Presently, I work with middle school students at an urban alternative school. My student population consists of self-contained special education students labeled SEM (socially and emotionally maladjusted) or LD (learning disabled). Although my students are bright and intuitive, many of them have a short attention span and difficulty focusing on activities and discussions.
I have chosen the topic, “Children and Authority: Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities”. Through this topic, I plan to explore a variety of legal issues relevant to children of today. These issues affect my students and may strongly impact their lives.
This unit uses a thematic approach. Rather than focusing on only one topic, I will engage the students in various topics. I believe that my students will be more motivated and involved in the unit if we explore many different and interesting issues. I will cover the following issues in this unit.:
1) adoption/foster care
2) parental responsibility for safety
3) abuse and neglect
4) pre-natal decisions faced by the mother
5) health issues
Each issue deals with the roles, rights, and responsibilities of authority figures in relation to the family unit. I plan to examine various court cases relevant to topics covered in my curriculum unit.. Students will be able to think critically and make value judgments while examining legal disputes. In addition. students will have the opportunity to heighten their awareness of controversial issues through community informational pamphlets and current event newspaper articles.
This unit. will be presented two to three times a week. I will devote about a week to each of the six topics. I will integrate this unit. throughout various content areas such as: Social Development, Science!, Language Arts, and Reading.
The following outline details the main information that will be presented in my curriculum unit. It. highlights the rationale of my topic, the issues that I will cover, and the methods I will use to present relevant information to my curriculum unit: