47 pages 1 hour read

Witness for the Prosecution

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1995

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Thought & Response Prompts

These prompts can be used for in-class discussion, exploratory free-writing, or reflection homework after reading the short story.

Post-Reading Personal Response Prompt

In your opinion, was it right or wrong for Romaine Heilger to lie on the stand to save Leonard? Explain your answer, referencing a variety of details from the story.

Teaching Suggestion: Students may have different ideas about the ethics in this story. Some students may argue for Romaine’s loyalty, while others may argue that because of Romaine, a killer will roam free. Students might write out this response, answer in a Think-Pair-Share format, or create a Jam Board to anonymously post their opinions on the same page for a whole-class discussion. You might connect resulting discussion to the story’s theme of The Elusiveness of Truth.

Post-Reading Analysis

How does Mr. Mayherne treat Leonard and Romaine? Does this differ from or parallel the way he thinks about them?

Teaching Suggestion: It’s important that students see the layers of Mayherne’s perceptions. Christie often uses social class issues as subtle prejudices that affect the way characters see each other. Consider connecting class discussion here to the theme of How Prejudice Shapes Perception.

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