Mock Trial & Civics Online Content for Educators
We at the New Jersey State Bar Foundation have always appreciated the great job that our teachers do and even more so during this difficult time. That’s why we constantly adapt to meet the needs of New Jersey teachers. While you’re teaching your students remotely, the NJSBF has some suggestions, as well as a few lessons, to keep students engaged in mock trial and civics. Just because you’re teaching at a distance doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality educational tools.
Below are three mock trial lessons for elementary and middle school students and below that are several NJSBF civics resources that can be used online.
And, don’t forget about the Foundation’s social media! Whether highlighting historical anniversaries or posting specific campaigns like U.S. Constitutional Amendments that Failed or the Road to Women’s Suffrage, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, our social media is a real conversation starter.
@NJStateBarFdn can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Posts are added to our feeds at least twice a day.
Mock Trial Online Content
Matching Game for Grades 2 – 4
Do you know what the word “law” means? How about plaintiff or defendant? Study our simple “Glossary of Legal Terms” and then match the legal terms to the correct definition.
The answers to this game can also be found on page 16 of the Mini-Court Teacher’s Guide. Educators can find more lessons for students in grades K-2 in this guide.
Grades 3 – 8
School is out but court is in session now with this entertaining exercise on “Your Day (at Home) in Court.” Test your reading, writing and decision-making skills.
Quiz for Grades 7 & 8
What is a mock trial anyway? Take this quiz to learn about the elements of a mock trial from opening statements to direct and cross-examination of witnesses to closing arguments.
Mock Trial Quiz
To answer the questions in this quiz, students will need to download the Foundation’s Educational Guide for Trial Jurors. This is the guide that is distributed to all who are called for jury duty in New Jersey.
Civics Online Content
For Elementary and Middle School Students
This lesson plan tests students’ knowledge of history and what they’ve learned throughout the year. The lesson provides four clues for students to guess Who/What Am I? The lesson contains four questions in three different subject areas: the Revolutionary War; the Civil War; and the Presidency. Don’t miss the Bonus Activity that encourages students to come up with their own clues and quiz their classmates. For teachers, download the Answer Key here.
For Middle and High School Students
Who Said It? tests students’ research and critical thinking skills. In Part I of the lesson, they match the author with the quote. Then in Part II and Part III they are asked to dig deeper for the meaning and context of the quotes and to research who these people are. For teachers, download the Answer Key for Part I of the lesson.
For Middle and High School Students
This is the lesson that asks: Could You Pass the Test? It contains all 100 questions from the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalization test, which covers sections on American Government, American History and Integrated Civics.
Teachers could ask students to take the entire test or ask them to take this practice test provided by USCIS. Or, using this Answer Key, educators could develop their own multiple choice lesson, picking and choosing whichever questions you want your students to focus on. NOTE: Answers to Questions 20, 23, 28, 29, 39, 40, 43, 46 & 47 vary. Check here for updates from USCIS.
Check Out Our Blogs
The New Jersey State Bar Foundation publishes three blogs that contain a wealth of civics content. All blog posts include discussion questions and relevant glossary words for ready-made lesson plans. Written in plain language, these posts help students better understand the subject matter and enhance class discussion.
Click on the logos below to review the content on each of the Foundation’s blogs.
For Grades 5 through High School
The Informed Citizen, our civics blog, has covered more than 25 civics-related topics, including democratic norms, origins of political parties, equal justice under the law, primaries & caucuses and impeachment.
Posts are added to The Informed Citizen periodically throughout the school year. Subscribe to the blog and we will send you an email alert when a new post is added.
For Grades 5 through High School
The Legal Eagle Lowdown is the blog for our legal newspaper for kids, The Legal Eagle. Stories that have been published in the newspaper are sometimes updated on this blog when there has been some development on the topic after publication. In addition, since the fall 2019 issue, all stories published in The Legal Eagle have been posted on the blog, allowing educators to use the articles individually.
All back issues of The Legal Eagle can be found on our Publication Page where you can download PDFs (just open the relevant toggle). If you would like to subscribe and receive hard copies of The Legal Eagle, please use our Publication Order Form. You may also subscribe on that page for a digital subscription as well. When an issue is published, subscribers are advised that the print issue is on its way and/or the PDF is available for download.
For Grades 6 through High School
The Respect Rundown is the blog for our diversity newsletter, Respect. Stories that have been published in the newsletter are sometimes updated on this blog when there has been some development on the topic after publication. In addition, since the fall 2019 issue, all stories published in Respect have been posted on the blog, allowing educators to use the articles individually.
All back issues of Respect can be found on our Publication Page where you can download PDFs (just open the relevant toggle). If you would like to subscribe and receive hard copies of Respect, please use our Publication Order Form. You may also subscribe on that page for a digital subscription as well. When an issue is published, subscribers are advised that the print issue is on its way and/or the PDF is available for download.
Wait, There’s More
The New Jersey State Bar Foundation also publishes many stand-alone civics publications that can be found on its Publication Page under the Civics Toggle. Below are just a few.
Click on the images below to download PDFs of the publications.
For Middle & High School Students
Beyond the Bill of Rights is a 24-page newsletter that focuses on the 17 amendments added to the U.S. Constitution after the Bill of Rights was passed in 1791. NOTE: All articles contained in Beyond the Bill of Rights have been posted individually and can be found on The Informed Citizen blog.
For Grade 5 through High School
The Bill of Rights Bulletin is a 24-page newsletter packed with articles on the amendments contained in the Bill of Rights, as well as crossword puzzles, word searches, constitutional trivia, facts about our Founding Fathers and much more.