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Gang Awareness

Part of our comprehensive workbook series, these materials were developed with two populations in mind: (1) those elementary school youth who are already showing signs of interest in gang involvement; and (2) a high risk population in a community where somewhat older youth are gang-involved. They are especially suited to the elementary school and grade 6 populations.

This section is meant to be used by teachers as a supplement to The Phoenix Curriculum Core program. The activities found in this section may be used with the core curriculum lessons, or as part of a stand-alone class session.

Lesson 1: Gang Awareness

This lesson provides a starting point for discussion of gang activity in the school, the neighborhood, or the community. Gangs are a fact of life in many communities. The students know about them, as do the adults who work with them. This lesson is designed to initiate or develop a dialogue about the presence of gangs and their impact on the lives of your students.

Lesson 2: Why Do Kids Join Gangs/Hang Out With Gangs?

Explores various reasons for gang involvement.

Lesson 3: Does It Make Sense For You To Be In a Gang

This lesson provides several facts concerning kids and gang involvement. Each fact, developed from U.S. Department of Justice documents, provides the opportunity for individual responses and group discussion.

Lesson 4: Choices and Consequences

This lesson provides three topics for individual work and group discussion. The objective is to examine the emotional pain and physical risks of making the wrong choices.

Lesson 5: Handling Risks: Where Do You Stand?

Students are asked to identify where they stand on a set of critical risk factors. As in the previous lesson, the materials provide a chance for each student to identify where he/she stands on critical choices. Following this, the leader can guide a discussion of where these choices might lead.

Lesson 6: Avoiding Gangs

Some students will make the choice to avoid gang involvement. This lesson provides guidance and support in avoiding gang involvement.


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