Take the Leap: Go Ahead with Those Crazy Ideas.

I taught Business and Personal Law to juniors and seniors.  We were learning the sources of law.  After polling the students regarding their comfort level with understanding these sources of law, I realized most of the students were vague about 1-2 of these sources.  Based on this formative assessment, I had to adjust my instructional approach and began to brainstorm ideas to accomplish this.  A crazy idea popped in my head (described below).

The following day, I asked students to write a love letter to their favorite source of law, as part of their entry-task.  Students immediately thought I had gone nuts.  I explained that I was serious.  I reminded students that their letter needed to be romantic and to describe why that source of law was their favorite and mattered.  Students were 100% engaged in creating their love letter.

Next, I asked students to read their love letters in small groups.  Giggling and laughter could be heard.  Finally, I asked each small group to pick one person to read their love letter out loud.  We heard various love letters to ALL the sources of law, and explanations why this was so. 

Here's an exert  from one letter addressed to the student's love - the U.S. Constitution:

"Oh Constitution.  You are so manly.  Even though you are in D.C. and supreme law of the land, you are still my protector.  You protect me when I speak, when I worship, and vote..."

I polled the students again, and students indicated they were more comfortable understanding the sources of law.

Bottom line - Go ahead with those crazy, off-the-cuff ideas.  These ideas hold the potential to revive the curriculum, engage the students, and lead to deeper understanding.