Berkshire School News
November 25, 2021 by Staff Report

The hard-working, dedicated and thoughtful students of the Berkshire Local Schools Badger Lab program took their community service initiatives on the road last week to pay tribute to local veterans in celebration of Veterans Day...

Badger Lab Honors Veterans

The hard-working, dedicated and thoughtful students of the Berkshire Local Schools Badger Lab program took their community service initiatives on the road last week to pay tribute to local veterans in celebration of Veterans Day.

Using the American Legion Atwood-Mauck Post 459 on Goodwin Street in Burton to serve lunch, students offered a wide variety of dishes, including salads, chili, sandwiches, pastries, side treats and soft drinks. They prepared individual plates for veterans, refilled drinks, swept away rubbish when completed and expressed their gratitude to about a dozen veterans.

Veterans expressed their gratitude with smiles and words of encouragement to the Badger Lab students and engaged in meaningful conversations with them as they were served during lunch.

The Badger Lab students are always on the move with creative ideas such as food drives, the Badger Café and this latest act of kindness. The Berkshire Local Schools thanks Ashley Brzozowski, Joe Cirino, Janice Shipman, Lori Klem and Shelly Pokorny for encouraging the students to participate in activities that promote leadership, character and service. The Badger Lab participants have been serving meals to students at Berkshire Junior-Senior High School since the beginning of the school year and used this opportunity as a way to take their service to the community.

Juniors Engage in Mock Trial

Juniors in the Honors English III and English III classes recently completed a mock trial learning activity that promoted several competencies featured in the district’s Graduate Profile, including critical thinking/problem solving, communication and collaboration. Under the guidance of English instructor Meghan Riley-Farrow, students read Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “The Black Cat,” and focused on key skills including close reading and annotating a text for evidence collection.

Students worked in prosecution, defense and jury teams to collect evidence from the text, appropriately integrate quotes and create a compelling argument with claims and strong evidence to present a case in a mock trial for the narrator in the story. The prosecution brought charges of animal abuse and murder against the narrator while the defense team made the case that the narrator was not guilty by reason of insanity. Students serving on the jury were responsible to provide evidence demonstrating that the narrator could be guilty or not guilty, display impartiality and work as a team to develop a rubric to judge the case.

The mock trial included opening statements, claims, rebuttals and closing statements employing quotes and evidence from the short story. After delivering a verdict, the jury team provided constructive criticism to the prosecution and defense teams based on rubrics that each side had created to evaluate their cases. The activity concluded with a class discussion that highlighted how the students had created a clear and well-argued analysis essay as a team and to use the experience as a springboard for future writing projects.

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Mock Trial students demonstrate critical thinking skills when reviewing Edgar Allen Poe’s literary works at Berkshire High School.