Youth and Law

Carla Lippett
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University,
Author Profile


Students, faculty, staff, and other community volunteers will collaborate in groups with the delivery of a Law-Related Education (LRE)program that goes beyond questions about who, what, when, and where. LRE helps young people in grades K-12 answer questions about why. Just as importantly, it responds to students who view the law as something that is remote, impersonal, or punitive.

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Learning Goals

-Respond to the needs of Florida's youth by preparing them to successfully face the challenges affiliated with adulthood.
-Engage faculty and students in community engagement activities
-Enhance the University's involvement and service with community organizations

Context for Use

The program targets K-12 youth to encourage them to learn about the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The lessons focus on the definition of laws, how laws are made, and the role of law in our society. These highly interactive lessons allow youth to examine legal issues that are important to them,as well as develop problem solving and communication skills that may help keep them out of the juvenile justice system.

Description and Teaching Materials

There are 16 lessons, and each lesson is activity-based, relevant to the lives of community members, and requires little or no pre-existing knowledge of the subject matter. The lessons assume readers have basic, not advanced reading skills about the subject matter. The student-centered, interactive nature of the LRE lessons and the focus on group processes also provide youngsters with the opportunity to consider the consequences of their behaviors to themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods.

Rather than having adults deliver moralizing lectures on the need to be responsible, these lessons are designed to engage students in critical thinking and group processes that can lead to peer-to-peer discussions of the need for personal responsibility. Students are familiar with what they will accomplish during the lesson and what is expected of them. Students get immediate feedback and recognition for applying knowledge of subject matter during various classroom activities.

The Teachers check for student understanding frequently (and especially before students begin activities with more than one direction). Technology is used whenever possible and appropriate. The students' ideas are the focus of many discussions. The teachers guided discussions are allows the students to feel free to express themselves.
The Law & the Family (Acrobat (PDF) 557kB Oct16 17)

Teaching Notes and Tips


A pre-test and post-test is administered to the students to assess what they have learned prior to lessons being taught and at the end of each lesson.

References and Resources