Discuss Gun Control, Gun Rights and the Second Amendment
This provides teachers and students the materials and guidance for students to learn different perspectives on the issue of gun control and gun rights, discuss them and listen to each other in a respectful and civil manner, and appreciate differences while finding common ground.
With news and materials from left, center and right sources plus a structured process for discussion, teachers, administrators and parents can be assured that multiple points of view are discussed and respected in a civil, beneficial manner.
☛ Teachers! Have you done the Relationships First component in your classroom yet? Consider starting with it to establish a solid foundation. ☚
Primary Learning Goals:
Also see how this program complies with Common Core standards.
Collaboration: Students will discuss gun control while working in small groups (if a large class) or as an entire class.
Civil conversation and conflict resolution: Students will learn how to listen, understand and respect one another’s views, especially when there are differences of opinion and background.
Research and analysis: Students will have a deeper understanding of the different perspectives on gun control, including their own, their classmates, and the country at large, through researching the topic across biases and discussing.
References for Understanding:
Current news and opinions
Think tanks and more
Think Tank Search
Participate in an Online Dialog:
Want to start a more specific question for students to discuss online? Email us to start a new Classroom Dialog
Particulars of Class Activities for 1 Day Program:
★ This can be done as a single class or over several class periods. Extending the lesson will allow for more in depth understanding.★
Homework prior to class:
Students will read the Second Amendment and spend 10-20 min looking at the most recent news about Gun Control from different perspectives.
Read the NRA’s and NEA’s positions on guns in schools (included in References above).
Optional - Students will ask their parent(s)/caregiver(s) for their perspectives on gun control and take notes to share in class during discussion.
Optional based on class size: Teacher divides students into small groups, preferably a mix of biases. (Have students complete a simple bias quiz for homework 2 days prior so the Teacher has a chance to evaluate if similar has never been conducted previously.)
Each student should state their views around the group or if done as a whole class the teacher can poll the class on general views.
Teacher reads the Second Amendment out loud then urges students to discuss: How do you interpret this amendment? What do you think the Founding Fathers were thinking when they wrote this? As the United States is different now than it was in the late 1700s, do you think it is still necessary? Why is the right to own guns so important to Americans, in particular?
Deeper Meaning questions: Where did you learn about guns? And what did you learn? What role have guns played in your life? What are your concerns about gun safety? Are gun issues on your top 10 list of concerns? Why or why not?
After discussing Gun Control in general, pivot to guns in schools with the following questions: What can schools do to keep students safe? What should they do? Do armed guards in schools make them safer against gun-related attacks or encourage more violence?
Final Questions to pose to students, either as homework or just as a wrap up: What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here? Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?