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School Ideas

Many of the ideas below came from the American Bar Association's Law Day archives pages.

Any School Level

  • ABA Law Day website: Examine the Law Day theme, go to the American Bar Association Law Day 2013 website for ideas.

  • ABA 2013 Planning Guide

  • Law Day Open Houses: Partner with the courts to conduct a school tour.

  • Meet Your Judges Programs: Invite judges to classes to discuss their role in our justice system.

  • Classroom Guests: Guests from the legal or law-enforcement groups could be invited to visit classes and make a presentation about freedom and responsibility. Topics could include current proposals to treat juvenile perpetrators of violent crime as adults, curfews for youth or dress codes and gang insignia. Students should be prepared for the guest by reading about the guest's topic and preparing questions to ask the guest.

Elementary Level

  • Coloring Contest: This is an easy thing for young grade school students to do. Contest Materials

  • ABA Lesson plans for 2013 PDF

  • Past Lesson Plans From the ABA [view more]:

  • Classroom Rules: Ask younger children to describe a good class. Then ask them to write rules that would help make the class like the one they have described. Make sure they understand why rules are needed to preserve order. Older students could be asked to evaluate the quality of a rule. The following criteria can help them decide which are good rules and which are not. Is the rule fair, easy to understand, and clear regarding expectations? Is it possible to follow, not in conflict with other rules or values, easy to enforce, and will it achieve its purposes? Students could write a statement of why they think the rules should or should not be changed. If they want the rule changed, they should write their own version of the rule.

  • Class Constitution: Elementary students love this activity. After learning about the writing of the Constitution, help students create a class constitution and bill of rights. An alternative that is less complex is to have students create rules for their classroom. Challenge students to analyze hypothetical situations to assess whether or not actions are "constitutional" or "legal." While considering these hypothetical situations, students may well find that their constitution or class rules need "amending."

Middle & High School

School Library

  • Work with the library to set up a display. Large posters are easy to create. Include reference materials related to Law Day. For example:

    • Law related books, audio-tapes, and videotapes

    • Law-related web searches and lists of relevant websites

    • Displays of important legal documents such as the Bill of Rights, Constitution, etc.

    • Pamphlets or flyers listing library resources related to specific topics or themes. For example: Law in literature, knowing your rights, crime and punishment, legal eagles, law in history, how laws are made, the law in our community (courthouses, legal clinics or other resources, legal agencies, etc.

  • Work with a librarian to create a law-related scavenger hunt at the library—involve books, local ordinances, the Constitution, the web, and other resources that would be knowledgeable.

2013 Law Day


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