Conclusion, Rule, Explanation, Application, and Conclusion
I've talked about it for three weeks. CREAC this and CREAC that. Now, it's time for the students to write their first legal analysis using this format. Baby steps. We will do it together.
I have an exercise, based on the post-9/11 U.S. Patriot Act, that involves the effort of our "client" to bring onto an aircraft two sharpened pencils, knitting needles, and nail polish remover. Are they prohibited dangerous weapons? At the start of class, students are skeptical. How can these household items be weapons?
Then, in a dramatic demonstration, I light the nail polish remover on fire, jab the pencils towards the eyes of the nearest student (safely of course), and hold a thin knitting needle near the sternum of another student.
Oh! Now the analysis becomes real.
The fun part is teaching them how to do the Application, where students compare the facts of the "illustrative case" to our client's facts. Last year, I started using a T-Chart to help them organize the analysis. It worked better than I ever expected.
They practice one more time, with my help, before they are tested on the CREAC structure in Week 7.
These are the days when I get to see my students' brains work. I just love it!