Grades 4-6: Equal Protection
Overview of the Lesson & Suggestions for the Teacher & Lawyer
During the lawyer's class session, students will:
- identify the experience of discrimination
- distinguish between permitted and illegal discrimination
- argue for and against providing a free public education to children of illegal aliens
The class session conducted by the lawyer focuses on a series of situations, or hypotheticals, that require your students to express their opinions about including and excluding people. The students answer a series of questions regarding each situation. Following this work, the lawyer debriefs the students’ answers. Their input will be incorporated into the lawyer’s presentation of basic legal principles arising from constitutional and statutory law on discrimination.
Following the lawyer’s visit, you might have students take an opinion poll. You might also consider having students do research and draft legislation in a certain area of the law. These extension activities are explained more fully below.
Have students conduct an opinion poll with at least three other students from other classes or adults from their family or neighborhood about the issues in the handout "Not Including Everyone!"
Poll students to identify one area of the law that they studied with which they disagree or for which they feel a law is needed. Have groups of students research the issue in their school or local library in greater detail. They may also interview relevant local officials. Each group may then draft a bill, or proposed law, to address the need.
ACTIVITY SHEET/ANSWER KEYS
Students may use the Scrambled Words and Word Search exercises to strengthen vocabulary related to equal protection under law after the lawyer’s visit. Note that the scrambled words are the same words as in the word search. Feel free to print the sheet straight from the web or download it as a Word document first.