In Court

An exercise in illustrating justice, decision making and fairness

The students arrange the classroom so that it resembles a court room. They draw the roles of participants and the hearing begins.
The names (Sincerity – prosecution; Adversary – plaintiff; Gossip, Suspicion – witnesses; Flatterer, Prattler – counsels for the prosecution; Lovestrife, Partisan, Personrespecter… – judges; Icommandit – presiding judge) are written in capital letters on cards, which the students place visibly in front of them. The students without roles represent the audience, and if allowed by the judge, they can voice their suggestions and intervene in the dispute.
Once Sincerity reads the accusation directly from the book (Chapter XIX: The Pilgrim Examines the Governing Class), the students start to express their attitudes and improvise as expected based on their names.

How this resource relates to Shaping Characters objectives

  • Attitudes and attributes
  • Education techniques
  • Motivation and resilience

Actual outcomes

Educational objective: Identifying positive and negative character traits contained in names. Understanding the behaviour of people with both kinds of traits. Ability to empathise in given situations.

Qualities in focus: Justice, decision-making, empathy, argumentation, ability to accept criticism

Target group, age of the students: 14 years of age

Suitable for:language courses, personal, social education, youth work

Resources required

J. A. Comenius – Labyrint světa a ráj srdce (Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart); cards with names

Time needed

1 unit (45 minutes)

What could have been done differently or is planned for future repeats?

The dramatisation was instrumental in better understanding of the book and, in particular, identifying the character traits expressed by the names. The students were captivated by the “lawsuit”. In addition to the expected course, they also tried to use the activity for some mischief and “judged” their schoolmates. They prepared “accusation” in the style of Comenius, with the rest being pure, and very successful, improvisation.

Links to related resource files

Contact information