Last month, Mr. McKenna’s 9th grade English class held a Mock Trial as part of their reading of To Kill a Mockingbird. The scenario Mr. McKenna presented to his class is as follows:
To Kill a Mockingbird: Mock Trial
Did Jem Finch murder Bob Ewell?
Spurred by the relentless urging of the grieving Ewell family, a federal investigation was opened in the wake of Bob Ewell’s “accidental” death. Investigators found “troubling” inconsistencies in the Sheriff Heck Tate’s original investigation.
After a lengthy inquiry, the federal investigators brought charges against Jem Finch, Atticus Finch, and Sheriff Heck Tate. The prosecution alleges that Jem Finch, under direction of his father, Atticus Finch, murdered Bob Ewell on Halloween night. Further, the prosecution asserts that following the murder, Atticus Finch along with Sheriff Tate, covered up the murder by creating the false story of Ewell “falling on his kitchen knife.”
The questions before our court: was Bob Ewell murdered? If so, did Jem Finch murder him under orders of his father? If not Jem, did someone else murder him and why?
Students took their work seriously, preparing the arguments, questioning of witnesses and dressing their parts. Not surprisingly, different 9th grade sections came to different verdicts!