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Making Civics Real Workshop 7: Controversial Public Policy Issues  
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Workshop 7

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Lesson Plan: Teaching the Lesson: Activity 6

Activity 6: Large-Group Discussion
At this time, the teacher takes a more active role in helping the groups elaborate on their consensus position. The following questions may serve as a framework for this discussion:

  • What have we learned in this exercise about the topic of racial profiling (costs/benefits)?
  • What questions do you still have about the topic?
  • What have you learned about the process part of the lesson: the poll and the structured controversy?
  • Did you find yourself changing your opinion about the topic? If so, why did you change?
  • How important is consensus? Why?

Finally, return to the big theme of this lesson: the tension that can exist between the government's purpose in promoting safety and individual rights. Discuss the following questions:

  • What constitutional rights do we value most highly in our justice system?
  • When do the government's constitutional duties outweigh individual rights? Explain specific situations that illustrate the need for constitutional rights to outweigh individual rights.
  • Do the rights of the individual ever outweigh the government’s constitutionally defined rights? When? Explain.
  • Who should decide the delicate balance between these tensions? The public? The police? Elected officials? Courts?
  • What criteria should they use?

Have students complete their self-evaluations.

Overview, Goals, and Planning    |     Activity 1     |     Activity 2     |     Activity 3
Activity 4     |     Activity 5     |     Activity 6     |     Scheduling and Adaptations

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