Mad Man
April 2, 2003, 04:09 PM
I came across this 7th grade lesson plan while searching for something else. I have no idea how old it is. Does anybody have any idea who these "TeachNet" people are, and how much influence they actually have in the public schools?

I noticed two obvious errors: Farenheit shoudl be Farenheit 451, and she misspelled "Lautenberg." There's probably more.

And is it just me, or does this "lesson" seem pretty one-sided? Among other things, the kids are assessed on an advertisment poster for handgun control that they make. Also note sources of the teacher generated research at the end.


Handgun Control
Kathleen Rodger
Otis Elementary-Chicago
7th Grade Social Studies Lesson



· Center background of debate on recent issues of violence in schools.

· Distribute, read aloud and discuss the article by the Handgun Control Institute Loopholes, The Seven Deadly Loopholes That Give Children Easy Access to Firearms

· Students will choose a side for the debate: Handgun Control Advocate vs. National Rifle Association (NRA).


Chicago Academic Standards and Frameworks:

Social Science:

State Goal 14: Understand, analyze and compare political systems with an emphasis on the United States.

CAS B: Identify, compare and contrast the role, structure, and function of the United States Government with other political systems and governments including those of Illinois.

CAS D: Identify and analyze ways in which actions by various individuals and groups have influenced the policies of local, state, federal, and global political institutions.

State Goal 16: Understand and analyze events, trends, individuals, and movements shaping the history of Illinois, the United States, and other nations.

CAS A: Identify patterns of historical succession, and duration and apply them to explain historical continuity and change.

CAS B: Identify and use the tools and processes of social science inquiry to reconstruct and understand past and present events.

Language Arts:

State Goal 5: Use the language arts for inquiry and research to acquire, organize, analyze, evaluate, and communicate information.

CAS A: Conduct research, individually and cooperatively, analyzing and applying the acquired information to produce presentations.


Teacher Preparation and Learning Events

Seventh grade curriculum in Chicago Public Schools includes the study of the Colonization of the Americas, The American Revolution and the study of the U. S. Constitution. The debate was designed and scheduled to take place after students had developed sufficient background knowledge of the Revolution, Declaration of Independence, Constitution and the Structure of Democratic Government.

A cursory study of different types of government was also included: Monarchy, Communism, Socialism, Theocracy and Oligarchy.

Simultaneously, literature selections for reading class supported the Social Studies curriculum. All students read The Giver by Lois Lowry, Fahrenheit by Ray Bradbury and Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut to provide a view of societies denied the privileges of the Bill of Rights. Johnny Tremain by Ester Forbes was also read as historical fiction to provide as realistic as possible interaction with Colonial American life as well as the origins of the 2nd Amendment


Engaging the Learner:

1. Engage Students in discussion based on violence in schools in recent years. (Columbine, Florida) Ask students, “How many of you have had a friend, family member or known someone who has died by gunshots?” “How do you feel about that?”

2. Distribute and read aloud Loopholes, The Seven Deadly Loopholes That Give Children Easy Access to Firearms

3. Tell students they will enter into a debate representing both perspectives on the issue of handgun violence in schools by children and society in general. Students will to chose which position they will work on and support Handgun Control Advocates or National Rifle Association.

4. Prior to choosing the position they will support, student read an issue in Time for Kids, Guns in America. On the overhead I wrote the main topic of the article Do we need more gun laws or better enforcement of the laws we have? Students analyzed the article, in compare/contrast chart form, for information from Handgun Control Advocates and NRA supporters supplied in the article. As a class we confirmed and listed all the information on the overhead.

5. Students first assignment was to summarize article and offer their opinion, and answer the question posted by the article, more laws or better enforcement?

6. Students then choose side of the issue and are assigned to groups of four. Responsibilities are assigned for group jobs:

· Representative, speaker for debate

· Notetaker, keeper of information

· Researchers

7. Groups are assigned a specific loophole. Based on research gathered and provided, students will either plug the loophole or defend the loophole. Groups will write a statement, no longer than one and a half minutes, presenting their view for the debate. Groups will also develop rebuttal questions, anticipating opposing view for debate. Groups will choose one representative to speak at the debate and one for jury duty and arbitration. As a class, students will elect Speaker of the House / Noise Police.

8. Debate Process:

· Loopholes debated in numerical order.

· Students representing the NRA speak first for one and half minutes.

· Students representing Handgun Control Advocates may ask questions of NRA.

· Handgun Control Advocates then present their ideas for one and half minutes.

· NRA supporters may ask questions.

· Jury then may ask questions of either group.

· Jury votes to close loophole or maintain loophole.

9. Jury summarizes results, closes or maintains the loophole.



· Letters to Congressmen: Senators and Representatives

· Summary and Opinion: The Seven Deadly Loopholes That Give Children Easy Access to Firearms and question of more laws or better enforcement.

· Advertisement Poster for Handgun control

· Reflection of Debate

· Informative Letter to Congressmen (re: study and debate)

Internet Research: Information supporting both views of the debate

*Can be student generated as well as teacher.

*Depends upon availability of computer lab and accessibility of internet at home and local library.


Teacher Generated Research:

1. www.hanguncontrol.org/legislation.htm provided information on pending legislation before Congress.

2. www.hanguncontrol.org/press/hr2037.html provided legislative update H.R. 2037’s “Lantenberg Lite” Weakening the Senate’s Gun Show Bill and Hyde’McCollum: Loopholes A Plenty H.R. 2037: Complicate-Confound, Confuse, the 3C’s for Destroying Meaningful Gun Violence Prevention Legislation

3. Illinois State Firearms Laws

4. http://nraila.org/research/Fables.html Fables, Myths, and other Tall Tales The false Promise of Gun Control

5. http://www.handguncontrol.org/loophole.htm

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Mad Man
April 2, 2003, 04:24 PM
I have no idea how old it is.

It's from 1999-2000, 2nd Semester (http://www.teachnet-lab.org/chicago/projects.html).

duck hunt
April 2, 2003, 10:28 PM
Teachers are the...what's the opposite of cream? The skim milk of the crop? Have you seen the studies that show education majors consistently score in the lowest percentiles on the GRE? They're not kidding. Just the grammar in that lesson plan made my head hurt. You'll only waste your time and effort if you try and smarten up a teacher.

Note: I'm a teacher so I can say this (and I've done first-hand research in the teachers' lounge, God help me). Naturally, present company, including myself, would be excluded from my sweeping generalization!:cool:

Don Gwinn
April 2, 2003, 10:43 PM
Another proud moment for my profession. Thank you so much for showing me this.

April 3, 2003, 11:17 AM
We know that if you were THAT kind of guy you wouldn't be here, much less moderating.

April 5, 2003, 03:11 AM
Bull S**t.

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