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Domestic Violence Curriculum: Lesson Plan: Day 1

Silenced Voices: Lesson Plan Day 1

Below is a sample of a lesson plan for Day One of this unit. This lesson plan gives more information on the Think, Pair, Share activity as well as the groups for the Jig Saw Presentation and Letter to Community Leaders.




10th grade ELA or Social Studies class


1 hour and 25 minutes.


Domestic Violence and the Legal System




Students will begin to understand cycles of abuse and how the legal system works to protect and works against victims of domestic violence


Folders of documents from Georgia State University’s Special Collection: Women’s Collection. Each folder will contain information specific to one case of domestic violence. These documents will include first hand letters, legal documents, police reports, etc.


The instructor should have read the documents in the folders. Instructor should know the cases and have pertinent questions to ask to spark discussion if needed. Instructor should also research stalking, harassment, and family violence law in case students have any questions as they are reading. Resources for legal issues surrounding Domestic Violence can be found here:


ELACC9-10SL1:  Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions(one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.

ELACC9-10RI6:  Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.

ELACC9-10RI8:  Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.

ELACC9-10RI10:  By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 9-10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. 


Students will understand cycles of abuse and the legal system’s response to abuse.


Students are given the opportunity to respond in small groups, in writing, and to the class. Opportunity for discussion.


Intrapersonal through small group discussion, learning about others. Verbal, linguistic during writing and reading.


Copies of documents.



1.       Opening Engagement: (32 min)

Students will participate in Think and Share in groups of 3. Students should work with classmates they do not know very well. Once the groups are established, students should sit knee to knee or as close as they feel comfortable.

  A.      Guidelines (7): Explain to the students that the topics addressed today may make them feel very upset. Lay some ground rules for what is         acceptable language to use. Tell students they do not have to share if they feel uncomfortable. Explain that many of us are or know someone who is a victim of domestic violence, so it is important to treat this topic with the utmost care and be as conscientious of other’s feelings as possible. If anyone feels hurt, they can say “Ouch” and explain what it is that hurt them. If the instructor hears “Ouch” he or she should join the group to mediate the conversation, but try not to shut anyone down who is sharing. It is important to share these guidelines now and make sure students feel comfortable and understand them. The instructor can refer back to these guidelines as discussion continues.

             B.      Think and Share (25)

                The instructor proposes a question before the students know much about the information.

                The students spend 1 minute thinking about their response to the question. They can make notes at this time if they want. The instructor will announce when the minute is up.

                For the next two minutes, student 1 shares his or her answer to that question. The instructor will announce when the 2 minutes is up. If a student finishes his or her answer before the time is up, all the students should sit silently. If a student is not done when the time is up, explain that they will be cut off, but the student should write where he or she was cut off, so that the conversation can continue outside of class. This will foster continuing conversation.

                Repeat for the next two students.

                After each student has shared, allow two additional minutes for the students to respond to each other: What did they appreciate, disagree with? What surprised them? Did they learn something new about their peers?

                You will ask two questions for this lesson.

1.       When a woman is abused (physically or verbally) by her partner, what should she do?

2.       If you see a friend/stranger/family member abusing or getting abused, what would you do?

The instructor should drop in and listen to some of these conversations. Only intervene if things get heated or if someone is interrupting someone else’s share time.

2.       Learning Engagement: (45 )

The students will stay in the same groups. Ask one person from each group to briefly jot down a summary of what everyone thought during the Think and Share. Students can confer in case the writer has forgotten anything. While the students are writing pass out folders with the letters/TPO’s/ divorce proceedings, etc. from victims of domestic violence. Each student group will receive a different set of documents. Include a hand out explaining what students should do with the documents. The hand out should instruct students to do the following:

1.       Analyze what type of document it is. Is it an official legal document? A letter? Who is the letter to?

2.       Read the document carefully aloud.

3.       Answer the following questions:

a.       What happened? Who are the major players?

b.      Do you think whoever wrote this document is a credible source? Why?

c.       Does this change the way you think about domestic violence? The legal system?

d.      What is one quote from this document that made you think? If you have more than one, you can share more.

Students will answer those questions about each of the documents. There should be about 8-10 documents per group.  The instructor should drop in on the conversations. Pose questions to get students talking or to point out a different way of thinking about something.


Demonstration: Instructor will demonstrate guidelines for discussion as well as participate in discussions around the room. Instructor will model questions and different interpretations of the documents.


3.       Closing Engagement: (8)

Tell students that tomorrow, they will tell the story of their documents with the class. The presentation will include each person telling their initial responses to the questions. Then as a group, they will share the details of the documents contained within their folder. The last component will be how they feel differently after reading the documents in their folders. This can be a summary of their homework.

         a.       Assessment: Students will turn in their responses from the Think and Share as a ticket out the door. Keep these so that students can refer to          them during their presentations tomorrow. The instructor should check that each student was engaged and participating.

         b.      Homework: Write a one page summary of how you responded to the documents you read in class today. Do you feel differently than when you          participated in the “Think and Share”? How will this change your behavior if at all? Do you feel angry, sad, annoyed?

Silenced Voices: Lesson Plan Day 1

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