Period 3 – Criminal Behavior Lesson Plans (4-1-2016)

Criminal Behavior HeaderTopic:

Introduction to the Russian Mafia (Eurasian Mob)


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 be able to explain the basic organizational structure, history, and specialties of the Russian Mafia.

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

C.C.S.S. Standards:

WHST 11-12.2 – Write informative/explanatory texts.

*While Common Core Social Studies standards are currently under development my courses adhere to following the C.C.S.S. standards for English.


Warm Up – (5 minutes)

Go to and enter room “A89559b4”.

Results -> *pending*

Task #1 –

We didn’t get a chance to grade the posters from yesterday. Once all groups posters are displayed every student will be given a physical ballot (vote). Each student will go up and look at the displayed posters and judge them on a 1-5 scale. 1 = very poor quality to 5 = amazing and covers every topic. The poster that receives the highest score after all ballots are added up will receive extra credit.

Task #2 – 

We are going to be looking at the YaKuZa way of life and comparing it against what we already know of the Russian Mafia and La Cosa Nostra in a three way Venn Diagram. For a reference of how to construct one of these use the diagram below. I will be giving you copy paper for this assignment.

Three Way Venn Diagram

Task #3  – 

After we finish our Venn diagram comparison we are going to have discussion groups to verbally analyze the YaKuZa. Each group will be responsible for only their question.

Group #1 – What evidence can you find to support the statement that the YaKuZa “are the largest criminal organization on the planet”?

Group #2 – What are at least four symbols that the YaKuZa use? What are the meanings of these symbols?

Group #3 – What were some of the YaKuZa criminal activities mentioned in the documentary?

Group #4 – Based on what you know, how would you explain why the YaKuZa act like “Family”?

Group #5 – Why do you think the YaKuZa still use a traditional method of tattooing?

Group #6 – Why would the YaKuZa adopt a name that literally means “Loser”?

Group #7 -Based on what you know, how would you explain why the YaKuZa act like “The Military”?

Group #8 – Explain why the Japanese government would outlaw tattooing.

Group #9 – What distinctions can you make between Russian Mafia tattoos  and YaKuZa tattoos?

Ticket Out the Door –

1.”What level of Webb’s depth of knowledge do you think we primarily worked at today? Why?”

Webbs Depth of Knowledge Chart

2. On a scale of 0% to 100% did we meet our objective for today? 100% means you believe we absolutely hit the objective. 

3. By percentage, how much of today do you feel was “active learning” vs “passive learning”? You answer must total 100%. 


Your Essay on La Cosa Nostra is due by tonight at midnight.

La Cosa Nostra Essay Template

Paragraph 1 – (8-9 sentences)

Introduce the reader to who La Cosa Nostra is, how organized crime operates, and some of the vocabulary that they used such as “A front” or “shakedown”. Additionally, introduce the reader to how many crime families make up the Italian Mafia, where they came from, and how they conflict with each other.

Paragraph 2 – (8-9 sentences)

Now explain how La Cosa Nostra began back in Italy and how they came to the United States. How did they force people to pay them “protection” money or force them to buy illegal products from them? Think about what you saw in “The Untouchables” film clips.

Paragraph 3 – (8-9 sentences)

Go into detail about how many families make up the Italian Mafia and how they conflict with each other. Think about the activities we did before break. Focus on how conflict started with how the families all wanted to own all of New York.

Paragraph 4 – (8-9 sentences)

Talk about how law enforcement tries to bring down organized crime. Think about the activity we did about undercover A.T.F. and D.E.A. agents who went undercover  and lied to get into the mob and once again think about the film clips you saw from “The Untouchables” and Elliot Ness’s efforts.

Paragraph 5 – (8-9 sentences)

Explain to the reader why they should care about organized crime and how it negatively impacts society.

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