October 27, 2015
By Susan Russell

Lesson plan

Law of the Land

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Students will discuss and explore the important role of laws and rules in communities.

(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that today they will be talking about laws and rules in a community.
  • Ask students to define what a LawIs.
  • Brainstorm with your class to develop a definition of the term.
  • Make sure that your students know that a law is a rule that tells people how to act in their community, and laws help keep people safe and receive fair treatment in their community.
  • Write the definition the class develops on chart paper.
(15 minutes)
  • Tell your students that many different types of communities need laws and rules.
  • Ask students to name some of the different communities they are members of. For example, they might be part of a school community, a town or a city, or a family.
  • Make a T chart on the board, and on the left side, list the reasons we have laws and rules in our communities.
  • On the right side of the T chart, list the problems communities would have without laws or rules.
  • When your chart is complete, ask for student volunteers to tell if they prefer to live in a community with laws and rules or one that has no laws. Ask them to explain the reasons for their choice.
(10 minutes)
  • Hand out the 3-circle Venn diagram to your students.
  • Ask them to label each circle with the following titles: School community, Home Community,And Town.
  • Encourage students to use colored markers or pencils when writing the title in the circle.
  • Next, discuss as a whole group how laws and rules can be the same or different in different communities based on the needs of the community.
  • Talk about the types of laws and rules that are needed in a school community, home community, and a city or town.
(15 minutes)
  • Instruct your students to list 3 rules appropriate for each of the communities they have titled in their 3-circle chart.
  • Collect these papers when completed.
  • Enrichment:Challenge advanced students to list 5 important rules on their 3-circle Venn diagram. Have them come up with rules that overlap, and instruct them to write these in the overlapping sections of the circles.
  • Support:Have your students write down rules that they have at school and at home. Encourage them to determine which rules overlap, and ask what the consequences would be if they didn't follow these rules.
(10 minutes)
  • Review independent work completed by students.
  • Check for understanding of the concepts reviewed in class.
  • Provide written feedback on all papers.
(10 minutes)
  • Return the 3-circle Venn diagrams to your students.
  • Allow time for students to read feedback, and then ask for student volunteers to share their rules with the class.
  • Ask the rest of the class to confirm whether or not the rules are appropriate for the particular community.

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