I use the Climate Crisis Trial lesson in my 6th-grade class as a way to teach argumentative writing, supporting your opinions with evidence, and the institutionalized climate issues we dig into throughout our climate change unit.
After witnessing and researching issues related to climate change, the students are always shocked about the institutions and their work to ignore accountability. It gives them power and ownership to put these institutions on trial and practice speaking out for what they see as wrong.
Students split up into choice groups based on topics of interest and the guides from the Climate Criss Trial lesson help to guide them in their argument creation. The Climate Crisis Trial lesson has robust information to help students with their research and provides a great opportunity to explore reliable sources in supporting their opinions.
The students love having the trial, the use of the gavel, and voting as a jury. It is a wonderful and multi-faceted unit that is student-centered, engaging, and informative.