Gun Control and Gun Rights
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Resources to Design your own Lesson Plan
First, students need to understand the issue better including viewpoints from across the political spectrum. Here are a variety of resources to include.
Issue pages on AllSides:
The Guns Issues page and the Violence in America Issues page will give your students a good understanding of the background. AllSides Issue pages provide background information, current news and opinions, think tanks and more.
Guns in Schools:
The AllSides Balanced Dictionary reveals how different people from across the political spectrum think and feel about the same term or issue.
AllSides Balanced Search:
The AllSides Balanced Search Engine quickly and easily shows multiple perspectives. Google and other search engines often only give you the most popular perspective, burying or leaving out alternative viewpoints.
As your students discover such diversity in perspective, you may want to look at the AllSides Media Bias section. Try having your students rate their own bias and rate the media bias of news sources and Think Tanks.
Next, you want the students to participate in a healthy, collaborative dialog.
Participate in an Online Video Dialog:
- Mismatch.org: Connect with students across the country with different backgrounds and political perspectives for a respectful video conversation.
Engage in conversations in person:
Living Room Conversations
Participate in an Online Text Dialog:
- Share your opinions on these questions or request a new agree/disagree question be posted. Students are encouraged to backup their opinions with research.
- The U.S. should have stricter gun control
- Have a specific question for students to discuss online? Email us to start a new Classroom Dialog.
AllSides Lesson Plan
This can be done as a single class or over several class periods. Extending the lesson will allow for more in depth understanding.
Students will discuss gun control while working in small groups (if a large class) or as an entire class.
Civil conversation and conflict resolution:
Students will learn how to listen, understand and respect one another’s views, especially when there are differences of opinion and background.
Research and analysis:
Students will have a deeper understanding of the different perspectives on gun control, including their own, their classmates, and the country at large, through researching the topic across biases and discussing.
See how this program complies with Common Core standards.
Homework prior to class
- Students will read the Second Amendment and spend 10-20 min looking at the most recent news about Gun Control from different perspectives.
- Read the NRA’s and NEA’s positions on guns in schools (included in References above).
- Optional – Students will ask their parent(s)/caregiver(s) for their perspectives on gun control and take notes to share in class during discussion.
Optional based on class size:
Teacher divides students into small groups, preferably a mix of biases. (Have students complete a simple bias quiz for homework 2 days prior so the Teacher has a chance to evaluate if similar has never been conducted previously.)
Each student should state their views around the group or if done as a whole class the teacher can poll the class on general views.
Teacher reads the Second Amendment out loud then urges students to discuss:
- How do you interpret this amendment?
- What do you think the Founding Fathers were thinking when they wrote this?
- As the United States is different now than it was in the late 1700s, do you think it is still necessary?
- Why is the right to own guns so important to Americans, in particular?
Deeper Meaning questions:
- Where did you learn about guns? And what did you learn?
- What role have guns played in your life?
- What are your concerns about gun safety?
- Are gun issues on your top 10 list of concerns? Why or why not?
After discussing Gun Control in general, pivot to guns in schools with the following questions:
- What can schools do to keep students safe? What should they do?
- Do armed guards in schools make them safer against gun-related attacks or encourage more violence?
Final Questions to pose to students, either as homework or just as a wrap up:
- What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?