The Rule of Paradox: The Rule of Law

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Lesson At A Glance

This lesson is the 3rd lesson for the unit outline which centers on of the necessity for rules. Students have had the opportunity to play a variety of games: physical, social, intellectual all the while discussing what makes a quality game.


  • Students will connect the importance between individuality and group cohesiveness.
  • Students will have hands-on design experience in developing a game from concept to completion.
  • Students will have the opportunity to engage in discourse and begin to understand that there can be more than one point of view.

Standards Addressed: 

5.7.5 Discuss the meaning of the American creed that calls on citizens to safeguard the liberty of individual Americans within a unified nation, to respect the rule of law, and to preserve the Constitution

5.7.3 Understand the fundamental principles of American constitutional democracy, including how the government derives its power from the people and the primacy of individual liberty.

Students apply what they learn in the visual arts across subject areas. They develop competencies and creative skills in problem solving, communication, and management of time and resources that contribute to lifelong learning and career skills

Common Core State Standards for ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects K-5

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening K-5

Comprehension and Collaboration

1. Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

2. Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

3. Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Essential Questions/Issues: 

  • What does it take to work toward a common goal? 


After having the opportunity to play all the games, students will respond to the following question:  Write about a rule that recurs throughout the games.  What rules were the most important as well as what rules were unnecessary and why. Were there any unfair rules? If so, why was it unfair?

Students might also write a letter to another group …

Click here to download the assessment tool here

Activity Steps:

Click here to download activity steps

1. Teacher reviews types of games played over the past days and/or in their past focusing on what makes games successful.  Chart

2. Teacher breaks students into groups (selective homogenous grouping by teacher).

3. Teacher hands out a prepared box of materials (dice, scarf, yarn, measurement tool, bin ) to each group of students. Allow exploration time. Teacher should be actively listening for comments to share with entire group. 

4. Pose questions: What might I have given you these materials? Accept responses. Think about what we have been discussing and doing these past few days. Accept all responses.

5. Teacher then brings groups together. Invites students to create a game of their choice using 4/5 objects. Each group will follow the same guidelines but all will have different outcomes.  Refer to chart in #1.

6. Show game guideline (see attached)

7. Students will need plenty of time to explore, discuss, create, brainstorm, review, revise.  Teacher moves from group-group gauging progress, facilitating as needed.

8. It may be wise to continue lesson over two days in order to let students have quality time to think about the project (Rome wasn’t built in a day!)

9. Students complete game plan, share among the class with each group having the opportunity to play everyone else’s game.

Special Needs of students are considered in this lesson:

Teacher model, visual aids


  • Live, Love, Play by Charles
  • VAPA standards SDUSD
     ( ie: H/SS Framework, websites referenced, books, videos, primary sources)
  • California State Standards:
  • History of Us, Book Four, Joy Hakim,  Oxford University Press, New York, 1993.

Outline of Unit Plan: 

Unit Name: Out of Many, One