R. v. Wyler Mock Trial Kit

Lesson Three: Developing Roles and Preparing for the Trial


Because the mock trial is focussed on theft, this lesson will first introduce students to the law surrounding theft before requiring each student to take responsibility for preparing for their role in the mock trial.

1. Ask students if they have ever had something taken from them, or if they have ever taken something that didn’t belong to them.

2. Explain that criminal law divides most thefts into two categories: under $5000 and over $5000. Because theft over $5000 is a more serious crime, it has stricter sentences. Then review Canada’s Criminal Code: What is Theft with class.

  • Why do you think the law views thefts under $5000 as a lesser offence?
  • Why do you think Judges have discretion in sentencing, rather than the law prescribing a single universal punishment for all cases of theft?
  • Can you think of scenarios where a prank could be misconstrued as a theft?

3. Select students for the roles to be played in the mock trial. Use the Role Sheet as a checklist for roles to be filled, and the Materials List to determine which case materials each student will require. All these materials may be downloaded below. Because students usually work better as lawyers when in teams, if there are extra students it is best to give first priority to having multiple lawyers.

4. Inform students that their Mock Trial Materials handouts will provide the basic instructions they will require for their role. Remind class that:

  • Students should not discuss the case with each other, except for the lawyers who can discuss it with their witnesses.
  • The Jury should know nothing about the case before the trial.

5. It may be advantageous to have the class review the Task Outlines for each role. This will help give the class a broader understanding of the court process. If this is undertaken, be sure to only share information from the For the... handouts and not the witness profile sheets.

6. To help students plan their roles, teachers may wish to distribute or display the Time Chart so that students have an understanding of approximately how much time should be used for each part of the mock trial.

7. Teachers may wish to have students use the For the... handouts as a basis to research the roles and responsibilities of courtroom personnel in-depth as part of the character preparation process. Assignments could include written reports and/or interviews

Canada’s Criminal Code: What is Theft?

Mock Trial Materials

Materials List

Mock Trial Materials

Time Chart

Mock Trial Materials

Case Outline

Mock Trial Materials

Witness Profiles

Mock Trial Materials

For the... Handouts

Mock Trial Materials