TITLE: Paper Clip Game for Learning the Value of Rules AUTHOR: Kathleen Franz, WA GRADE LEVEL/SUBJECT: 11-12, law OVERVIEW: The paper clip game serves as a good devices for discussing the need for and importance of rules in society. It acts as a springboard for developing a working definition of law and understanding the importance of law. It serves to overcome an often negative perception of law. OBJECTIVES: Students will be able to: 1. Identify three components of good rules (law): Purpose, Notice, Consistency and Fair Application. 2. Equate the lack of good rules with feelings of confusion, frustration and anger. 3. Recognize the need for good rules to achieve order and a goal. RESOURCES/MATERIALS: paper clips ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES: 1. Divide the class into rows, making sure that one row has more students and that one row has more boys (or girls). 2. Give each student in the front row five paper clips. Then tell them to begin. (Students will exhibit confusion, not knowing what to do. Eventually someone will start doing something.) 3. After a brief period, stop the game. Tell them they may only pass one clip at a time. The object is to pass the clips backward and then forward and the first row to finish wins. Start them over again. 4. After a brief period, stop the game. Tell them the clips must be passed back over the left should and passed forward over the right. Start them over again. 5. After a brief period, stop the game. Explain that there are too many people in one row and they should have twice as many clips to pass and that there are more girls in one row, so they should have less clips to pass. After making these adjustments, start the game over again. 6. Allow the game to now proceed to the end and debrief the students on their feelings and observations. List the student generated responses on the board. TYING IT ALL TOGETHER: Subsequent discussion of student responses should be related to society's need for rules of conduct, their purpose, their consistency and their fair application in order to avoid confusion and frustration and achieve goals. Specific examples or rules and laws may be used to further illustrate the points made.
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