In the months of March and April, fifth-grade students at Birchwood and Maplewood Intermediate Schools had the opportunity to experience the annual Goldilocks Trials. Every year, the students role-play and put Goldilocks “on trial” for her crimes against the Three Bears as an introduction to our country’s laws and judicial process. This experience offers a fun way to extend their knowledge and perspectives of the beloved fairy tale while introducing students to the judicial system in an engaging and interactive way.
The proceedings replicated the actual judicial process as witnesses were sworn in, testified, and cross-examined. For instance, Goldilocks was tried for three crimes: trespassing in the second degree, petit larceny, and criminal mischief in the fourth degree. The script, written by lawyer Glen Vogel, presented the students with terminology used in real courtroom settings to help them learn the meaning of these words through an authentic and fun experience.
In these simulations, every student had a role. The students in each fifth-grade class were selected to play Goldilocks, the Three Bears, a police officer, and the attorneys, with an additional twist: characters from other well-known fairy tales made appearances as well! Characters such as Little Red Riding Hood (Goldilocks’ best friend), Chicken Little, the Big Bad Wolf, Rocky the Raccoon, and many others made their debut. The students loved choosing which parts to play and they each got into character with great enthusiasm.
Although the Goldilocks Trials were a bit different this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the faculty and staff worked hard to ensure the students and parents received a worthwhile experience. Students both in-person and fully virtual were able to participate, and parents and family members were able to view the trials via live stream from both Maplewood and Birchwood.
The trials certainly ended happily ever after - especially for Goldilocks, who was only found guilty of trespassing. The students had a blast playing their roles in each trial and learning real-world skills and concepts. We are so proud and impressed with all of our fifth-grade classes! Thank you to our Birchwood and Maplewood PTA’s for continuing to make this learning experience fun and engaging for our students year after year!