Abstract 11, Volume 10, Number 3, Winter 2015

NCSS Notable Trade Book Lesson Plan

The Cupcake Thief

Written by Ellen Jackson


Melinda Odom Staubs

Jacksonville State University


The Cupcake Thief explains the workings of the U.S. court system in an easy and meaningful way. When a cupcake disappears and a student is blamed, the teacher turns the classroom into a courtroom in order to determine the student’s guilt or innocence. Comparisons are made between Student Court and the United States’ court system as the reader goes through the text. Helpful information boxes, placed throughout the text, explain relevant terminology and facts related to the court system. Students explore the U.S. judicial system and relevant terminology through active participation in Reader’s Theater and a simulated classroom court system. They identify aspects of the judicial system by constructing a juror’s experience through journal writing.


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