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IMGALTTAG Volume IV: Law and Order


The Journey to Equality: From Freed Slaves to Full Citizenship
Patti Camper
Arsenal Middle School

This curriculum unit is designed for middle school students and is specifically targeted for eighth grade US History students. Students will examine the difficulties faced by freed slaves in their struggle for full citizenship.  They will research the various Jim Crow laws that maintained segregation and denied equal access of services for African American citizens. Students will also identify key figures in the battle of civil rights and their contributions and sacrifices for the movement. Throughout the unit, various civics skills are reinforced as students learn about the long and difficult journey of freed slaves.


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HUAC and the Cold War
Kate Daher
Brashear High School

At the close of World War II, America faced a whole new concept of waging war and another enemy, the Soviet Union. With the defeat of Germany by the allies, and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, perhaps America might have enjoyed a few peaceful years, but that was not to be. Instead, ushering in the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine, America embarked on a new type of warfare – one where shots between the two main opponents are not fired – at each other – but where a build up of weapons and ideological disputes develop for decades to come and impact every aspect of life as we know it. And while many Americans seem to enjoy an end to World War II and a rise in consumerism, others fall victim to a sinister campaign known as the witch hunts. Several members of the United States government begin the campaign to rid the country of its suspected internal opponents – the communists, their sympathizers, and/or their liberal defenders. Many of those caught up in the anti-communist hysteria sweeping the country are Americans who may or may not have been guilty of any crime. After studying the Cold War period and becoming familiar with the main issues and terminology, students will be given the opportunity to look at the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings – the main arm of the anti-communist fighters, and the trials of Alger Hiss, and Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. This unit is written to supplement the study of U.S. History or American Government classes and is meant to enhance students understanding of the Bill or Rights, the role of the U.S. Constitution, and several relevant trials of the Cold War period.


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The First Amendment
Amy B. Davies
Taylor Allderdice High School

This unit is designed to be used with the ninth grade civics curriculum.  The First Amendment attempts to instill in students knowledge of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and specifically, the First Amendment.  To further examine the First Amendment, the unit introduces and examines topics that directly impact or relate to students. Religious liberty will include a look at the Pledge of Allegiance and the controversy that has surrounded it regarding the words “under God.” Issues relevant to freedom of expression will include censorship of student publications, the use of the internet and internet filters. Curfews will be examined as a topic of freedom of assembly.  This unit also devotes time to learning about the Patriot Act and its impact on First Amendment freedoms.  This unit gives students the opportunity to embrace the First Amendment and become responsible citizens who understand the basic freedoms on which our free society is based.


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Dialogue in a Dream Jail
J. Gary Dropcho
Carrick High School

If a jury of 15-year old children were impaneled for a trial of civil disobedients, how would they rule?  Would their moral development, sense of justice and knowledge of civics and rhetoric be developed enough to render a fair verdict?  Or would their emotions or inexperience with legal concepts prevent them from understanding why people would deliberately break a law they believe to be unjust?  Or perhaps their conception of the character of the defendant or of the people representing or prosecuting the trial would determine how they would rule.

This “Dialogue In a Dream Jail” unit fits in the part of the 10th grade Center for Advanced Study (CAS) curriculum called “People Who Value Logic and Critical Thinking” and teaches rhetoric, critical thinking and persuasion through the classical prism of logos, ethos and pathos.  By dramatizing the concepts of justice and laws, reading some of Plato’s dialogues, by discussing a film dramatization of Mahatma Gandhi, by close reading of some nonfiction texts by Martin Luther King and others, by writing a dialog between the personas of two or more of the historical figures studied in the unit, and by preparing and delivering a persuasive speech to a jury of their peers, students will gain rhetorical skill at using logical, ethical or emotional arguments, will recognize fallacies in the arguments of others, and will learn the power of civil disobedience to effect change.


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Foundations for Teaching Young Children Diversity
Marquette Evans
Madison Elementary

This unit will help teachers guide students through the process of learning to live with diversity.  This process requires a special setting conductive to the children’s learning about diversity.  In order for this to take place the classroom will have to be transformed.

This unit will help teachers learn the guidelines for creating a multicultural classroom environment.  The unit will provide teachers with resources, ideas, lessons, and materials for teaching a classroom about diversity and having a vision of an ideal classroom for teaching about diversity.

The students will learn through reading, research, writing, assignments, and classroom discussions.  Multicultural literature will be the main focus in reaching each objective.  I chose multicultural literature as the main focus of this unit because literature is one of those common denominators found across cultures.


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Injecting Some Law and Order into the French Classroom: A Curriculum Unit to Explore French Contributions to an Organized and Harmonized Legal System
By David C. Ghogomu
Taylor Allderdice High School

Law and order is an interesting topic in the American home and other institutions, and captivated audiences are always anxious to know the proceedings and the outcome of issues or incidents dealing with law and order.  While the formulation, legislation and execution of the law may not be as interesting an aspect to watch and witness as the enforcement and adjudication, it is certainly this stage or process that can be compared to the hen that laid the golden egg.  Napoleon Bonaparte had a grand ambition, and he wanted to be remembered for other things than Waterloo.

At Taylor Allderdice High School, there are various levels of French classes in which the Code Napoleon can be used for instruction in several ways:  enrichment in history and cultural aspect, biographical and literary readings, and even for the preparation of standardized tests.  Similar to other courses, French is a three-tier tracked course, a program in which every type of student can find a niche. For those who are very interested in this language, they can pursue a very interesting goal up to French six.  Admittedly, mostly the gifted students and some of those in the scholars program get to this level.  No matter whether students get to the highest level or simply complete the two years required for graduation, they can benefit from this Napoleonic Code unit, which can be adapted for various levels and tracks.

Designed for a two-week period, the curriculum unit is intended to emphasize the importance of the codification of the French legal system and its impact world-wide.  Not necessarily an in-depth study on accidents of history and their effect, the unit directs teachers and students through activities intended to enhance students’ knowledge in history, culture and vocabulary.  Regarding language standards, the first lessons emphasize vocabulary acquisition.  Though this is mostly relevant to the law and order, it certainly applies to, and impacts on, daily communication skills across academic content areas.  But the student, as well as the teachers, has much to learn about the French legal, social and political institutions, depending on how much time can be used on teaching the unit.  The impact of the Napoleonic Code on the world and especially Louisiana and Kentucky concludes the plans in this unit.  Teacher goals and student objectives precede each lesson, but these can be amended depending on the availability of time and material.


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Justice or Murder? Debating the Death Penalty in the United States
Sonia Henze
Taylor Allderdice High School

This unit is an inquiry into state and federal guidelines regarding capital punishment for teachers of High School students. Instructors of Civics, Government, American History or other Social Science courses may use all or part of this unit to engage students in a debate about capital punishment in a representative democracy.

Capital punishment, the taking of a convicted felon’s life, has been a part of American judicial history since the founding of the United States of America as an independent republic. With the establishment of a new country in the late 18th century came a revived debate over the role of government, rights of individuals and punishment for criminals. Arguments for and against capital punishment have continued throughout the decades. Most notably, what constitutes acceptable penalties for egregious crimes? The question “should the punishment fit the crime” has been a dilemma for many democratic governments since their inception. The challenge for American High School students is to justify or refute the current capital punishment system within the framework of the United States Constitution.


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O.R.D.E.R.
Our Rules Determine Every Reason
Stephanie Johnson
Helen S. Faison Arts Academy

This unit is about the use of character education in the prevention of behavior problems. It will deal with 10 character features such as kindness, respect, citizenship and sportsmanship. The character features are related to three specific environments home, school and community. The unit is written for a kindergarten classroom but may be adapted to any primary classroom. It involves field trips and creative activities. A portfolio can be developed through the illustrations and writing lessons. You will find this unit to be an excellent approach to inter-disciplinary education and can use it in reading, social studies and the related arts.


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Civil Liberties and You: A Survey of Relevant Supreme Court Decisions with a Special Look at Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)
Eric J. Mason
Peabody High School

Civil Liberties and You:  A Survey of Relevant Supreme Court Decisions With a Special Look at Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) is designed for a ninth-grade mainstream Civics classroom. This unit will take approximately five days to complete and will expose students to the lasting effects of historic and relevant Supreme Court decisions as well as review terms and concepts covered in their Civics textbook. Civil Liberties and You is first a review of judicial terms and select Supreme Court decisions that have affected our civil liberties. Second, this unit is designed to increase student interest by incorporating hands-on activities for individual students, groups, and the community. Third, Civil Liberties and You closely examines the Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) Supreme Court decision. Students will get a general review of historic Supreme Court decisions, as well as a chance to dissect a very important and relevant decision on free-speech.


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Juvenile Justice – Where is It?
Melvina Reid
McNaugher School

This curriculum unit is designed to address the needs of students who are unfamiliar with the juvenile justice system.  Many average students have never had an encounter with law enforcement so they render the risk of not knowing what to expect if unfortunately a situation presents itself to them.  This unit will encourage students to obey the laws determining adulthood. They will learn the “Miranda Rights”, puberty facts, the Fifth Amendment, and what determines court decisions.  This unit provides students with firearm fact statistics and the history of the Pennsylvania Courts.  All students have a responsibility to make better decisions when faced with peer pressure to disobey the law. This unit should enlighten them to some of their rights as young people going through a very crucial stage of development in their lives. If taught daily, this curriculum unit can last from two weeks to three weeks.


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C.S.I. Geometry Style
J. Jay Slosky
Taylor Allderdice High School

One of the keys to engaging students in the study of mathematics is to show them real-life applications of mathematical principles and concepts that they study in class.  While it is sometimes difficult to find many students who truly love math, there are many who love the current television shows that deal with law and forensics.  Some of these are Law and Order, CSI, and the new CBS drama “Numb3rs.”  This show lets people see how mathematics can be used to model complex problems that we don’t know the answer to.  The program explores the real power of math beyond the usual textbook problems that we all know.  C.S.I. Geometry Style is designed to supplement the geometry curriculum.

A main focus of the geometry course is logic and proof.  This unit shows the parallel thinking involved in solving math problems and solving crimes.  In geometry, students must take given information, apply known definitions and theorems and logically arrive at a desired conclusion.  This type of thinking is also used in the field of criminology.  The area of forensic science involves using mathematical concepts to solve problems and analyze data.  In C.S.I. Geometry Style, students will have the opportunity to see the mathematical concepts at work in a career field that they find fascinating.

Many ninth grade geometry students also take biology as their science course. C.S.I. Geometry Style could be used as a cross-curricular unit with the biology teacher. The activities included in this unit might be enhanced if they are completed in an actual biology science lab.


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Clarence Darrow, a Real Character
By Renee C. Tolliver
David B. Oliver High School

The audience sits on the edges of their seats waiting to hear the next powerful words from a large, flamboyant, rather sloppy-looking character that struts across the hardwood floor as his sincere, unflinching eyes pierce the men and women sitting in front of him. In what theater does this take place? Who is this “flamboyant character?”  The theater is the courtroom, and the character is Clarence Darrow. The colorful, captivating manner of this advocate for the underdog makes him an interesting study in how life imitates fiction. For this reason, students in my ninth grade gifted English class will examine the characteristics that make Darrow such a phenomenal piece of work. He was an extraordinary reader, writer, speaker and listener, all the areas that English teachers hope to develop in their students. A variety of topics to research will be divided among the students. These topics will include Darrow’s life, the times, important legal cases, his writings and his speeches. Students will present their research information using PowerPoint. Students will then choose an issue introduced during the presentations about which to write a persuasive essay and then present a persuasive speech that mimics Darrow’s style.


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It’s My Business and You’re My Company
David Walchesky
Carrick High School

My subject area is Visual Communications. Visual Communications can be very easily adapted to the study of new topics and themes. An example of this would be to develop a curriculum unit that would develop the idea of law into a non-traditional class setting that normally would not use this topic as an educational opportunity. Cultivating the students’ creative thinking often requires a fresh new idea that will encourage divergent thought, which will also promote a positive classroom atmosphere. The effective use of research and information skills including locating sources of information with traditional and emerging technologies will be used to explore how the law applies to shop class (technology education) and the work force after high school. I would hope to see a great deal of interest because each student will be touched by the laws that will apply to them in the work force which they are about to enter. Although non-scientific, I will be open to the students’ conducting interviews of the local residents to receive a nontraditional source of information. With the gathered information I will have the students pick a printing or copying procedure they learned in the class and form a production company with interview and hiring procedures, employee rights and obligations all the way down to dismissing an employee. My plans are to institute this lesson with my advanced students (11th and 12th grade) with the possibility of leaving it open to my first year visual communications  students because of their classroom printing experience.

Visual communications, as a part of a total program of education, concerns itself with research and practical experiences with the tools, materials, processes, and products of a technological society. Technology education also interprets the socio-economic problems and culture of our industrial world.

The opportunities that Law and Order will present will be to develop and prepare an exciting lesson for the students. However, it will also give my colleagues along with other staff members an idea of how to better their classrooms and give their students a more positive attitude. Moreover, this provides and opportunity for the students to learn something new, and by doing this, they will learn about things that they can relate to, and grow to appreciate.


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BULLYING
Diane C Williams
Grandview Elementary School

This document is to provide information that will help educators to understand more about bullying in schools and how it can be stopped. This unit is comprised of different strategies. I have discovered in the last few years that bullying and harassment have become a major problem in the classroom, on school grounds and school buses. We as educators have been tip toeing through the problem. Many teachers today spend at least 40% of their instructional time on discipline.

Teaching social skills can be incorporated into many lessons plans, such as a reading, writing, music lessons or peer tutoring sessions. Children have been sent to school with little or no self control. Some do not understand what acceptable behavior is, nor have they been made to care. Social skills need to be brought out into the open and children should be made accountable for their actions. This way students will feel more at ease in the classrooms and we can get back to educating our children.

We cannot coerce children into changing their minds but let’s change their attitudes. Life is a conversation. Interestingly, the most influential person we talk with all day is our self and the children we educate. What we tell ourselves and others has a direct bearing on our behavior, our performance and our influence on others.


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Forensic Science in High School Chemistry
Raymond Zanetti
Schenley High

This unit was prepared for tenth grade high school students to enable them to become better observers while working in a chemistry laboratory. It could be easily adapted and used by high school chemistry teachers and biology teachers as an introduction to scientific method. It consists of several lab exercises where students pay close attention to the details of a crime scene, and then formulate a theory concerning the person most likely to have committed the crime. The exercises serve as a means of introducing students to the skill of being a good observer of details presented by using the evidence collected at a crime scene. From their observations they will then formulate a theory that is based upon this evidence, and come up with a best fit description of who perpetrated the crime.

The process of learning is enhanced when a student observes, compares, and then critically evaluates their findings, based upon the evidence collected at the crime scene. This hands-on approach to learning will aid students throughout the course of the year to be a better observer of what happens during other experiments.


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Chatham University
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IMGALTTAG Pittsburgh Teachers Institute
Jointly sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University and the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
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