1. In groups of 3 to 4, make a word-web concept map of everything you know about gangs in your neighborhood. Concepts might include: Why do they join? What do they do? How do they represent (colors/signs)? What are the names of local gangs? How do they join? Where are they located? What are the dangers? And so on.
Present one “hub” (concept) of your map to the class.
2. Watch the “Gangs” section of “Gangs of New York.” Make a word-web concept map about these historical civil-war era gangs in New York City. Use your concept map of current local gangs as a template for the layout and questions you need to answer.
3. How are local gangs now similar and different from civil-war era gangs in NYC? (Do they dress the same? Do they join for the same reasons? Do they do the same things? And so on.)
4. Think about the following questions and discuss with your group:
Should Charley have been in a gang? Should anyone be in a gang? Are there any “legitimate” (“good”) reasons to be in gang? Why or why not?