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20 October 2014
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    Using the 'Sonar witnesses a crime' activity


    This film shows Sonar working in a shop where she witnesses two people she knows from school, shoplifting. She decides to stand as a witness and so learns about legal processes including how young offenders are charged, tried and sentenced in a court.

    The story introduces learning about crime action and covers the QCA schemes of work: Unit 15 Crime and safety awareness - a whole-school multi-agency approach.

    How to use with a whole class with access to computers

    Students work through the different parts of the story and decisions. Give guidance so they can make notes in their books about what they are learning. These questions may help:

    1. Why should Sonar report the crime she witnessed?
    2. What happens at the police station?
    3. What happens at the Youth Court?
    4. What punishment were Dev and Flo given? Do you think this is right?

    When everyone has had the chance to follow Sonar's story to the end, introduce some small group activities to reinforce the learning from the animation. This can be done by re-enacting each scene in turn and discussing possible alternative outcomes.

    Start with the scene in the shop. What should Sonar do when witnessing the two young people stealing things?

    Repeat this approach for the scene at the police station and at the Youth Court.

    Alternatively, this activity can be done as a discussion/design task, illustrating each scene and adding a number of possible endings.

    Now use the computers to print out your favourite scenes from Sonar's story. Use these to make posters for an information campaign about the justice system. Add your own words or extra pictures. Plan how your class can run this campaign in the school.

    As a summary of learning from the animation, organise a class debate on: Does the legal system in England and Wales deal effectively with young people who act against society?

    Encourage students to explore active citizenship with 'Get Involved'. There are examples of citizenship action by other schools. They can 'Go off on a tangent!' with audio and video clips, find out more on 'Get the lowdown' or test themselves with the quizzes. Students who finish early can add their own ideas about crime on the messageboard.

    How to use with only a small number of computers

    Ask students to print out different pages from the 'Sonar witnesses a crime' animation. They bring these to a whole class discussion, so that they story can be built up from the pictures.

    Discussion of crime and punishment issues - particularly as they affect young people - can then be developed from the story. Stop for recording information in exercise books, or develop written tasks:

    1. Re-tell Sonar's story from a different perspective, e.g. as if you were one of the shoplifters.
    2. Write a short story about shoplifting, based on any personal experience or purely imaginary.
    Suggestions for using with an interactive whiteboard

    Project the animation onto the board, stopping at each page to discuss what might happen next. Use the board to design alternative endings for the story. Use the quiz in the same way, projecting each question and inviting answers.

    Suggestions for using the site for planning lessons

    Make OHP transparencies from the animation and the quiz. Project each of these in turn, as suggested above. Ask students to write a crime report as if they were the police officers investigating the shoplifting incident.

    1. Print out pictures from three key scenes in the animation: the shoplifting, the police station and the courtroom. Use these as large pictures or OHP transparencies to introduce Sonar’s story to the class.

    2. At each of these three points in the story, stop to give students time to think and talk together, asking What happened? How is Sonar involved? What should she do in this situation?

    3. When the story is finished, lead into a more general discussion about shoplifting and youth crime asking students Why do young people steal from shops? What do they steal? How often do you think they are caught? What usually happens to them when they are?

    4. Summarise this introduction to ‘crime’ as a Citizenship topic by putting up the saying: ‘crime doesn’t pay’. Ask students to talk about this in pairs and whether they agree with it. They should finish by making short notes in their books for what they have learned about youth crime during the lesson.

    Suggested questions to encourage class discussion

    1. Who makes the laws?
    2. What would happen if there were no laws?
    3. Why do people do shoplifting?
    4. How can shops prevent this from happening?
    Extension work for more able pupils

    1. Find out about how punishments have changed over time in the United Kingdom. Examples could include using the stocks or, until more recently, the death penalty. Present your findings along a timeline, using words or pictures.

    2. Explore different moral codes for crime and punishment in different religions. Use your findings to set up a class debate about what are appropriate punishments for particular crimes.

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