One of the classes I teach is Business and Personal Law for juniors and seniors.  We are learning the sources of law.  After polling the students regarding their comfort level with understanding these sources of law, I realized most of the students were vague about 1-2 of these sources.  Then, I had a crazy idea.  The next day, for our entry task (a.k.a. do-now activity), I asked students to write a love letter to their favorite source of law.  Students immediately thought I had gone nuts and began laughing.  I explained that I was serious.  I reminded students that they needed to be romantic and explain in their love letter why that source of law was their favorite.  100% of the students were engaged and working hard to create their love letter.  I allowed more time than I usually would for them to complete this entry task.  Afterwords, I asked students to read their love letters in small groups.  Giggling and laughter could again be heard.  Finally, I asked each small group to pick one person to read their love letter out loud.  We heard as a class love letters to ALL the sources of law, and explanations why this was so. 

Here’s an exert  from one letter addressed to the student’s love – the U.S. Constitution:

“Oh Constitution.  You are so manly.  Even though you are in D.C. and supreme law of the land, you are still my protector.  You protect me when I speak, when I worship, and vote…”

I polled the students again, and students indicated they were more comfortable understanding the sources of law.  I can’t wait to see if this translates to their test scores.

All in all, go with those crazy, off-the-cuff ideas.  It’s these ideas that revives the curriculum, engages the students, and leads to deeper understanding.

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