Overview of Lessons


Introductory Lesson

This lesson provides an opportunity for facilitators to introduce themselves, Project LEAD and to begin to get to know the students. First, facilitators introduce themselves and briefly overview what students will learn through Project LEAD. Then, they will share an item that gives them a sense of pride. Next, students participate in a “Going To Law School” activity where they learn legal terms they will encounter throughout the Project LEAD curriculum. Finally, facilitators provide some basic classroom rules for future Project LEAD visits.

Lesson 1: Order in the Court!

This lesson provides an overview of the criminal justice system and the roles attorneys play in this system. First, students read a play about the roles of prosecutors, public defenders and judges in the criminal justice system. Next, students discuss the basic steps in the criminal justice system and then take the roles of prosecutors to decide the charges in hypothetical cases.

(Optional) Handout 1D — Tips for teachers to review Project LEAD content between your visits. 

(Optional) Handout 1E — A word search puzzle using vocabulary from this lesson for you or the teacher to use with the students.

Key to Handout 1E

Lesson 2: The Rule of Law

This lesson introduces students to the purposes of criminal statutes and the consequences of breaking them. First, students brainstorm school rules, then they discuss the purpose for these rules and the consequences of breaking them. Next, selected students read a play to the class about students who decide to break rules. Then students identify what laws were broken in the play, the purpose of these laws, and what the consequences were.

(Optional) Handout 2C — Tips for teachers to review Project LEAD content between your visits.

(Optional) Handout 2D — A word scramble puzzle with vocabulary from this lesson for you or the teacher to use with students.

Lesson 3: The Juvenile Justice System

This lesson provides students with an overview of the juvenile justice system. First, students discuss whether juvenile and adult offenders should be treated the same in hypothetical situations. Next, students read a play to the class that traces the steps in juvenile court proceedings. Finally, students compare the adult and juvenile justice systems.

(Optional) Handout 3D — Tips for teachers to review Project LEAD content between your visits.

(Optional) Handout 3E — A crossword puzzle using terms from this lesson for you or the teacher to use with the students.

Key for Handout 3E

Lesson 4: Juvenile Corrections

In this lesson, students will learn about sentencing options for juvenile offenders. First, a group of students read a play to the class about the options juvenile court judges have in sentencing offenders.

(Optional) Handout 4D — Tips for teachers to review Project LEAD content between your visits.

(Optional) Handout 4E — A word search puzzle using vocabulary from this lesson for you or the teacher to use with students.

Key for Handout 4E

Lessons 5 & 6: The Payoff

This two-day lesson shows students the financial benefits of staying in school. First, students discuss where they would like to be in 10 to 20 years in terms of jobs, housing, income and possessions. Next, students examine and discuss a chart comparing the annual income of dropouts, high school graduates, college graduates and those with professional degrees. Then students create budgets based on the income of each of these educational levels.

Handout 5E (Optional) — Tips for teachers to review Project LEAD content between your visits.

Lesson 7: Truant

This lesson focuses on the problem of truancy and its consequences. First, students discuss why they should attend school. Next, a group of students performs a play comparing two students — one who is truant and another who does well in school. For the activity, there are two options. One is to have students work in small groups to plan and perform skits about the consequences of truancy. The second option is to have students write letters advising a friend on the consequences of ditching school. Then students share and discuss the activity.

(Optional) Handout 7E — Tips for teachers to review Project LEAD content between your visits.

(Optional) Handout 7F — A crossword puzzle using vocabulary from this lesson for you or the teacher to use with students.

Lesson 8: School Bully

This lesson focuses on the problem of bullying and how it leads to other problems. First, students share examples of bullying they have observed or experienced. Then by taking a quiz, students learn more about the problem of bullying and its effects. Finally, students work to address bullying situations and choose options for addressing them.

Key to Hanout 8E

Lesson 9: Down for the Neighborhood

This lesson focuses on the issue of joining gangs. First, students discuss what they know about gangs. Then a group of students read a play on the negative consequences of one boy's decision to join a gang. Then students role-play persuading hypothetical students not to join gangs.

(Optional) Handout 9C — Tips for teachers to review LEAD content between your visits.

(Optional) Handout 9D — A word scramble with vocabulary from this lesson for you or the teacher to use with students.

Lesson 10: Staying Cool

This lesson focuses on teaching students refusal skills for at-risk behaviors such as truancy, delinquency, smoking, bullying, and drug and alcohol use. First, students share experiences of friends trying to get them to do something that they knew was a bad idea. Next, five students read a play about refusal skills. Finally, students act out scenarios, demonstrating the use of refusal skills.

(Optional) Handout 10D: — Tips for teachers to review LEAD content between your visits.

(Optional) Handout 10E: — A crossword puzzle using terms from this lesson for you or the teacher to use with the students.

Key for Crossword Handout

Lesson 11: Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover

This lesson focuses on issues of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. First, students read and discuss scenarios that depict instances of prejudice and discrimination. Next, pairs of students are given cards describing either a problem of discrimination or a law to address the problem. Students find the matching law and problem and participate in a closing discussion.

(Optional) Handout 11D — Tips for teachers to review LEAD content between your visits.

Lesson 12: Conflict Resolution-One Story With Three Endings

In this lesson, students will be introduced to conflict resolution. They look at three typical ways people deal with conflict: denial, confrontation and problem solving. Students role-play endings to stories demonstrating denial or confrontation and then how the same scenarios play out using problem-solving skills.

(Optional) Handout 12C: — Tips for teachers to review LEAD content between your visits.

(Optional) Handout 12D: — Students choose objects, characters, and a setting to write their own plays with two endings.

Lesson 13: Pitfalls

This lesson focuses on two common youth crimes: theft and vandalism. First, students learn about the elements of every crime. Next, selected students present short plays to the class illustrating a specific situation where one of these crimes has taken place. After each play, the facilitator leads a guided discussion to help students recognize and describe different consequences associated with each situation. In the next lesson, students apply the refusal skills to make anti-graffiti, theft or vandalism posters to be hung up at the school.

Lesson 14: FINAL Comic Strip Posters

This lesson provides students an opportunity to apply the refusal skills from Lesson 10 as they create posters showing how to avoid getting involved in the crimes of shoplifting and vandalism. Students will use a comic strip format to illustrate a scenario and the refusal skills.

(Optional) Handout 14B: Sample Comic Strip — 1 per student. (This handout is an example of a comic strip for students should they not be familiar with the format.)

Lesson 15: Alcohol, Drugs and Consequences

This lesson focuses on drug and alcohol use and reinforces the refusal skills as students think about different consequences of using drugs and alcohol. The lesson is driven by a PowerPoint presentation that embeds three plays groups of students will perform, as well as an activity in which pairs of students practice the refusal skills. Also contained in the PowerPoint are the Faces of Meth. (Experienced LEAD facilitators will remember the posters from the former version of the curriculum.)

(Optional) Handout 15C: Help Maria or Mark — An optional activity is included that asks students to list a variety of consequences related to drug/alcohol use.

Lesson 16 & 17: Preparing for the Project LEAD Mock Trial

This three-lesson sequence has students prepare for and present a mock trial. In this lesson, the whole class will become jurors as they view and discuss a PowerPoint presentation that provides a simple case of brownie snatching and familiarizes students with trial participants and procedures. The PowerPoint also introduces the concepts of innocent until proven guilty and reasonable doubt.

Lesson 18: Trial Presentation

This is the final lesson of the three lesson sequence. In this lesson, students conduct a mock trial. First, review the trial procedures with students and make the final preparations. Then students present the trial.