WVHS freshman English students conduct mock trial based on short story


WVHS freshman English students conduct mock trial based on short story

December 16, 2021

Sanger Rainsford has been charged with MURDER! And now, he is being tried in the classroom. 

Students in Ms. Danielle Bugasch’s freshman English class participated in a mock trial this week. Their challenge: solve a murder mystery inspired by the short story “The Most Dangerous Game.” 

“The Most Dangerous Game” is a suspenseful work of art with complex character motivation. The goal of this project is threefold: to encourage group work, to understand that “The Most Dangerous Game” is a multileveled story, to build skills useful for the enjoyment of all works of literature.

Students were divided into three groups for the trial: Prosecuting Attorneys, Defense Attorneys, and Witnesses.

They read the short story, with each group paying special attention to the elements they would need to represent their teams, including supporting facts for their case, pertinent quotations, and other events from the story. They also did background research on topics relevant to the work of fiction, such as author Richard Connell’s world view, World War I history, traditional sailor stories, and big game hunting. 

Teams conducted the mock trial, complete with witness questioning, cross examination, and closing arguments. Witnesses were even sworn in using a Literature textbook. After the trial, students will write essays that assess Rainsford’s guilt from their particular team’s vantage point.

A “jury” of WVHS faculty members and administration was on jury duty for the duration of the multi-day trial.

Here are some scenes from the “courtroom.”



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