Fermilab LInC Online
Were The Three Bears Robbed?
An Issue of Teen Rights
Subject: Social Studies - United States Constitution
Level : Grades 7th & 8th
Abstract:The Constitution is too powerful a document to be studied without our students realizing the tremendous impact it has on their lives as citizens. Help them become active participants by researching the Constitutional Amendments through familiar fairy tale characters. The purpose being to gain a greater appreciaton of the Constitution and the rights it reserves for them and others.
Students from ages 11-14 or even older. Very opinionated about what they
know. Show Me Generation. Visually motivated. Short attention span. Easily
distracted and has very little love for Social Studies. Yet they are teachable
and opened to a different approach to learning.
Rationale: The students at Robert A. Black Magnet & Newberry Academy share many similarities including a lack of motivation to learn the constitution. Students need relevancy in what they study. How do we make learning about this important document something the students want to learn? How do we get them to meet mandated requirements and still learn? Make the Constitution relevant to their lives! Research issues of rights involving themselves as well as others and see if the Constitution supports their findings. They don't have to be lawyers to do this, but when they are completed with this interactive project who knows what career interests will be tapped? Since most students love the computers and the internet, these will serve as valuable motivators and tools for peaking interest in a topic that can otherwise just be routine.
The Social Studies' Classes will review the constitution by addressing the Bill of Rights and subsequently research web sites and other available sources for material. This excercise is designed to meet the requirements for the State of Illinois in a setting relevant to students.
Illinois State Goals for Learning Standards: To be successful in school and in the world of work, students must be able to use a wide variety of information resources (written, visual and electronic). They must also know how to frame questions for inquiry, identify and organize relevant information and communicate it effectively in a variety of formats. These skills are critical in school across all learning areas and are key to successful career and lifelong learning experiences. Specific Goals Addressed
Civics: State Goal - 3,4,24,25,26,27,28,& 29
Language Arts: State Goal5 - 5a, b, & c
|To demonstrate competence in the general skills and strategies of the writing process.|
|To effectively gather and use information for research purposes.|
|To demonstrate competence in the general skills and strategies of the reading process.|
|To understand the sources, purposes and functions of the law and the importance of the rule of law for the protection of individual rights and the common good.|
|To encourage student to become information seeker,navigator and evaluator.|
|To create learning where student is the critical thinker,analyzer and selector of information and technologies.( Six Essential Learnings in a Technological Society).|
present materials that will have the student as creator of knowledge using
resources and technology.(Six Essential Learnings in a Technological Society)
Structure of the Learning: After a preliminary introduction of citizen rights, the teacher will initiate the discussion by asking students to respond to an issue that really concerns teenagers -clothes. As a motivating question, students discuss "Students Rights To Wear or Not Wear Uniforms in Schools." From this initial exercise, students will be divided into groups of fives based upon their decision of who they work best with. Students should establish roles each team member will assume (i.e.,coach,recorder,etc.). They will work collaboratively to research and debate several topics.Their research will extend from researching the actual Constitutional Document and other literatures to locating persons who can assist in answering questions via the internet as well as utilizing software related programs.
Process: The topics
that are assigned to the students reflect Constitutional rights. Students
will research the Constitution to find out which right or rights is being
violated or ignored. The following are given to to keep students focused
on their topics:
Can your rights infringe upon the rights of others?
What role does government play in assuring that a citizen's rights are not violated?
Does being aware of one's rights ensure they won't be violated?
Students will also be given opportunities
to research current newspapers to find events or persons relating to their
topics. The teacher will give each group a task sheet that will help them
to keep a record of their progress. This task sheet will be used later as
an assessment tool for the teacher.
Product: The end-product should not only be something concrete as in a multimedia project, but also a sense of accomplishment and a greater appreciation for the Constitution.
Students will create their own case scenarios for various fairy tale characters using the Constitution to support their findings.
Students will create a multimedia presentation using Hyperstudio which can link to the internet.
Students will create their own bill (based upon a concern) and make it into a law.
will be assessed on cooperation.
Students will be given both individual and group self-evaluation.
Teacher Assessement during the whole process.
Social Studies Component
The issues of rights are always coming up whether you are an adult or a teenager. An example of student's concern for their rights may be the school dress code. To initiate the discussion, students will be asked to divide into groups of five for the following example: A Fairy Tale- Explore the Rights of The Three Bears vs Godilocks. All students will be asked to respond to one side or the other of this issue. The homework assignment will require each student to list the Bill of Rights and which rights their "clients" should have been afforded.
After the initial exercise, students should establish roles each team member will assume (i.e.,coach, recorder,etc.) within their groups. They will work collaboratively to research and debate several topics. The research will extend from reveiwing the actual Constitutional Document and other literatures to locating persons who can assist in answering questions via the internet and software related programs. They must present both pro and con opinions. Students will be directed to the Internet to research the areas of the Amendments that may support their conclusions. (The purpose of having both a pro and con is to keep students focused on moral issues as well as legal ones.)
The topics that are assigned to the
students reflect, Constitutional rights. Students will research the Constitution
to find out which right(s) are being violated or ignored. Students will
also be given opportunities to research the current news (newspaper articles,
magazines, periodicals) to find events or persons relating to their topics.
The teacher will give each group a task sheet that will help them to keep
a record of their progress. This task sheet will be used later as an assessment
tool for the teacher. The end product should not only be something concrete
as in a multimedia project, but alsos students should have developed a sense
of accomplishment and a greater appreciation for the Constitution.
Project /Unit Evaluation:
|Teacher Assessement during the entire process.|
|Students will be given both individual and group self-evaluation|
will be assessed on cooperation.|
Time is always a factor that can hinder portions of the project. Hopefully, the chosen internet sites will be available for students when they try to use them. Allowing students to choose their teammates may pose a problem but we are hoping that this too becomes a part of the project.
Tech Component: During the first quarter, students meet for computer resource in a lab once a week for a forty minute session. During this resource period, the 7th & 8th grades students will complete acitivities which require them to explore the internet through search engines, url addresses, and email. Each activity will require two class sessions for completion. Also, students will be asked to maintain a folder, with a table of content, which they must log all their search results, worksheets, notes, printouts from 3rd party software, and etal. .......
Students will subsequently complete individual reports on their findings using a predesigned format (all reports are to be typed using a word processing program) and/or multimedia powerpoint presentation. The report will be included in the student's "rights' folder as a final project. .......
Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office, Friends of Fermilab, United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, and North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL). Team Members: Mable Newman, Annette Campbell, Rita Wiliams-Jones School:Robert A. Black Magnet & Newberry Academy
Created: October 18, 1997 - Updated: December 8, 1997
Special Thanks to The
Fermi Team and Barry Clips Without