When Is a Crime Not a Crime?

This When Is a Crime Not a Crime? unit also includes:

Castle laws, the decriminalization of drugs, and light sentences for celebrity defendants have likely piqued learners' interest. Examine the ethics behind the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the civil rights issues with racial profiling, and why Lindsey Lohan only got a slap on the wrist for theft. The engaging resource uses case studies, discussion questions, and writing prompts to unpack these controversies.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Use a think-pair-share model to discuss the case studies involving crime and punishment
Classroom Considerations
  • Fourth in the six-part series Complex Questions Related to American Democracy 
  • Discussion of police shootings and drug use may be inappropriate for some pupils
  • Math, science, and reading lessons within the resource offer the chance for interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Current events and real-life stories engage learner interest
  • Glossary and graphic organizers make the lessons easy to scaffold
  • Some learners may find it difficult to connect the abstract ideas behind the various case studies