Sub-unit: Guns In Our Lives: Researched
- First viewing of video “Guns in Our Lives”
(See Resources) link
- Anticipation Guide, Developing research questions.
- On board or screen: Essential Question: What role do
guns play in our lives?
- Pass out a half sheet of lined paper.
- On board: What are your thoughts and/or experiences
related to guns?
- Assignment: Answer this question on the half sheet
of paper. (5-8 minutes)
- Collect, but return at the time of the essay writing.
Question: How many of you have guns in your homes?
- Question: Why do people have guns?
- Teacher: We are going to see a short movie where 14
to16-year-old students from Oakland, California, talk
about guns in their lives. We're going to see it two times.
The first time I want you to just watch and see who, if
anyone, expresses your thoughts and opinions about guns
in our society.
Show all of "Guns in Our Lives".
- Question: Who in the movie stands out as someone that
expresses your thoughts or experiences related to guns?
- Note: There may not be much response at this point.
Pass out and explain Anticipation
Guide: "Guns in Our Lives"
- Students make checkmarks according to instructions.
- Students create groups of two to three.
- Students compare their answers.
- One student from each group reports to the class one
item they agree about and one they disagree about.
Note: Students keep their Anticipation Guides in their
notebooks and use them for:
- Developing research questions.
- Checking the validity of their initial responses.
Brainstorm on board:
- Question: What questions would you want to answer in
a researched persuasive essay, which argues either for
or against guns in our society?
- What role do gun control laws play in reducing firearm
wounds and killings?
- What gun control laws are in effect at this time?
- What is the history of gun control in our society?
- Why do people favor guns?
- Why are people opposed to guns?
- How many people die annually of gun shots?
- How many people commit suicide with guns?
- How many people are accidentally wounded or killed by
Homework: Pass out and go over Family
Interview: What role do guns play in our society?
Day 2: Library Research
Pass out and go over
Research Guide: Guns in Our Lives.
Divide the students into groups. (Count off or select
- At the computer bank, students in the same group sit
in the same area.
- One student is responsible for collecting the articles
that the group downloads.
- Note: Choose one responsible student for each group.
- Note: Provide each group with a folder for their research.
Note: Alternative procedure: Have students bring two articles
each to class.
Day 3 (Optional): Sharing Family Interview responses
Students go into groups to share family interview responses.
Select a recorder and a reporter. The recorder takes notes
on the group findings. The reporter leads the group and
reports to the class a summary of their responses.
Questions for the groups: (On board or Xeroxed.)
- How many or what percentage of the group has firearms
- Where and how are the guns stored?
- How many guns do or do not have safety locks?
- What are the reasons for not having guns, for those
who do not have guns?
- What are the reasons for having guns, for those who
do have guns?
- Would any of those who have guns consider getting rid
- Do the majority of the students agree or disagree with
the family gun policy?
- The reporter of each group tells the class the answers
to their questions.
- Instruct students to keep the Family Interviews, because
they may be useful in writing the essays and that they
will be due with the final drafts of the essays.
Day 4: Note-taking on Internet articles
- Students read and take notes on articles their group
- Students create a Source List where they make note
of necessary information for documenting their research.
See section IV, student handout for writing the essay:
Persuasive Essay: The Role of Guns in our Society. link
Day 5: Studying "Guns in Our Lives"
and writing a Persuasive Essay
On the board or screen:
- What references do the students make to guns in their
- What reasons do students give for favoring guns?
- What reasons do students give for opposing guns?
- What incidents are mentioned here?
Students copy the above questions, leaving several lines
between each one for taking notes while watching the video.
Note: Teacher or pre-appointed student should read aloud
the quote at the beginning of each section. The quotes are
taken from the upcoming sections and represent the subject
matter they contain.
Note: Teacher must be near the VCR to press pause at the
end of each section
Teacher: Now we are going to watch the video one section
at a time. As you watch each section, take notes on the
various ways that guns appear in our lives.
Show the first section of the video: Guns in general.
- Where do guns appear in our lives according to these
people? (Television, movies, magazines)
- What did they leave out? (Cartoons, war...)
Teacher: Now watch the second section, taking notes again
on the points that come up.
Show the second section of the video: Pro guns
- What issues did these young people bring up? (Gun laws
too strict, needed for celebration, needed for protection,
- How do you feel about what they said?
Teacher: Now watch and take notes on the third segment.
Show the third section of the video.
- 1. What reasons did they give to live in a gun free
- What do you think?Teacher: The last section is about
close or actual experience with gunfire. Please watch
and take notes.
Show the fourth section.
- Question: What incidents of gun violence were described
here? (Shot in head, nine year old girl dead...)
Pass out and go over instructions for Writing
the Persuasive Essay: The Role of Guns in Our Society.
Note: Allow more class time or have students finish for