Monday, 9 March 2009

Guns, violence and school massacres in the USA

One of the topics that most of my students find interesting is gun control and school violence in the USA. The debate about gun control is quite far from our everyday life here in Norway, and this might explain why the students have so much to say when talking about it in class. This week I gave my students two articles from BBC, one called "America's Gun Culture", the other "Firearms: A Civil Liberties Issue?", and asked them to prepare a list of arguments for and against stricter gun control. Then, in groups of six, they were asked to discuss and to defend their arguments regardless of their personal opinion. The discussions were a bit slow at first, but when someone dared to present a provocative statement, the others were quick to respond.

Other years, I have used Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" when working on gun control. This year, however, I have not found the time to do so. I have nevertheless shown this presentation of American history taken from the film.

Under is a list of more articles on this topic. Some of these articles are a bit old, but they can still work as a point of departure in discussions and for giving more information.
You should also visit my colleague Anne's blog to see her lesson plan on gun control.

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