Atlanta Child Murders

Daily Activities – Atlanta Child Murders

The daily activities created for each of the Today in Georgia History segments are designed to meet the Georgia Performance Standards for Reading Across the Curriculum, and Grade Eight: Georgia Studies. For each date, educators can choose from three optional activities differentiated for various levels of student ability. Each activity focuses on engaging the student in context specific vocabulary and improving the student’s ability to communicate about historical topics.

One suggestion is to use the Today in Georgia History video segments and daily activities as a “bell ringer” at the beginning of each class period. Using the same activity daily provides consistency and structure for the students and may help teachers utilize the first 15-20 minutes of class more effectively.

Optional Activities:
Level 1:
Provide the students with the vocabulary list and have them use their textbook, a dictionary, or other teacher provided materials to define each term. After watching the video have the students write a complete sentence for each of the vocabulary terms. Student created sentences should reflect the meaning of the word based on the context of the video segment. Have students share a sampling of sentences as a way to check for understanding.

Level 2: Provide the students with the vocabulary list for that day’s segment before watching the video and have them guess the meaning of each word based on their previous knowledge. The teacher may choose to let the students work alone or in groups. After watching the video, have the students revise their definitions to better reflect the meaning of the words based on the context of the video. As a final step, have the students compare and contrast their definitions to their textbook, dictionary or other teacher provided materials definitions.

Level 3: Provide the students with the vocabulary list and have them use their textbook, a dictionary, or other teacher provided materials to define each term. After watching the video, have the students write a five sentence paragraph based on the provided writing prompts.

Vocabulary/Writing Prompts:
Vocabulary Terms
Serial Killer

Writing Prompts
1. In a five-sentence paragraph use Wayne Williams arrest and conviction to explain the
basic steps of a criminal trial.
2. In a five-sentence explain the effects of the Atlanta Child Murders on the citizens of
Atlanta between 1979 and 1981.
3. In a five-sentence paragraph imagine you are a child living in Atlanta during between
1979 and 1981 and write about how the murders make you feel.

Related Georgia Performance Standards:

Reading Across the Curriculum (Grades 6-12)

SSRC1 Students will enhance reading in all curriculum areas by:
c. Building vocabulary knowledge
• Demonstrate an understanding of contextual vocabulary in various subjects.
• Use content vocabulary in writing and speaking.
• Explore understanding of new words found in subject area texts.
d. Establishing context
• Explore life experiences related to subject area content.
• Discuss in both writing and speaking how certain words are subject area
• Determine strategies for finding content and contextual meaning for unknown

Common Core, College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing

Text Types and Purposes
1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using
valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and

information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and
analysis of content.
3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective
technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Theme 6: Power Authority and Governance; Theme 5: Individuals Groups and Institutions

American Government, 9-12

SSCG21 The student will describe the causes and effects of criminal activity.
a. Examine the nature and causes of crimes.
b. Explain the effects criminal acts have on their intended victims.
c. Categorize different types of crimes.
d. Explain the different types of defenses used by perpetrators of crime.

SSCG22 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the criminal justice process.
a. Analyze the steps in the criminal justice process.
b. Explain an individual’s due process rights.
c. Describe the steps in a criminal trial or civil suit.
d. Examine the different types of sentences a convicted person can receive.