian Laguna (5S), who is a justice, said, “We get to experience an actual court case firsthand.”

There are three different jobs a fifth grader can have in Constitution Works: a justice on the Supreme Court, lawyer for the federal government or a lawyer for the Denver Dispatch, a newspaper invented for the role-playing simulation. Over the course of a month, those that are lawyers have worked together to write speeches to support their side of the argument. 

Joe Martucci (5S), a lawyer for the Denver Dispatch, said, “I like to talk, so I really like presenting arguments and arguing for different views of a case.”

In the case, the Denver Dispatch started the argument when the U.S government prevented it from publishing articles on U.S. testing and research into biological warfare.

The U.S lawyers argued that the news stories could be a threat to the U.S and its safety. The Denver Dispatch countered that by restraining publication, the lower court would violate the First Amendment.

The government won the argument in the trial and at the federal appeals level. The Denver Dispatch appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

Now, it was up to the fifth graders, who headed to the Federal Bankruptcy Court in Brooklyn to stage hearings before the high court in real courtrooms.

Each student had to write their own statement and present it to the nine justices. There were counter arguments and questions from the justices. The justices then made a decision based on the arguments.

After the case was finished, the students had lunch in the city and came back for the end of the school day. 

Ms. Piera Hattar, the fifth grade teacher who brought Constitution Works to Colonial, said, “Understanding case law and being able to use cases successfully is very important.”

Over the past few weeks,  Principal Tonya Wilson, Ms. Hattar and fifth grade teacher Mrs. Jeneane Salerno have been working with different groups to support and help write arguments regarding this case. 

“I am excited to watch my class arrive to the occasion and become lawyers and justices since they argue with me all year,” said Mrs. Salerno.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About the Contributor
Claire Van Praagh, Student Life Editor

Claire loves soccer, running, basketball and gymnastics. She also likes acting and singing. Claire edits for the Student Life section of the Colonial...

1 Comment

One Response to “Fifth graders try mock Constitutional court case (from our June print edition)”

  1. Evan Kaplan on November 14th, 2018 8:08 PM

    good job! 😀

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Fifth graders try mock Constitutional court case (from our June print edition)