HNN Teacher's Edition: Gun Control (Grades 3-6)

Teachers' Edition: Grades 3-6 (Lesson Plans)
tags: Second Amendment, gun control

Duration:  One 35-45 minute lesson.


Students will understand the topic of gun control and express their opinions through a RAFT assignment.
Students will participate in a lock down drill and understand the procedures.


  • By completing a RAFT assignment, students will identify the two major positions on gun control.
  • Essential Question: How can gun violence be reduced?


    Attention Getter: 

    Tell students that in 2012 alone, almost 450 people in Chicago died from something. Have them guess what it could be. After a few guesses have been made, tell students that these deaths were from gun violence.
    (For more information, see this article from the Chicago Sun-Times)

    Main Lesson:

  • Give a brief introduction on the recent gun violence that has been in the news.  For example, the Newtown and Aurora shootings. Check the backgrounder for more details.
  • Explain how these events have sparked a big debate about gun control.
  • Draw a vertical line down the middle of the chalkboard or whiteboard and briefly describe the political positions of the right and the left regarding gun control. See backgrounder for more details.
  • To get opinions out of students, they will complete a RAFT writing activity. Here is a link that I found helpful from Literacy Leader.
  • Below are a few options for various ways to complete the activity. Write a few on the board and explain the options as you write them. Make sure to tell students to show evidence that they are familiar with both sides of the issue.
  • Role




    • Parent
    • Brother
    • Sister
    • Gun
    • Bullet
    • President
    • Law Maker
    • Yourself

    Role and audience can overlap, but below are a few additional examples:


  • Give students time to complete the activity. After they have completed it, let some students volunteer to share what they created.
  • Conclusion

    When the RAFT activity is wrapped up, explain to the students that schools have plans to keep students safe in the event that the school is threatened in any way, including gun related threats. Go through your school’s lockdown procedures and have students take part in a brief drill.

    Accommodations for students with special needs

  • RAFT is a differentiated strategy. Prompt students with special needs to pick topics and formats that are at their ability and readiness levels.
  • Provide a scribe or student to help those who struggle with writing.

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