Searching for a solution


Many young people have lost best friends, brothers, sisters, cousins, fathers, etc. to gang violence. The United States Department of Justice estimates there are approximately 30,000 gangs, with 800,000 members, impacting 2,500 communities across the United States (COPS, 2008). The numbers of known gangs are not only rising, but they are also becoming more brutal and ruthless in their methods of violence. (As shown in the photo above–the horrific act of one of the most dangerous gang organizations, Los Zetas, just over the Mexico/U.S. Border.

To you, our nation’s youth, gang culture is no uncommon phenomenon (widespread occurrence). Some of you and your communities suffer daily with unnecessary violence, and at times, the senseless loss of life brought about by gang activity. It has been said by numerous teens heavily caught up  in this lifestyle that they’ll “be lucky to see 18,” (meaning their 18th birthday). How sad. The question is, what can youdo to change that? to possibly offer them a chance at life?  Here, you will take an intimate journey into the world of gang culture in order to better understand the depth of the reasons why teens might feel compelled to join this world full of danger and violence. (Some of you may already be so caught up in this lifestyle that you could probably teach this part of the lesson.) Some teens may feel the gang is their only option. If this is you, challenge yourself to take a close look at some true alternatives.

Through this WebQuest, you will see that the gang is not the only option. One of your tasks will be to investigate programs that  have successfully helped teens to get out of the gang, get jobs, and acquire (get) a new sense of purpose. The greater task will be that of developing a program of your own that your community might actually consider using to help stop the unwanted consequences of gang activity.

NOTE: Throughout this WebQuest, after clicking on links, click on the BACK button to get back to the page your were viewing prior to visiting the page link.

Reading and Writing Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will use viewing, listening, reading, and writing strategies to access prior knowledge, build background knowledge, and write a response on the consequences of gang activity on a variety of social structures, such as nation, community, family, and self.
  • Students will collaborate, gather, and organize information from a variety of texts in order to synthesize a persuasive plan of action/solution to combating gang problems.
  • Students will plan, draft, revise, and edit for conventions and mechanics for a final copy.
  • Students will locate, read, analyze, and organize information in order develop an informative brochure on the truth about gangs within the nation and the community

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