Lessons from Goldilocks, mock trials and law students

Goldilocks stood trial at Morley Elementary School this spring – and despite her guilt or innocence, the real winners in this mock trial lesson were fifth graders throughout Lincoln Public Schools.

“This was a real live way for students to see what happens in our trials and our judicial system – an opportunity to see what happens in our court system,” said Heather Bohling, a fifth-grade teacher at Morley.  “This was such a great enriching experience for our fifth graders.”

This year, the program brings students from the University of Nebraska Law College to classrooms at six LPS elementary schools, as it has for many years.  

The mock trial lessons complement social studies instruction as students take a deeper dive into the judicial branch – and also get a glimpse into potential college and career opportunities, according to Jaci Kellison, social studies Curriculum Specialist at LPS.

“Through the collaboration with the UNL Law School, fifth graders are able to connect the experience with their knowledge about the judicial branch of government, which is something they are learning during social studies classes,” Kellison explained.  “The additional knowledge gleaned through this experience contributes to the overall mission of social studies education, which is to foster engaged and informed members of our community.”

Bohling agreed that the UNL Law College students underlined what is happening in LPS classrooms: “Our curriculum teaches about the three branches of government, and the U.S. Constitution …. These are incredibly important lessons to learn at a very young age, something that students can carry with them throughout their lives."


Published: April 29, 2022, Updated: May 1, 2022