Engaging Students in Higher Order Thinking with iPads (Right to Life)

“The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.” - Oscar Wilde


Spirit Mound, Vermillion, South Dakota, USAThe Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America establishes insuring domestic tranquility as one of the nation’s four primary objectives but the first is Justice. In a just and tranquil environment one ought to be able to expect to live free from fear of gun violence. This is especially true in our homes and the schools in which we entrust the well-being of our children. 

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“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and ourPosterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”


Are we safe?




Clearly there is an issue with gun safety but what is the problem and what can we do? These are questions about my pay grade but as citizens we are charged with grappling with such questions. That’s what being an American is!

The main argument against “gun control” is the Second Amendment which reads;


A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”


This sentence is at the heart of the issue. It states the right to bear arms will not be infringed without detailed what the right is. It doesn’t clarify the rights relationship to the concept of a well regulate militia. Why a militia? Who comprises this militia? Does the right to bear arms have a higher priority than other rights? How are we to resolve conflicts between rights? 

As an outdoorsman I value my own firearms but I value life more.







Higher order thinking is required of us all as we deal with this issue. Below are a few questions you might ask or use as a guide in writing your own.



In analysis we break information into parts ..., make inferences and find evidence to support generalizations.” 

What are the different issues involved in this controversy and how do they related to one another?



Synthesis involves compiling information in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or proposing alternative solutions.

Can you propose an alternative solution to the gun issue that provides more safety without infringing on responsible use of firearms?



Evaluation occurs when we present and defend opinions by making judgments about information, validity of ideas or quality of work based on a set of criteria.

Does the right to bear arms have a higher priority than the right to life itself?



Many students will be passionate about this topic but generally uninformed. Research is essential. Be sure your students know how to use Safari and Google before setting the loose. Encourage them to explore both sides of the issue and to use credible sources. Remind them that many valid opinions exist and they need to respect them all.

Students can complete this project with their iPads. Use Safari and Google to research the topic. Presentation slides, if desired, can be created using Keynote. Video presentations can be recorded using Camera. Pages is a great tool for writing papers.

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Dr. Winegar is available to help your organization wisely use technology. Email him directly at mark.winegar@mac.com or visit www.facebook.com/MobileLearningStudio.