This unit focuses on cultural justice and how the type of justice implemented depends on the culture. The unit focuses on the 3 essential questions: What is justice? Is there truly justice for all? And is one culture's system of justice better than another? Along with these three questions, the unit also focuses on the 4 types of justice: revenge, retribution, rehabilitation, and restoration. This unit begins with reading Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelson, a story about a boy, Cole, who is sent to live alone on an island instead of being sent to jail for committing a crime. This fiction novel depicts the Native American form of justice, Circle Justice, which as a restorative form of justice seeks to heal everyone involved in the crime committed. Along with this fiction novel, students will read nonfiction stories and newspaper articles about China's justice system and the United States' justice system. In this unit, students will compare these 3 systems of justice in attempts to answer the 3 essential questions. The unit concludes with 2 projects. The first project is a group project where the class will be divided into 3 groups. Each group will be presented with the same case and will research the 3 justice systems (Native American Circle Justice, China, and the United States). After researching each justice system, the groups will decide how each justice system would resolve the case and will decide what is the best solution. Each group will then present their work to the class. The second project is an individual project, where each student will find a current newspaper article on a legal case. Each student will then write a case study on what type of justice is being implemented and will make a prediction of the possible outcome of the case.
Fenske, Kathleen, "Cultural Justice [7th grade]" (2006). Understanding by Design: Complete Collection. Paper 32.
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