Oj Simpson Lesson!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by historyteacher09, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. historyteacher09

    historyteacher09 Rookie

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    Feb 20, 2017

    Does anyone have any resources for an OJ Simpson lesson?
    I have a class where I can essentially teach whatever I would like and this would interest many of my students - yet I'm curious does anyone have any good documentaries to show and discussions to have ?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 20, 2017

    Wow. What exactly is your goal in teaching this?
     
  4. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    Feb 20, 2017

    Nothing important to add to your lesson ideas, but on a personal note I finally got around to watching The People vs. OJ Simpson since it was finally added to Netflix. It was much better than I was anticipating!
     
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  5. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

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    Feb 20, 2017

    This could be a great way to introduce Law, research, writing, courts, prosecution, court workers, news reporting and media topics. But, this seems like a more appropriate topic for a Science or forensics course.
    :)
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 21, 2017

    I'm also curious about what standards and objectives this would be meeting. Seems like a very gruesome topic without any context.
     
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  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 21, 2017

    Agreed. Parents could potentially have concerns with this topic as well. I don't understand the OP's claim of being able to teach whatever s/he wants.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 21, 2017

    I've heard of these sorts of courses at the secondary level. They're often used for study skills, interpersonal skills, remedial support, or enrichment. Usually they are created when there is a hole in scheduling, like when students are all required to take a one-semester health class but there aren't any other one-semester courses offered to fill in the other half of the school year.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 21, 2017

    And I'd still caution that the OP use prudence and caution in choosing his subject matter.
     
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  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Side note: someone donated a very interesting book to my school library. It was all about investigating crime scenes, sort of a combination of legal stuff and science. It had all kinds of kid-friendly information about footprints and fingerprints and strands of hair and whatnot. I was really pumped to add it to the collection until I saw a graphic crime scene photo from this case. It was very, very gruesome and graphic, really inappropriate for what seemed to be the target age group of the book. I decided to toss the book because I felt like that picture wasn't something that I wanted my students to have access to at school. Without it, I would have definitely kept the book. I was really disappointed and, frankly, pretty stunned to see such a picture in what was obviously a book meant for young people.
     
  11. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Feb 21, 2017

    Maybe talk about his sports career. Honestly, I would find someone more worthy of my time and effort for a history lesson. If it is for Black History month, pick someone honorable.
     
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  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Feb 21, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Feb 21, 2017

    I would also choose a different person. Right now in my English classes - and I can also teach whatever I want - we're reading biographies. (and answering questions, etc). I choose important people who were role models. We did 4 human rights activists and now they're writing a compare-contrast essay.
    Next I'm choosing people who overcame extreme hardship. I'm starting with Holocaust survivors. I don't want to talk about horrible people like Hitler or Dr. Mengele, I want to celebrate those who survived and did something great.

    Instead of OJ Simpson (if you still want to stay around court, crime, etc). why don't you choose someone who was falsely convicted, spent some time in jail but then fought to prove his innocence, got out and did something extraordinary with his life. That would celebrate perseverance, innocence, education, etc.
     
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  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 21, 2017

    If it was just one page, couldn't you have just ripped it out?
     
  15. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 21, 2017

    Btw, from what I remember you teach 8th grade. This is definitely not appropriate subject matter for this age group unless you completely skipped over much of the case.

    That said, my partner has been obsessed with OJ documentaries lately, so I've seen a lot of them (OJ: Made in America is the last one he watched). They are interesting from an adult perspective, but I think I would hold off from covering this with your students.
     
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  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    No. First, I don't like doing that to books. I prefer to leave them as the author intended. Second, the whole chapter seemed to focus on that picture, pointing out various theories and facts based on the position of the body, the amount of blood, etc.
     
  17. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 21, 2017

    Gotcha.
     
  18. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    Feb 22, 2017

    When I was in 8th grade, we spent nearly a month learning about the Holocaust. We were shown some of the most horrific and gruesome pictures I've ever seen, and we read plenty of lit on the subject. Can you please explain why learning about OJ Simpson would NOT be appropriate for 8th graders?

    As a history teacher, there are so many issues/angles you could delve into with the OJ case.
    - Money/power and justice
    - Our country's obsession with famous people/special treatment of OJ by LAPD
    - LAPD (and the city of LA)'s issues with race and how that played a role in verdict

    Granted, if OP is teaching an 8th grade history class, this would be somewhat of a difficult case to tackle. But certainly one that could bear fruit, if done the right way. The censorship suggested by some of the posters on this thread is alarming.
     
  19. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Feb 23, 2017

    Then teach a unit on how we treat famous people and those who are privileged in some kind of way vs how we treat minorities, homeless, mentally ill etc. in general, and in the court of law. Teach about money and power and justice. Teach these concepts, and study specific cases, one of which could be OJ Simpson, but there should be many others to offer a wide variety on these issues.
    But I would not offer a unit on OJ Simpson. Who was he anyways?
    Holocaust... a totally different story.
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 23, 2017

    Can you clarify your comment about censorship?

    I think that teaching about the Holocaust is very different from teaching about the OJ Simpson case.

    The Holocaust is part of a bigger discussion about morality, racism, and abuse of power. It was a worldwide event that impacted millions upon millions of people across many countries and continents. Teaching students about the Holocaust, including all the horrific details, helps students understand how hugely impactful it really was and humanizes the victims who were so cruelly and terribly dehumanized. Done correctly, lessons about the Holocaust don't trivialize it.

    On the other hand, learning about the OJ Simpson case is like gawking at a car crash. What impact did/does this event have on humanity? What larger discussion is there to be had that can't be had in a different or better or more age-appropriate context?
     
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  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 23, 2017

    And furthermore, we still haven't seen what objectives and standards the OP hopes to meet by teaching about the OJ Simpson case. Before you go asking people to justify why kids shouldn't be taught about it, maybe you can ask the OP to clarify why they should.
     
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  22. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Feb 23, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  23. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My feeling is that there are other cases that would demonstrate these issues just as well if not better than the OJ Simpson case, without the blood and gore and sensationalism that is so present in this particular story.
     
  24. renard

    renard Companion

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    Feb 23, 2017

    I can't imagine this to be a good idea. Let's use money/fame as an example. Does money/fame let you get away with murder? Or is money/fame the only way an innocent black man can defend himself in court? Is that really appropriate for 13 year olds?
     
  25. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Feb 23, 2017

    When would be a good time? I find that by 13 most students are already aware of these issues, but may not have the background and experience to discuss the issues maturely. Where will they get that background if not at school?
     
  26. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Feb 23, 2017

    Okay, I can understand your interest. But, you might really be putting yourself and your job on the line. Make sure this is okay with admin. first. I sometimes take risks, but OJ is so controversial...sure you really want to go there? Admin. can simply say that you weren't teaching one of the state standards and never told them about it. This might take away most (or all) of your get out of jail free cards for quite a long time.
     
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  27. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Feb 25, 2017

    I'm much more alarmed by people screaming censorship in cases where it doesn't apply. It seems to be the second most popular red herring today after FAKE.

    No one is saying he can't teach this, people are just wisely saying he shouldn't.
     

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