Periods 2,3 – Criminal Behavior Lesson Plan (10-5-2015)

Criminal Behavior HeaderTopic:

La Cosa Nostra (Italian Mafia)


Organized Crime

Unit S.M.A.R.T. Goal:

At the end of this unit students have stated they will understand how structured criminal organizations originated, remain in power, how they are affiliated, strategies they implement, and how dangerous each is. Additionally, students have stated they will have developed the following skills: reading, analysis, observation, and identification. Success will be measured by four specific student developed goal oriented objectives they have designed to measure success culminating in a student developed summative project at the end of this unit.

Downloadable  PDF -> Student SMART Goal Input – Organized Crime

*Unit S.M.A.R.T. Goal written with this downloadable guide -> SmartGoals Template for Educators

Today’s Objective:

Students will gain the ability to intelligently discuss an article by Dr. James Finckenauer’s concerning La Cosa Nostra for the National Institute of Justice. Students will appraise the information presented to them followed by organizing this data into a easy-to-read poster that will be peer-reviewed on Tuesday (10-6-2015).

*Lesson objective written with this downloadable guide -> Writing Learning Objectives Guide

C.C.S.S. Standards:

RH 11 – 12.5 – Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.
*While Common Core Social Studies standards are currently under development my courses adhere to following the C.C.S.S. standards for English.


Teacher’s Note – Unfortunately, I am gone. I will be working upstairs in “A” building with other A.V.I.D. teachers.

Task #1 –

You will be in your groups of four. Each group will receive one copy of La Cosa Nostra in the United States by Dr. James Finckenauer. This report was written for the National Institute of Justice.

Task #2 –

In your groups you will take the four page report and pull the pages apart. This way there is one page per member of the group. If you have less than four people in your group determine a way to equally divide the work.

Task #3 –

Each member of the group will read through their page and highlight/underline the important information in the following areas:

*Organizational Structure


* Economic Resources

*Political Resources

*Responses of Law Enforcement Agencies to Organized Crime

Task #4 –

Once you have finished reading and analyzing your pages work together to design an informative poster on La Cosa Nostra that addresses the five areas listed above. When you are done developing your poster, a person should be able to look at this poster and understand who and what La Cosa Nostra are.  There are only enough blank posters for each group to receive one. Due to this fact, there are no extra posters available in case of mistakes. I recommend you create a rough draft of your poster on copy paper before putting your information in ink on the large poster. Below is an example of an academic poster that was designed to inform someone with no knowledge of the topic. You want to structure your poster so tha the important information is easily viewable to someone.

Academic Informative Poster

Task #5 –

When you finish your poster write all group members names on the back. Then put the posters face down on the long desk next to mine on the right side of the room. Make sure you are confident in your poster because they will be peer reviewed in an activity tomorrow. There is a reward for the best peer reviewed poster.

Task #6 (Time permitting) –

In our previous units we have written a five or seven paragraph essay, I believe you are ready for a break. In your group of four, come to a conclusion on what type of summative project you would like to do at the end of this unit on organized crime. Once you have chosen a type of summative project you then need to agree on why you believe that type of project is the best way of demonstrating what you learned from this unit. When you have a project type chosen and a reason given, write it on an index card and turn it into me tomorrow for credit.

Ticket Out the Door –

Webbs Depth of Knowledge Chart

Today I want you to do your Ticket Out the Door online through a chrome book or your smart phone by selecting an answer below and clicking “Submit”. As people answer you can see the results of the online poll if you would like.


This assignment was from Friday, but I get the feeling many forgot over the weekend due to Homecoming. If you have already written this assignment…. Congrats! If not, you have tonight to get this done and be ready to turn in tomorrow. You will developing your own story tonight individually utilizing the vocabulary you have learned so far in this unit, one academic paragraph in length. There is an example below of a vocabulary story. It was written by a criminal behavior student from Fall 2014 below.

Downloadable Example PDF -> Fluffian Mafia by Arturo M