If you teach law or current events class, it’s important to stay up-to-date on what corrupt government officials are doing around the world. The lack of functionality in many government agencies makes for some interesting news that your students may be hearing about. As their teacher, you may find yourself taking the role of communications regulator as you provide context to your teenage social media users. Here are nine effective ways to teach law to kids who only hear tidbits of information at a time.
1. Online Hate Speech
We’ve heard a lot about antisemitism in the news, but what exactly is that? Use the Google Slides and three activities in this mini-lesson to unpack how harmful tweeting and the actions of celebrities affect our way of thinking about others.
Learn More: Facing History
2. Scavenger Hunt
Use today’s paper to learn about the latest criminal charges. Make it more interesting by asking students to become more than just daily users of the newspaper and instead investigate it with fresh eyes. This flexible scavenger hunt template is designed to be able to use for any newspaper issue.
Learn More: New York Times
3. Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Students pretend they are journalists with this interesting lesson that takes place during the internment of Japanese Americans. After researching the event, students present their cases and utilize the Bill of Rights to see if they have been violated. What was it like for these people who could not access services while in camp?
Learn More: FDR Library
4. Conduct a Mock Trial
This mock trial document is about a politician who lost an election. The loser is suing the city clerk for voter suppression. Evidence for the case includes text messaging service displays and information from other messaging tools. There’s a role for every student to play, including someone who can be in charge of the trial transcripts.
Learn More: Civics First CT
5. Jigsaw Current Events
Find three to five articles from the link below and break students into groups. Have students become experts on their assigned articles. Did they read about a decades-long drug trafficking conspiracy or some other criminal offense? After they’ve read in groups, have them share with the class via a digital platform.
Learn More: NPR
6. Learn About Russia
With so much in the news about Russian authorities and Vladimir Putin, your students may be interested in learning more about the country. This song was posted three years ago so it doesn’t talk about Russia’s military operation, but it provides great background information to open the conversation about why human rights activists like Pavel Chikov are needed today.
Learn More: JEOGRAPHY Songs
7. Miranda Rights
Use this fictional scenario where a teenager exits the shop entrance without paying for her goods, to teach your students what Miranda’s Rights are. How do these rights apply to things like charges of narcotics trafficking or calculating days in jail? The resource below has text to read and accompanying worksheets.
Learn More: US Courts
8. Jury Duty
Jury duty is mandatory if you are an adult citizen in the United States. Students need to know they must enter jury duty with an open mind and maintain a policy of neutrality until all facts are presented. What would it be like to sit through a 12-week trial? Have students poke around this website to start the discussion.
Learn More: Judicial Branch
9. Due Process
Use the American Bar Association’s computing platform to teach students about due process and equal protection of the law. This reading is about not including everyone and what forced inclusion is. After discussing, you’ll walk through how the constitution guarantees everyone has the same rights.
Learn More: American Bar