Photo credit to Carline Jean, Sun Sentinel

Mark Haynes is a 7th grade literature teacher and drama director at a school in Florida. When you read what he did recently with his students you will know why I think he is a terrifically creative guy and magnificent teacher!

How to get children to really connect with the material you’re teaching them is every teacher’s quandary. Because if kids are really engaged by a subject, an experience, or a situation; then- -you have them!

Mr. Haynes took two months putting together a “trial” for The Wicked Witch of the West, using the plot of the recent movie, “Oz the Great and Powerful”. The role of the judge was played by a prosecutor with the Broward State Attorney’s Office. Mr. Haynes’ students played all of the additional characters, except for the jury and spectators, which were portrayed by students from other classes at the pre-K through eighth grade school.

The Wicked Witch was depicted as suffering from several mental illnesses and after an approximate ten minute deliberation was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Everyone had fun, no one had a house dropped on them, the kids are learning to apply lessons from literature to real life and Toto didn’t get stuffed in a nasty bicycle basket.

Now that’s a great teacher!