Voir Dire: A Simulation

Lesson Duration

Author:  Chad Posner  with The Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago / The American Jury

When people respond to a jury summons, they gather at the court house to form a pool of potential jurors from which they are called in groups for specific criminal or civil trials. There they are questioned by attorneys for each side and/or the trial judge about their background, life experiences, and opinions to determine whether they can weigh the evidence fairly and objectively. This process is called voir dire, an Anglo-French term meaning “to speak the truth.”    This lesson includes hypothetical cases and materials to allow classroom teachers to simulate the voir dire process.


  • students will understand the use of voir dire in jury trials
  • students will understand the impact of voir dire on the composition of  a jury




"The American Jury: Bulwark of Democracy" is an on-line resource guide for teachers, students, and citizens devoted to explaining the American jury system and its role in American legal, social, and political life.