Potential Lesson Plan: Target Age – 7th – 12th Grade
The goal of this lesson plan is to give students the chance to talk about the trial, about their feelings about it, and then do meaningful, real work that allows them to address the problems they see in the trial / the law.
Read one of three articles about the trial:
- NYTimes Article: Jury Reaches Partial Verdict in Florida Killing Over Loud Music
- Florida Times-Union Article: Michael Dunn guilty of attempted murder; hung jury on murder of Jordan Davis
- Washington Post Article: Verdict in Florida again raises self-defense issue
Give students blank index cards. After they have read the background piece, students write one adjective describing their thoughts on the piece. Then, the cards get collected and displayed in a publicly visible space. This process creates the room for people to all get familiarity with the issue, along with some time to collect thoughts/emotions before starting discussions.
What do you think of the verdict? Was justice served? Why or why not?
Short write – Potential Topics:
- What is the relationship between the way I feel about this personally and what I can do as a person in America?
- How is what happened to Jordan Davis relevant to me?
- How does this compare to my world? My experiences? What does it say about America? My city? My state?
In small groups, come up with an action plan about what can be done to make a more just society / country / community. Some potential activities include:
- Blog post about “What should society / can we as a community do after the Jordan Davis murder trial?” – maybe even an open-ended blog post with several options (a brainstorm of blog topics crowd-sourced in small groups)
- A letter to Jordan Davis’ parents
- A letter to local politicians
- An Op-Ed for the local newspaper
- A meeting with local law enforcement to discuss concerns around the case.
- Given that the Jordan Davis murder verdict is not something isolated, it would also be good to brainstorm with students about any plans/interest for ongoing involvement/activism.
- How do we deal with a tragedy and work to make change?
- How do we act in the public good when we are angry, sad, frustrated, hurt, scared?
- How do we do it as a community and not just as individuals who feel all of the above emotions?