Advanced students learn debate, teamwork through mock trial

Kaylee Eckelman – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- Throughout last week, all Advanced Placement Language and Composition (AP Lang) classes participated in a mock trial in which students defended their assigned client’’ rights for a heart transplant. The trial lasted until Tuesday.

Junior Britney Mcfarlin was given the role as an attorney during this project who argued for her client’s right to the heart transplant.

mock trial picture
Junior Bailey Wegenast presents her mock trial case.

“Being at the podium and speaking as an attorney was nerve racking, though I was able to still present my argument,” Mcfarlin said. “I was eliminated in a previous round, but I am now working in a new group during the last round.

During this trial each student was to come to school dressed professionally. The purpose of this project was to help AP Lang students become better at developing successful arguments as well as rebuttals.

“I think the whole project was focused on how to use arguments. Later, when we are writing argumentative essays, we can think about the project and know what to include and how to structure that in the essay,” said Mcfarlin.

Each student was given a specific role during this project, which required them to work collaboratively to argue for their candidates’ right to receive the heart transplant. Out of the six candidates, only one would receive the right to the heart.

“Communicating with my team members has gone pretty well,” Mcfarlin said. “I am good at communication and helping my ideas come across. Most of the people in my group were also good at these skills, so everyone, for the most part, has worked collaboratively together in order to win the heart for their client.”

Each trial, after all groups were able to present their argument to the judges, two groups were be eliminated. These were often the groups that had the weakest argument defending their individual or too many things that would disqualify their candidate.

“This project was definitely an interesting way to learn how to argue more effectively. It was more creative than just doing a lesson on argumentation,” Mcfarlin said. “I feel like I have learned a lot from it.”

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