Time: One class period (or one-and-a-half if students do the reading in class)
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Overview: The Panel Discussion activity provides teachers and students alike with a format for structured discussion of controversial issues. In this discussion, students enrich their understanding of immigration policy in the article on Special Order 40 in Los Angeles.
You will need a copy of both the article "Local Police and Immigration Law: The Case of Special Order 40" and Handout A for each student.
Step One. Focus Discussion: After reading the article, ask students: "What do you think was the most important fact about Special Order 40 in the reading? Why?" Hold a brief discussion.
Step Two. Inform students that they are each part of a panel (small group) of local lobbyists who intend to urge the Los Angeles City Council to take some kind of action on Special Order 40. Divide the class into groups of five or six students. The students are going to discuss some issues raised by the article "Local Police and Immigration Law: The Case of Special Order 40" in their own panels. Each panel may advise the city council to repeal, amend, or maintain Special Order 40 but must always provide reasons for their decision.
Distribute Handout A- Panel Discussion to each student. Review the handout. Give students time limits on the discussion and have them begin.
Step Three. Call time. Call on reporters from each group to tell their answers to question #1. Repeat the process for each question.
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