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Lesson plan

Grade 12 - 5 - Letter to Judge Alfred Burke, DC General Sessions Court

teaches Common Core State Standards RH.11-12.6 http://corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RH/11-12/6
teaches Common Core State Standards RH.11-12.1 http://corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RH/11-12/1

Grade 12 - 5 - Letter to Judge Alfred Burke, DC General Sessions Court

During the Poor People's March on the Washington during the summer of 1968 there were hundreds of people arrested in protest. Scott Nielsen was one of those arrested and placed in jail in Washington, D.C. Nielsen spent six days in jail and following his time in jail, wrote a five-page letter to the judge who sentenced him.  Nielsen described a variety of suggestions and comments on his time in jail. Students will be examining specific paragraphs of his letter and tracking their thinking and answering text-dependent questions. A final question in the activity will be to write a short letter to Judge Burke in response to Mr. Nielsen. Students will be recording their learning on a "Nielsen Letter Excerpt" handout.

Grade 12 Government DC Scope and Sequence:

DC Content Power Standards

  • 12.6.4: Describe the means that citizens use to participate in the political process (e.g., voting, campaigning, lobbying, filing a legal challenge, demonstrating, petitioning, picketing, and running for political office).

DC Content Supporting Standards

  • 12.8.4: Understand the obligations of civic-mindedness, including voting, being informed on civic issues, volunteering and performing public service, and serving in the military or alternative service.
  • 12.9.2: Explain how civil society makes it possible for people, individually or in association with others, to bring their influence to bear on government in ways other than voting and elections.

C3 Framework Indicators for Common Core Literacy in History/Social Studies:

  • D4.7: Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.