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Title: Spot the Difference Course: Legal Studies Academy Senior Project

Topic: Affluenza: Discovering Socioeconomic Bias in the Courtroom Grades: 9-12


Designer: Willson Tuck
Stage 1: Desired Results
Established Goals:
Understandings: Students will understand that... Essential Questions:
Overarching Understandings: Overarching Questions:
I can understand factors which influence a judge or jury How does economic status influence decisions made
when handling a sentences within the courtroom
I can understand court and trial procedures. How can this relate to the actions of Julius Caesar
Topical Understandings:
Factors which play into jury bias Topical Questions:
The specifics of trial procedure How can I use this presentation to further my
knowledge on the justice system?
What factors might influence a jury if Brutus was on
trial? Would he receive a fair trial?

Students will know Students will be able to...

Affluenza is socioeconomic bias in the courtroom Identify socioeconomic factors which lead to
Distinguish the factors which can play into a bias trial reduced sentencing within the courtroom
Understand why this is a problem in the American
Justice system

Stage 2: Assessment Evidence


Performance Tasks: Key Criteria:
I will be assessing the student's ability to identify factors Collect student-responses based on what they took away
which contribute to defendant's credibility from the two videos
Agenda/Learning Plan
This is where you put a step by step description of what you are doing that day with the class:
1. Introduce myself to the class, and explain what the LSA senior project entails.
2. You will be watching a similar version of the same video of a trial, see if you can spot the difference between the two?
3. Pass out preliminary questions relating to the first video
a. Show Video #1
4. Take a minute or two for students to finish with the questions
5. Direct students to the back of the question sheet
a. Show Video #2
6. Which defendant, the one on trial, carries a higher burden of guilt. Who is guilty
a. *Purpose is for the students to discover for themselves how economically stable defendants are more likely to
receive little or no punishment for a crime which would convict another*
7. Explain the two videos, and present how socioeconomic bias influences outcomes within the courtroom.
8. Give examples (Brock Turner, Ethan Couch)
9. Engage students to connect the trial videos to the history of Julius Caesar
10. Ask questions