This resource is a simulation of a trial between humans and animals, where the humans are accused of numerous crimes against animals, habitats, and the environment.
Students are divided into two groups, animals and humans, and they present their arguments to the judge and a jury of students selected from both groups.
The judge and jurors get to decide if humans are guilty and therefore get banished from Earth.
This is a fun and engaging role-play activity.
The activity is helpful for practicing public speaking.
Teachers may need to review some characteristics of good public speaking. One to do this is by using these three categories: eye contact, voice, and body language.
Teachers could invite other staff members to participate as members of the jury or as the judge.
Teachers can extend this activity by asking the students to write the contents of their argument into an article.
Some ideas for the human group include higher intellect, the ability to create technology, the ability to think, reason, and solve problems, animal companionship and love, and veterinary science.
Some ideas for the animal group include biodiversity loss, industrial agriculture, overfishing, plastic pollution, illegal wildlife trade, poaching, deforestation, habitat destruction, and suburban sprawl.
This is a practical approach to explore ways students can engage in trial sessions and support conservation rather than harmful resource exploitation. Although this is not empirical, this is recommended.
English Language Arts
Speaking and Listening (K-12)
SL.3.1 Prepare for and participate in conversations across a range of topics, types, and forums, building on others' ideas and expressing their own.
SL.4.1 Prepare for and participate in conversations across a range of topics, types, and forums, building on others' ideas and expressing their own.