Lesson Plan #7
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School Violence: Is It in Your
Examining Recent Trends in School Violence
Grades 7 to 12
Language Arts, Journalism, Social Studies
OVERVIEW OF LESSON PLAN
In the wake of school shootings in schools in the United States
and Canada students are encouraged to share, through discussion
and writing, their feelings about violence in schools, as well
as about ways in which such incidents and tragedies could be
MATERIALS AND PREPARATION
1. WARM-UP/DO-NOW: In the first five minutes
of class, students free-write about the topic of violence in
schools. Students should be encouraged to write about whatever
aspect of violence in schools they wish. Students should then
share their responses in class.
2. Search the Internet for websites on school violence and
bullying, the Littleton Massacre, Taber, Alberta, http://www.bullying.org etc. Ask Class to
discuss articles they have found regarding this issue focussing
on the following questions:
- What details are known about the events leading up to the
Littleton Massacre and the shooting in Taber, Alberta, during
and after the school shooting?
- What is known about the shooter or shooters? Their personalities,
- What investigative, community steps are being taken to better
understand this type of violent act?
- How, in your opinion, might this violent act have been prevented?
What can we, as students, teachers, community members, do now
to help prevent such acts in the future?
3. In round-table discussion format, have students review
the article written by SNN Reporter and allow students to discuss
their reactions to school violence as well as the possible causes
and repercussions of such actions. It may be helpful to include
your school's guidance counselor in this discussion. Though the
discussion will most likely be easily driven by student comments,
some guiding questions are offered below.
- How do you feel about school shootings and school violence
- How do recent school shootings compare to the incident at
Columbine High School?
- Why does such violence occur?
- What warning signs might youngsters exhibit that may hint
at violent tendencies or thoughts?
- Could such violence happen in your school?
- How can violence in schools be prevented?
4. WRAP-UP/ HOMEWORK: Assign students a
feature or opinion writing exercise in which they simply reflect
on the class discussion and news coverage of school violence
in Canada and the United States. Allow students the opportunity
to voice whatever they wish about violence in schools, its causes
and its effects.
Their article should answer the 5 W's: Who, What, When, Where,
Why (and sometimes How). Tell them about the inverted pyramid.
This means that articles should be written with the most important
information first and the least important last. Use the SNN Writing Guide to show students
how to write an article.
5. Once assignments are completed, students can publish their
articles in their own school newspaper or submit them to an online youth
ezine for publication.
Students will be evaluated based on participation in class discussions
and written assignment.
- Create a guide for other students, parents, and members of
the community about gun violence, other forms of violence, and
warning signs of troubled youngsters.
- Examine both sides of the gun control debate. How do school
shootings affect your opinions, and why? Organize a debate in
your class or write an opinion article for publication online
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