Materials List: learning logs, chart paper, overhead projector (optional)
Help students define the term rule. Then, begin a discussion on rules by having students reply to a SPAWN (view literacy strategy descriptions) prompt written on the board. SPAWN is an acronym that stands for five categories of writing options (Special Powers, Problem Solving, Alternative Viewpoints, What if? and Next). These categories can create numerous thought-provoking and meaningful prompts related to any topic. The teacher begins by targeting the kind of thinking students should be exhibiting. Next, the teacher selects a category of SPAWN that best accommodates the kind of thinking about the content students should exhibit. The teacher presents the SPAWN prompt to the students by writing it on the board or projecting it from an overhead projector. Prompts may be used before or after new content is presented. The teacher should allow students to write their responses within a reasonable period of time. Students should be asked to copy the prompt in their notebooks before writing their responses. Since this is not formal writing, it should not be graded as such. Instead, give students credit for completing responses. SPAWN writing should be a tool students can use to reflect on their developing disciplinary knowledge and critical thinking.
On the board, write the following SPAWN prompt: What if there were no rules anywhere in the world? Have students write responses to the prompt in their learning logs. (view literacy strategy descriptions) Give students about ten minutes to respond to the prompt, then have them share what they have written. As students give their responses, write them on the board or chart paper. Use these responses to introduce to the students the idea that rules play an important role in their lives. Using brainstorming (view literacy strategy descriptions), have students make a list of places that have rules, (e.g., home, school, library, parks, etc.). Discuss how rules may be different for different places. Put students into small groups of three or four. Have students make a list of rules they may have for home and school. Have groups share their lists and compare how the rules are alike and different. Discuss why different places need different rules and who should follow the rules. Using studentsí responses to the prompt and the class discussion, help students identify purposes for having rules.