Inquiry Question: Is It Ever Okay To Break The Law?

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Inquiry Question: Is it ever okay to break the law?
Unit Objectives: The objective of this unit is two-fold. Students will be able to hone in on their skills of becoming affective ‘detectives’ and historians—analyze primary sources, compare and contrast concepts, create questions of their own (about laws), and finally experience a debate. Additionally, this unit aims to introduce the idea of law in America. By the end of the unit, students will be able to define law, have some conceptual understanding of why law is necessary in America, and consider whether or not it is ever okay to break the law. All in all, this is a civics-driven unit to get students thinking about law and the role it plays in the lives of American citizens.
Standards Addressed
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Why or why not?
Lesson Eight: Inquiry Question Exploration/Debate Introduction
Students will consider whether it is ever okay to break the law. I will present laws to them that are disagreeable. Students will make an initial judgment about whether they agree or disagree with the law and must be prepared to answer why. I will incorporate a mini lesson about accountable talk in preparation for the final assessment. The final assessment will be explained in full, including the topic that the class will be debating.
Questions: Is it ever okay to break the law? What accountable talk strategies can I use to express my opinion?
Lesson Nine: Debate Preparation
Students will then be broken up into debate teams and assigned roles within the team. They will be introduced to the final assessment and be given time to research the debate topic—it is never okay to break the law. There will be a pro side and a con side. Students will have the day to collect information that they will use to fuel their argument. The following day will be for students to use the information they gathered and apply this to a debate
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Discuss with team why you disagree with Point A, Point B, and Point C that the affirmative team made (2 minutes to conference)
b. One person will present (2 minutes to present AFTER conferencing)
* Make sure to discuss all of the points the affirmative team made
NEGATIVE
1. What is our team’s main argument?
a. One person will present the introduction (2 minutes)
b. “I believe that it is okay/it is never okay to break the law because…”
i. Point A ii. Point B iii. Point C
1. These are the main points of your argument. ONLY state your points
2. Specifics of Point A, Point B, Point C
a. One person will present EACH point (three presenters total) (2 minutes each)
b. “We know Point A, or (repeat your point) to be true because…”
i. Give two-three specific details
c. “We know Point B, or (repeat your point) to be true because…”
i. Give two-three specific details
d. “We know Point C, or (repeat your point) to be true because…”
i. Give two-three specific details
AFFIRMATIVE
1. Rebuttal Conference
c. Discuss with team why you disagree with Point A, Point B, and Point C that the negative team made (2 minutes to conference)
d. One person will present (2 minutes to present AFTER conferencing)
*Make sure to discuss all of the points the negative team

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