Criminal Justice Teacher Resources

Find Criminal Justice educational ideas and activities

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How to avoid the most common teacher mistakes in project-based learning.
"You have the right to remain silent. . ." But should a suspect exercise that right? Should laws establish and defend the rights of an individual or reflect the will of "the people?" After reading and annotating a series of primary source documents related to court cases that have altered a suspect's Miranda rights to silence and counsel, class members tackle the question of whether these policies are "the best policy for our nation." The readings will challenge even the best readers, but the exercise addresses an important question and would make for great debate in US history and government classes.
The skill set required of readers of informational text includes the ability to identify an article’s thesis or main idea, as well as the supporting points. Learners can practice these skills by analyzing an essay about the treatment of registered sex offenders in Florida. The essay, written for a fictional public news journal, is divided into numbered paragraphs for ease of editing. Preview the essay and consider whether the topic is appropriate for your class.
After identifying the most significant events in the To Kill A Mockingbird, readers create a plot map the reveals how Harper Lee orders events to create dramatic tension in her novel. To conclude the lesson, individuals either outline a sequel to the novel or rewrite the ending of novel as if Tom Robinson was acquitted.
Students consider the moral and legal issues involved in distinguishing a verdict of murder from one of manslaughter (criminally negligent homicide) and write an essay describing the issues involved in the case that was researched.
Students explore the reasons for postponing the execution of Timothy McVeigh, assess key legal definitions in relation to the case, and formulate personal responses.
Students explore the court cases and legal organizations that were instrumental in creating a system of juvenile justice in the United States, then present their findings in a composite timeline.
Students reflect on the role of prisons and discuss how they believe sentencing should be handed down. After reading an article, they discover the experiences Martha Stewart went through while in prison. In groups, they share their opinions of her and write an essay responding to an idea in the article.
What exactly is the third branch of government? Your class will examine the Supreme Court and its role as the third branch. They will explore a wide variety of sources to learn about the evolution of the Supreme Court and its cases.
Students consider the demands of the judicial process and work in small groups to write editorials in response to the one that is read in class. For homework, they grade a television judge and write reflective essays.
This lesson explores the multiple causes of racial segregation and environmental racism, and helps students understand the perpetuation of institutional racism in the post-Civil Rights era. Students will perform a mock tribunal in which they will research
Awesome, that is all I have to say! This set of lessons provides learners with an understanding of ancient Egyptian laws, lifestyle, religion, and culture. It engages them in a critical analysis activity regarding the film, "The Prince of Egypt." They analyze stereotypes in the film as well as how modern Egyptians felt about it. Multiple web resources are linked to each of the eight included lessons.
Students investigate how different democracies treat juvenile offenders as well as compare/contrast the juvenile and adult justice systems in their own democracy. In addition, individually and as a group, they determine whether juvenile offenders should be prosecuted and punished as adults. They support their choices with evidence and sound reasoning.
Students examine the major decisions by the Supreme Court when Warren was the Chief Justice. In groups, they research the life and other works of Earl Warren and discuss how ones background can influence decisions. They also examine the two cases of Brown v. Board of Education and those cases affecting criminal procedures.
Examine the results of recent opinion polls on where people stand on the issue of the death penalty. In groups, middle schoolers examine various cases dealing with this issue and discuss the judgments. They write their own argument for or against the death penalty and participate in a debate to end the lesson.
Students discuss reasons for the increase in violent crime across the country. They examine the factors to which increases in violent crime can be attributed. Students brainstorm consequences of the forces that have led to the decrease in the rates of violent crime. Students explore the forces that have led to the reduction of violent crime. They will create a poster based upon their research.
Students are introduced to the characteristics of rape. As a class, they identify statements as either facts or myths about rape. In groups, they complete a survey to identify their own perceptions about rape and compare them with other classmates. They develop their own responses if they are threatened by a rapist and determine the emotional needs of a victim to end the lesson.
Learners trace the historical background of the sixth Amendment to the Constitution. They identify the legal issues and legal arguments in the cases studied, and evaluate the court's decisions.
Eighth graders examine the use of video surveillance in the corporate world and other life situations. In groups, they determine how many times and in what situations they believe they are being watched. They use the Constitution to identify any part of it that might protect them. To end the lesson plan, they determine the differences between security and privacy.
Share their opinions on the use of DNA databases in criminal investigations. After reading an article, they evaluate the pros and cons of the databases and work in groups to answer discussion questions. They write a letter to a state representative stating their opinions on how the databases should be regulated in their state.

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