The Role of the Citizen in Law Creation

 

Learning Objectives

Students will utilize debates to understand the role of the citizen in advocating for/against bills before they become law.

 

Grade Levels

6-8

 

Standards

6-Power, Authority and Governance

 

Materials Needed

Computers with internet access

Articles For and Against (links below)

Debate Preparation Worksheet

 

Lesson

Introduction

  • Ask students to think, pair, share and discuss the roles of a good citizen in regards to government.
  • Once students have had a few minutes to discuss, invite them to share their answers.
     

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling

  • Explain to students that most often people think that their only role in government is to vote.
  • Another important role for a good citizen is to advocate for or against bills before they become law.
     

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling

  • Explain to students that they will be learning about a bill that people feel passionately about on both sides.
  • Have students read about breed specific legislation.
  • Divide students into groups. You should have 4 total groups. Assign 2 groups to argue against breed specific legislation and 2 groups to argue for it.
  • Pass out the debate preparation sheet.
     

Independent Working Time

  • Each group should work together to complete the debate preparation sheet.
  • They should take some time to practice their debate.
  • Once all groups are ready, have one “pro” group and one “against” group hold their debate with the teacher as moderator.
  • Once the first groups are finished, have the second “pro” group and “against” group hold their debate with the teacher as moderator.
  • After students have had the opportunity to hear arguments for both sides, they should choose whether they are for or against breed specific legislation.
  • Have students read the following about how to advocate.
  • Students will use tips from the article above to write a letter to their legislator outlining their feelings about the bill
     

Review and Closing

  • Ask students to describe the role that good citizens have in advocating for/against a bill.
     

References

Arguments For and Against Breed Specific Laws. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://dogbitelaw.com/breed-specific-laws/arguments-for-and-against-breed-specific-laws.\

Communication Effectively with Your Legislators. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://images.akc.org/pdf/canine_legislation/communicating_effectively_flyer.pdf?_ga=2.12048752.555470480.1500293649-1566314312.1497964074.

Issue Analysis: Why Breed Specific Legislation Doesn’t Work. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://cdn.akc.org/Government_Relations/BSL_In_Session_Article-Revised_May_2013.pdf?_ga=2.7919990.555470480.1500293649-1566314312.1497964074.