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ERIC Number: EJ812704
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Using Literature to Teach the Rule of Law
Landman, James
Social Education, v72 n4 p165-170 May-Jun 2008
This article looks at three examples of children's and young adult literature that offer entertaining, accessible, and at times provocative, explorations of the rule of law in very different settings. Lewis Carroll's classic, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," finds Alice confronting a host of procedural irregularities and abuses of power within the nonsensical world that she discovers after her fall through a rabbit hole. Louis Sachar's novel for young adults, "Holes," asks readers to confront injustices past and present and reflect on the meaning of justice. The fifth installment in J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," opens with an extensive exploration of due process (or the lack thereof) in the wizarding world. The books discussed in this article can be used with a range of age groups. "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Holes" are suitable for late elementary and middle school grades, while both "Holes" and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" are suitable for middle and high school students. All three books have been adapted into films; the movie versions of "Holes" and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" are particularly good at dramatizing issues of law and justice and could be screened as a complement to students' reading of the novels. This article outlines key passages of the three books that address rule of law concepts and suggests how these passages can invite student exploration and discussion of the rule of law. Suggested discussion questions for classroom use are provided in the "Teaching Activity" section of the article. (Contains 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A