Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
|| Lesson Plan: Teaching
the Lesson: Activity
Activity 1: Student Opinion Survey
Prepare the room by creating three large signs. One should say “Agree.” A second should say “Disagree.” The third should say “Undecided.” Place these signs in different areas of the room so that at the appropriate time, students can gather around or under them.
Introduce the lesson by noting that their study of criminal procedure to date has revealed that our criminal justice system operates with two goals that must be balanced--to provide for order and safety in our society and to protect individual rights. These goals might also be elicited through discussion and illustrated by the depiction of scales on the board. Explain to students that they will begin the lesson by examining situations in which this tension exists and explore where they think the scales should be tipped.
Hand out the survey titled What’s Your Opinion? and direct students to complete it individually.
Go through each of the five statements, each time inviting students to share their views by standing by the sign that most closely reflects their view. The five statements are:
Note that students who have selected “Undecided” will be asked to choose “Agree” or “Disagree” after a discussion.
Ask three students to defend why they agreed, then ask three of those who disagreed to state their opinions. Invite the “Undecideds” to ask further questions or make comments and then direct them to make a choice, move to their new position, and tell why they moved. Ask students if they found patterns in their answers. Do they lean towards "safety" or "individual rights"? It is important to provide sufficient time for all students who want to speak to do so and to provide a climate in which students feel comfortable sharing personal experiences that might relate to this topic.
Tell students to jot down their initial thoughts to the three questions at the bottom of the survey:
If time is short, this part of the activity could be assigned for homework.
JoEllen Ambrose found that students’ answers became more complex as the statement touched on issues that might affect them personally.