Law-Related Education

Law-Related Education

I did a workshop a couple of years ago titled "Murder and Mayhem in the Classroom." It dealt with "Mysteries" as an integrated theme. During my research for this presentation I learned that there is a plethora of materials out there for a field called “Law-Related Education.”

One of my major sources of material is CRADLE (Center for Research & Development in Law-Related Education.) They have a very large number of lesson plans related to law and government including mock trials. Their materials only cost a couple of bucks. Call them at 1-800-437-1054 for a catalog.

Two other good resources are the Center for Civic Education, 5416 Douglas Fir Rd. Calabassas, CA 91302 and the Constitutional Rights Foundation, 601 Kingsley Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90005.

Most states have Law-Related Education groups and free materials. Check with the local bar association and they should be able to help you.

I enjoy using a simple book titled, “Everyday Law for Young Citizens,” published by Good Apple. After introducing the basic principles of law the book takes a case study approach to introduce various laws to children. The case study sets the stage with a realistic scenario. This is followed by “What’s Your Opinion” and then what the law says to provide the legal point of view of the case. The “What If?” poses variations on the theme calling for more informed student opinion. This is followed by an activity section with optional writing, discussion, and role-play possibilities and spin-offs of the case.

Examples of case studies in the book include:

1. Case of the School Girl Scuffle - Assault & Battery
2. Case of the Bicycle Blunder - Negligence/Tort
3. Case of the Forgotten Fudge - Shoplifting/ Larceny
4. Case of the Reluctant Donation - Larceny From A Person/Robbery
5. Case of the Forged Working Papers - Children & Parents/ Rights & Responsibilities
6. Case of the Graffiti Artist - Vandalism/ Malicious Destruction of Property

INTERACT, a company that provides simulation material also has some material related to LRE and government. Go to Role Playing/ Simulations

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