I’m adapting a lesson from The Write Institute (also see The Best Websites For K-12 Writing Instruction/Reinforcement) unit on persuasive writing for the unit I’m teaching now.

One of the lessons — related to gangs — has students list the different groups they “belong to” family, school, etc.) In addition, I’m having them write out the different benefits they receive from belonging to each group (love, support, learing, etc.)

Next, students are researching why kids join gangs, and will then compare those reasons for joining that group with their benefits for being part of their groups. Many, though not all, of the reasons will probably be similar, and then we will explore why students think gang members might not receive those same benefits from elsewhere like our class members do.

Here are some more relatively accessible websites that I’m adding to The Best Sites To Learn About Street Gangs that students will be using to research this issue:

Why Kids Join Gangs

Why Do Young People Join Gangs?

Why Do Young People Join Gangs? (same title, different resource)

Gang Life Quiz

Gangs And Violence