English

Law & Evidence: Teenage Murder Mystery

In this 9-week class, students will serve as lawyers and analyze evidence from the real life teenage murder case of Hae Min Lee, which centers on convicted killer Adnan Syed as covered in the first season of the Serial podcast.
12 total reviews for this teacher
8 reviews for this class
Completed by 25 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
Class

55 minutes

per class

Twice per week

over 9 weeks

13-18

year olds

3-15

learners per class

per learner - per class

How does aMulti-Daycourse work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Description

Class Experience

This course will focus on the following skills:
-to evaluate and analyze non-fiction/primary sources.
-to analyze and apply evidence
-to formulate/defend a claim and argument
-to use persuasive/argumentative language in a speech
-to identify and apply rhetoric strategies

Weekly Breakdown

Week 1
~Syllabus/Introduction
~Listen and analyze Episode 1-The Alibi
~Legal Terms
~Identify strategies for effective/active listening
~Identify ways to effectively organize information (especially witness testimony)
~Identify elements of setting

Created & Shared Case File (Assignment Due)

Week 2
~Listen and analyze Episode 2-The ~Breakup
~Listen and analyze Episode 3-Leakin Park
~Legal Terms
~Identify points-of-interest on a map to determine the significance of distance/time.
~Evaluating information for relevance and accuracy.


Week 3
~Listen and analyze Episode 4- Inconsistencies
~Listen and analyze Episode 5-Route Talk
~Legal Terms
~Evaluate how a new lead adds or takes away from previous evidence.
~Evaluate the reliability of witness information

Legal Terms Activity (Assignment Due)

Week 4
~Listen and analyze Episode 6-The Case Against Adnan Syed
~Listen and analyze Episode 7-The Opposite of the Prosecution
~Analyze relevant information
~Evaluate how information from other cases could relate to this case.
~Identify criteria for determining reasonable doubt

Case Overview (Assignment Due)

Week 5
~Listen and analyze Episode 8-The Deal with Jay
~Listen and analyze Episode 9-To Be Suspected
~Evaluating the effectiveness of the police investigators and the lawyers.
~Employ argumentative (analysis) writing techniques to support a(n) theory/opinion
~ Start looking at supplementary documents.

Week 6
~Listen and analyze Episode 10-The Best Defense is a Good Defense
~Listen and analyze Episode 11-Rumors
~Evaluate credibility and competence
~Deconstruct appearance vs. reality theme

Week 7
~Listen and analyze Episode 12-What We Know
~Updates on Adnan's Case
~Analyze evidence to build (identify) a story or rendition of a story
~Identify the appeals process and overturning convictions
~Identify the elements of a strong closing argument (template)

Week 8
Final Preparations
~Speaking Techniques
~Analyzing and applying evidence to prove a theory
~Identify and apply public speaking techniques
~Using rhetorical devices as persuasion
~View student exemplar

~Completed closing argument template (Assignment Due)

Week 9
~Final Preparations
~Delivery Arguments/Verdict
~Delivering a closing argument as a speech using inflection and rhetorical devices
~Defending an argument using evidence and logic.

~Closing Argument (Assignment Due)
~Recorded Delivery (Assignment Due)


This course addresses a variety of literacy skills and helps students improve reading, writing, and listening abilities. I developed this curriculum with professional lawyers to address authentic skills and legal practices.
While we will listen to some podcasts together, students will be expected to listen to short podcasts independently in order to prepare for class discussions.
 1 file available upon enrollment
No additional materials are needed.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
There will be two mastery-based assessments (Case Overview & Closing Argument). 

Case Overview

This overview will contain the basics of Adnan Syed’s case, including setting, witnesses, suspects, etc. This will show that you have a solid understanding of the case as a whole. This should be between 2-3 pages in length double-spaced in 12 point Times New Roman font. Imagine you were summarizing the major points of this case to someone. What would you include? Stick to the facts. Avoid including information that has not been proven. What do you know at this point?

Closing Argument (Essay & Delivery)

This comprehensive essay will be your last opportunity to prove your case. Do you think Adnan is innocent or guilty? How can you use the presented evidence to support your opinion? You will be expected to use 4 outside supplementary documents in addition to the podcasts as references in your closing argument. Each student will write a closing argument that will be between 3-5 pages. 
Delivery- Closing arguments are meant to be delivered, so students will record themselves delivering this argument to submit with their paper. A jury will listen to the delivered arguments and deliberate to determine which lawyer had the most convincing argument.  
1 hour 50 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
This class will be investigating a real-life teenage murder case, but no explicit visuals will be provided as course content. There is some strong language in the podcasts.

Teacher

Nathan Snyder, Ph.D.Secondary English Language Arts Teacher, Golfing Enthusiast, French Bulldog Parent
12 total reviews
11 completed classes

About Me

I have been enthusiastically teaching English Language Arts in various public secondary schools (both rural and urban) for over 18 years. I have a B.S. in English Education from Indiana Univ. of PA, an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from... 
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