E.T. A LOCAL WAY OF LEAR-NING
Title: HERE COMES THE JUDGE!
Author: Eulalie R. Rivera Elementary School
Environmental Education Team
Grade Level: 5-12
6. Resources 1. Language Arts
9. Management 2. Social Studies
10. Economic Planning 3. Science
In a judicial simulation, students as plaintiffs will investigate and research
various environmental issues and present in writing and orally background
information, current status, and remediation pleas concerning the issues to
which a jury will react.
Rage is futile. Reason and knowledge are two ways of approaching costly,
complex, environmental problems. Convincing an audience is a citizen-skill
sadly needed on all public fronts. Will your students be ready to intelligently
and confidently support their ideas or values? "Here Comes The Judge" is but
one step, a start in this direction. You, the teacher, can add miles by
designing other "forums" for student expression in a variety of subjects.
"Here Comes The Judge" is a modified courtroom simulation wherein student teams
research, collect evidence, develop arguments and finally present a court case
centering around a chosen environmental problem.
This basic idea has been adapted to fifth graders, and has ample potential to
challenge 12th graders who would do well to achieve or reinforce this lesson's
purposes, which are to help students:
1. Observe and discover more on their own and with a partner.
2. Apply through research and speech writing the terms: facts, opinions,
abstract and concrete words, denotation, connotation, proofs (evidence).
3. Organize evidence and present convincing arguments.
4. Use persuasive speaking skills.
HERE COMES THE JUDGE!
Students may need some review in researching basic and local community sources
of information, asking pertinent questions, using various types of evidence,
note taking, and outlining speeches. Maybe your students are adept at these
skills already. You be the judge.
Based on three Environmental Concepts:
Concept #6 The distribution of natural resources and the interaction of
physical environmental factors greatly affect the quality of life.
Concept #9 People have the ability to manage, manipulate, and change their
Concept #10 Short-term economic gains may produce long-term environmental
A. What's Your Job?
In many careers and jobs, people must gather facts, organize their ideas and
present them to others. Lawyers, scientists, engineers, doctors, newspaper
reporters, and salesmen do this regularly. In this activity, you and your
partner gather facts and evidence on a special problem in its possible
solutions. Then you must prepare, and deliver one speech each so that the
speaking duties can be shared equally. The speeches to be given by your two-man
Speech #1 is a four-minute "Demonstration," showing the importance of your
chosen idea or local problem.
Speech #2 is a four-minute speech giving "Solutions" to your chosen idea or
You and your partner can decide who will give Speech #1 and #2. Before that,
choose a problem that interests you.
See the list of problem areas below. You may adapt these suggestions to your
local community; your teacher can help with ideas, different viewpoints, or
HERE COMES THE JUDGE!
ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEM AREAS
Community structure (Human) Natural
Ecosystem & Communities
Environmental ethics & aesthetics
Environmental quality for man
Land use and zoning
Pollution control technology
Population (Human) (Wildlife)
Solid waste management
B. What kinds of proof will we need?
To show your problem's importance and some possible solutions, you'll need to
use various types of evidence like:
Facts, statistics, logical arguments, authoritative quotes, interviews, surveys,
photographs, tape recordings, and other types of proof. Your teacher will
suggest and explain these.
C. Where can we find proof?
It depends on your problem, but here are some suggestions:
1. In Your Community:
a. By telephoning and interviewing people, newspaper reporters, Radio / TV
b. Also representatives from nearby colleges/universities, university
extension services, local business, civic and social groups are other
c. Territorial and federal governmental agencies and your Chamber of Commerce
can provide answers by phone or by mail.
2. In Natural or Urban Areas:
By observing, note taking, collecting samples, taking pictures slides, tape
HERE COMES THE JUDGE!
3. In Your Public and School Libraries:
Books, magazines, articles, newspapers, reference dept. librarian.
4. In School:
Teachers of special subjects, principal.
NOTE: Make sure your proofs come from well qualified sources.
D. After Research, 14hat's Next?
Four steps, which your teacher will guide you through.
Step #1 Give yourself and your partner at least a week or two to gather
enough notes and different types of evidence or proofs.
Step #2 State clearly in no more than two sentences what each speech
#1 and #2) will prove.
This is called a "Statement of Purpose." It's important because
without an exact idea of what you're proving not only will you
have difficulty in organizing your facts but also the jury will not
understand what you're doing.
Your teacher will check the "Statement of Purpose" for each speech. When
presenting your speech to the jury, make sure that you state your purpose early
in your four-minute time slot.
Step #3 a. Keep your written "Statement of Purpose" handy, and use it
to help arrange your evidence by the types of proof, by order of
importance, by solution, cause effect, or by whatever design will
match your speech's purpose.
b. Organize your proofs either in a checklist, outline or on note
cards. Use the method that works best for you and your partner.
c. As time goes on, both "Statements of Purpose" may be revised
because of new proofs, new solutions, or the need for better
Step #4 Before your scheduled jury date, practice and time your two speeches
both the "Demonstration" and "Solution" Speech. Your teacher will
arrange a time schedule based on the idea of no more than three
teams per class hour.
Each team will require approximately 20 minutes, based on:
Two, four-minute speeches = 8 min.
Two, four-minute questioning periods = 8 min.
Four extra minutes = 4 min.
(for verdict tabulation and review, objections, 20 min. (total)
and general housekeeping duties)
E. What are the rules of "Here Comes The Judge?"
1. A judge and a jury of 12 will listen to each speech. They may consist of
students from your class, other classes, or adults. Any convenient combination
will work. The judge and members of the jury will be rotated regularly by the
teacher so that all students can participate..
2. At the end of each speech, the judge and the jury will ask questions of the
speaker for no more than four minutes. The court reporter will keep time.
Questions must pertain to the problem being demonstrated, statement of purpose,
the proofs (evidence) offered, sources of evidence, and possible solutions. The
judge may intervene to label a question as out of order, irrelevant, or unclear.
The teacher may need to spend some time reviewing with the judge and jury: "What
is a worthwhile question, and how to ask one."
3. If judge and jury fail to use all the four minutes for questions, then
students and teacher (not those in the jury) may use up the remaining time.
4. After questioning time, for Speech #1, the jury will vote ":Yes" or "No" on
folded slips of paper. The court reporter assigned by the teacher will collect
the jury's votes and tabulate the results. Before the results for Speech #1 are
revealed, the second speech, the "Solution" speech begins.
5. After Speech #2 is completed, another four minutes of questioning takes
place. This is then followed by another round of voting.
6. The court reporters after tabulating votes for each speech will reveal the
decisions. It's possible that one speech may receive a "Yes" vote while the
other, a "No" vote. If so, the partners will work together to revise the losing
speech. The reasons for this separate voting are twofold. Each speech should
stand out on its own merits if the partners have helped each other, and if each
partner has fulfilled his/her own duties.
HERE COMES THE JUDGE!
F. Voting Results:
"NO" 1.All "No-Voters" of the jury must be ready to explain their objections
- no matter what the final verdict. This is done to improve any speech's format
and to suggest ideas for upcoming presentations. The teacher will have to decide
whether "No" voters will write down their objections on the voting slips or will
orally explain their objections. If written down, the court reporter in
revealing the verdict can more objectively spell-out these objections. Listening
to the "No" voter's objections, the partners will take notes on specific items
in question in order to prepare a new case, research, or to reorganize the
evidence. If the jury's verdict is "No" by a simple majority, then a re-
scheduled date of appeal will be set by the teacher to present a new speech.
"YES" 2.All "Yes-Voters" of the jury should also be ready to defend their
reasons for voting positively. Such reasons may be requested periodically or
randomly to keep the jury alert, and objective, as well as stress positive
elements of a speech, its organization, or format which are exemplary and worthy
of praise. If the verdict is "Yes" by a simple majority, congratulations! Your
teacher may want you and your partner to help one of the other teams in
preparing its case. As winners, you can show the way.
"TIE" 3.If the jury's verdict ends in a tie, then another speech
"Demonstration and/or Solution" can be given to break the tie. This can occur
immediately, after a brief recess, or after several days research and revision.
"Here Comes The Judge" may be adapted to suit individuals or classes. Without
sacrificing its learning purpose, changes can be made in terms of: Time, number
of speeches, questioning format, and even a tie-breaking vote by the judge.
Teachers are invited to experiment.
For a more technical simulation, a foreman of the jury, bailiff, and court
recorder can be added to the scene. Their specific duties will have to be
In this present simulation, the "Court Reporter" assumes some of these technical
duties to simplify the process, and to focus our attention on the heart of this
lesson, that is, the research, the two speeches, the jury's questioning and
interaction with the teams.
"Here Comes The Judge" literally involves an entire class one way or another,
for students to role play judge, jury, plaintiff, and defendant within a few