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The below lesson resources are available as a package for 1 assignment credit.

Lesson Plan:

Assessment:

Worksheet:

Free Lesson
Social Studies
Grades 4 - 12
558 students · 4 countries · 79 groups



Assign
Hands of Hope for Sandy Hook
by Former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords, Nicole Hockley, and Jessica Lura

2556 hands
Students will write an "I hope..." sentence about how to make America safer on a cutout of their hand for the anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy.

Description:

1. Discuss the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy with your class and family.
2. Make a hand-shaped cutout to represent unity with the Sandy Hook community.
3. Write a sentence on it that begins with "I hope" about how to make America safer.
4. Hang hands in your school & post photos on UClass ONE HAND AT A TIME (guide for posting: http://youtu.be/-z_yA0Vs7_E). They will be compiled into a nationwide digital collage on December 20th, the week of the one year anniversary of the tragedy.
5. Watch hands of hope on ABC news to see how far your hope can reach http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/south_bay&id=9360405

Lesson Plan: 5-step

Key Points:

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords served Southeast Arizona in Congress for five years prior to founding Americans for Responsible Solutions, which focuses on reducing gun violence, after the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. She was wounded during the 2011 shooting at her constituent event in Tucson, AZ, which left six dead and 13 injured.

After the tragic death of her son Dylan, who was one of 20 first-graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Nicole Hockley dedicated herself to working for change so that other families might be spared the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence. That commitment led her to Sandy Hook Promise, where she oversees the organization’s communications and outreach efforts.

Jessica Lura teaches 8th grade English and Language Arts at Bullis Charter School, a K-8 public charter school in Los Altos, California. She was this year's Santa Clara County Teacher of the Year and serves as a Chair on UClass' Teacher Board.


Lesson Plan:
Remind students that last year at this time, a tragedy occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary school. Based on the age group and personal knowledge of your students, use discretion in how detailed you present it.

Watch this video -- http://www.schooltube.com/video/1720cd68aa4041c0b34b/ -- on a student-led vigil to show how people can come together after tragic events to make the world a better place.

For older students, an extension lesson is attached below with the following objective (also found as the Assessment): Students will learn about violence in the United States through research, will create an anti-violence campaign, and will connect with others through Twitter and UClass.
Attachment
Read the article on Sandy Hook Promise with your students. Discuss with your students why they feel Sandy Hook Promise was created.
http://www2.sandyhookpromise.org/the_promise

http://www2.sandyhookpromise.org/mission
(The first two paragraphs of this page are most helpful)3

Read the two articles on Gabby Giffords (and watch the optional video). Discuss how violence has impacted her life and how it has changed her.

http://americansforresponsiblesolutions.org/gabrielle-giffords/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/01/07/gabby-giffords-mark-kelly-tucson-shooting-gun-control/1816383/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poqNjj6fwaM

NOTE:
It is important to discuss any feelings and concerns that students may have about school safety that come up in the discussion about Sandy Hook Elementary School. There are many resources available about how to talk to students about violence at school including:
http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/talkingviolence.pdf and http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/index.cfm?objectid=CA866E4C-1372-4D20-C8D796080B7D2F96.
Explain to the students that after tragedies people often reach out to show support for the victims and their families. People also come together to enact local and national plans to prevent such tragedies from happening in the future.

Based on our readings, how have Gabby Giffords and Sandy Hook Promise worked towards preventing gun violence? How can we work together to make the United States a safer place? Brainstorm a list of hopes they have for the future and a list of what they can do to make these hopes happen.
Explain that last year after the tragedy at Sandy Hook people sent money, gifts, and other forms of support including homemade snowflakes. These snowflakes were a visual form of support, sympathy, and solidarity. Organizations such as Sandy Hook Promise were also formed to help prevent this from happening in the future.

Tell your students: This year our class is going to continue this tradition of creating art to honor the victims of Sandy Hook and to support the survivors, but this time we are going to trace one of our hands and cut it out of paper. On the hand you need to write two sentences. One sentence is your hope for the United States and one sentence is one thing that you are going to do to make the United States a safer place for everyone.

See examples from Former US Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and Sandy Hook mother Nicole Hockley here (and on the attachment below):
"I hope for a country that can work together to prevent gun violence." - Gabby Giffords
"I hope parents can come together to build a future for our children safe from gun violence" - Nicole Hockley

Once hands are complete, take pictures of them and post the pictures on UClass (below in the area where it says "Turn in Assignment"). Post an individual picture of each hand and a collective picture of them displayed in your classroom or school. You will be able to see all the other classes that have also chosen to honor the victims and have chosen to work together to make the United States safer. (guide for posting http://youtu.be/-z_yA0Vs7_E)

(directions and hand examples also found as Worksheet)
Attachment
Show students the other postings on UClass. Have them comment positively on other students’ hands that have been posted on UClass. Urge them to do at least one thing to make the United States a better place.

Correlating Common Core Standards:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Attachments: Summative Assessment Formative Assessment Media Link