» Post-Viewing Lesson Activity
Student Viewing Activity:
The Trail of Lee Harvey Oswald
» Lesson Objectives:
In this lesson, students will:
- Put Lee Harvey Oswald on trial for the assassination of President Kennedy, to decide not if he assassinated the President, but what motivated him to assassinate the president
- Examine, during the trial, Oswald's personality and possible motivations
» Materials Needed:
- Internet access
- Student Viewing Guide Notes
» Time Needed:
One to three class periods, depending on the whether students prepare for the trial during class or as homework
- Instruct students to consult the notes they took on the Student Viewing Guide and to meet in three groups: Main Characters, Experts, and Other People to plan their testimony.
Note: Students working in the Other People group might seek more information on Oswald from the following excerpts from Chapter Six of the Warren Commission's report, subtitled "Investigation of Possible Conspiracy":
Residence in the Soviet Union
Associations in the Dallas-Fort Worth Community
Political Activities Upon Return to United States
- Assign a student to be a psychiatrist testifying about Oswald's life. The "psychiatrist" can find information about Oswald's life from the following links to the Warren Commission report:
Chapter Seven -- Lee Harvey Oswald: Background and Possible Motives
Appendix XIII -- Biography of Lee Harvey Oswald
- Assign a student to be the judge and keep order. If it seems more appropriate, the teacher may take the role of judge. In the interests of time, the judge should keep the testimony of each witness short.
- The teacher should establish the order of testimony and the trial should begin.
Note: The teacher should allow some latitude in legal tactics. The purpose of this exercise is not to teach courtroom strategies. It is to explore the motivations and life of Lee Harvey Oswald.
» Method of Assessment
After the trial, each student should write a three-part evaluation:
Part One: How well did I testify in my role?
Part Two: Which of the witnesses that I heard did I find most convincing? (Take into account both the evidence itself and how the witness presented the evidence.)
Part Three: Based on the testimony I heard, how would I evaluate Lee Harvey Oswald's state of mind and reasons for assassinating President Kennedy?