Unit 1: No, David!
Introduction to the Rule of Law
This unit focuses on the rule of law and the impartiality of the courts. David, the
main character from the book No, David!, is known for being a trouble-maker. He has been accused of theft. Should David’s
character as a trouble-maker be considered when the facts are analyzed in this case?
Students engage in a mock trial, character analysis, argument writing, and serve
as a jury.
DOWNLOAD THIS UNIT PLAN AS A PRINTABLE PDF
Ideal for Grades 4 & 5 (Adaptable to Grades 6-12)
- New! Vocabulary and Mock Trial for primary reading level available in Bonus Materials
Stage 1: Desired Results
ENDURING UNDERSTANDINGS / BIG IDEA
Democracy Calls for Equal Justice Under the Law
- Are characters predictable?
- What is justice?
- In what ways does the Rule of Law apply to impartiality of the courts?
- In what ways are arguments productive?
- Are the processes in place in democracy designed to “level” individual bias in the
court system effective? Why or why not?
- Should one’s “character” influence judicial decisions? Why or why not?
- California History Social Science Content Standards
|4.5.3: Describe the similarities (e.g., written documents, rule of law, consent of the governed, three separate branches) and differences….among federal
state, and local governments.
5.7.5: Discuss the meaning of the American creed that calls on citizens to safeguard the
liberty of individual Americans within a unified nation, to respect the rule of law, and to preserve the Constitution.
- Suggested K-12 Pathway for College, Career, and Civic Readiness
Dimension 2, Civic and Political Institutions
BY THE END OF GRADE 5:
- D2.Civ.1.3-5: Distinguish the responsibilities and powers of government officials at various levels
and branches of government and in different times and places.
- D2.Civ.2.3-5: Explain how a democracy relies on people’s responsible participation, and draw implications
for how individuals should participate.
- D.2 Civ.3.3-5: Examine the origins and purposes of rules, laws and key U. S. constitutional provisions.
- California English Language Arts Content Standards
2.0 Writing Applications (Genres and their Characteristics)
2.4: WRITE PERSUASIVE LETTERS OR COMPOSITIONS:
- State a clear position in support of a proposal.
- Support a position with relevant evidence.
- Follow a simple organizational pattern.
- Address reader concerns.
- Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts
College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing
TEXT TYPES AND PURPOSES
- Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using
valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening
COMPREHENSION AND COLLABORATION
- Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations
with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly
- Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including
visually, quantitatively, and orally.
- Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
- Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow
the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate
to task, purpose, and audience.
- Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command
of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
- Visual and Performing Arts Content Standards for California Public Schools
Theatre / Creative Expression
DEVELOPMENT OF THEATRICAL SKILLS
- 2.1 Participate in improvisational activities to explore complex ideas and universal
themes in literature and life.
- 2.2 Demonstrate the use of blocking (stage areas, levels, and actor’s position, such
as full front, quarter, profile, and full back) in dramatizations.
CREATION/INVENTION IN THEATRE
- 2.3 Collaborate as an actor, director, scriptwriter, or technical artist in creating
formal or informal theatrical performances.
COMMUNICATION AND EXPRESSION THROUGH ORIGINAL WORKS OF ART
- 2.7 Communicate values, opinions, or personal insights through an original work of
Stage 2: End of Unit Authentic Assessment
||To use facts in the case and the rule of law and apply to the school law/rules to
effectively determine the guilt or innocence of “David”.
||Jury members summoned to the Classroom Superior Court as jury members
||The public, press, interested family members
||David, as the defendant, has been accused of theft, a violation of the school rules.
The prosecutor must prove that David took property owned by someone else with the
intent to prove the owner of it permanently.
||Jurors will listen to the testimony during the trial and the evidence presented. Following
jury instructions given by the judge, they will determine the guilt or innocence of
David, in writing, and orally through jury deliberations.
|Standards for Success
||Following classroom jury instructions, jurors must provide arguments backed up with
evidence of David’s guilt or innocence. In addition, jurors must include one counter
claim and discuss in jury deliberation, why it is or is not to be believed. Jurors
must present their final verdict to the judge.
- Written argument supports point of view with reasons and information
- Clear intro, statement of argument
- Logically ordered reasons supported by facts and details
- Use of words, phrases and clauses
- Provides conclusion related to argument presented
|Speaking and Listening:
- Collaborative discussions with clear expressions of ideas
- Builds on other’s ideas, responds to others’ questions
- Prepared, follows roles assigned
- Reviews key ideas from discussion and draw conclusions, shares at a reasonable pace
using logical reasoning.
- Active participation in improvisation, exploring emotions, physical characteristics,
- Effective use of blocking for the “set” of the courtroom.
- Strong collaboration in jury deliberation “in role”
Stage 3: Planned Lessons
PLANNED LESSONS FOR UNIT 1
Lesson plans and the facts, knowledge, concepts, and skills within are described below.
Please select a lesson to view complete lesson plans:
- Lesson 1: We're All Characters: Character development, character analysis, use of dialogue and movement (No David!
/ David Goes to School / David Gets in Trouble by David Shannon)
- Lesson 2: "No David" on Trial: Reader’s theatre mock trial, applying and synthesizing the character development with
analysis, creating effective characters, performing, beginning vocabulary development
- Lesson 3: The Rule of Law and Impartiality of the Courts: A PowerPoint that focuses on the impartiality of the courts, judicial system as one
of three branches (review and/or introduction to this area)
- Lesson 4: Actively Understanding Key Academic Terms: Rule of law, impartiality, burden of proof, due process, attorney/lawyer/counselor,
plaintiff, defendant, prosecutor, defense, objection, sustained, overruled, witness,
bailiff, judge, jury
- Lesson 5: So You Think You Can Argue: PowerPoint on argument writing, leading your class to argument writing, giving examples,
involving students. Students write their own argument following California Common
Core State Standards. (Will need to lead students through the writing process: editing,
refinement, and extra assistance beyond this lesson for proper argument writing.)
- Lesson 6: Jury in Action: Argument writing, speaking and listening (using rubric and standards to be sure each
area is addressed, this lesson is the authentic performance assessment). “Jury” meets,
argues the case based on their written “brief”, and declares a final verdict to give
to the judge.
- Lesson 7: David Says Yes to the Rule of Law!: This is an art lesson that helps conclude and further assess understanding — a class
book with a message on each page from David about the Rule of Law.
- Bonus Materials: Explore additional materials related to Unit 1: No, David! that you may find helpful
in your classroom