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On the Edge and Under the Gun
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Examining Gun Control, the Right to Bear Arms, and Gun Related Violence in America at the Start of a New Millennium.

This lesson will expose students to the issues of gun control, the right to bear arms, and the overwhelming seriousness of gun related violence. After exploring the complexities of this problem, students will then examine what can, and has been done to redress the situation using the Million Mom March as a reference point. Students will be required to synthesize web information on the topic in the form of a research paper.

Grade Level: 6-8

Time Allotment: Approximately 12-15 class periods over a three week period

Subject Matter: Social Studies, Language Arts, Civics, American History

Learning Objectives



Students will be able to:

  •  Identify the various issues and compare viewpoints surrounding the gun debate, gun laws, and its history.

  •  Describe the purposes of the Million Mom March and assess the value that activism brings to our society.

  •  Understand that the notion of leadership takes various shapes and forms, and that anyone and everyone has the potential to be a leader.

  •  Write research paper about gun control and gun related violence.

    Standards:

    National Educational Technology Standards for Students
    (from the ISTE --International Society for Technology in Education)

    Technology productivity tools --
      Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity and promote creativity.
    Technology research tools --
      Students use technology to locate, evaluate and collect information from a variety of sources.
    National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Standards

    Students use spoken, written and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion and the exchange of information).

    Students adjust their spoken, written and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

    English Language Arts Performance Standards of the New York City Board of Education:

    E1: Reading --
      E1c: Read and comprehend informational materials
      E1e: Demonstrate familiarity with a variety of functional documents
    E2: Writing --
      E2a: Produce a report of information
    E3: Speaking, Listening and Viewing --
      E3b: Participate in group meetings
      E3c: Prepare and deliver an individual presentation
    E4: Conventions, Grammar and Usage of the English Language --
      E4a: Demonstrate an understanding of the rules of the English language in written and oral work
      E4b: Analyze and subsequently revise work to improve its clarity and effectiveness

    This lesson was developed with Phil Bildner, a middle school teacher at P.S. 333, the Manhattan School for Children, a New York City public school on the Upper West Side.