Resource Title

A Matter of life and death: An introduction to the death penalty for second level students


This resource provides teachers with a detailed guide on teaching the death penalty in the classroom. Divided into four lessons this plan covers an introduction to the topic, a quiz and case studies, a ‘for and against’ section, and ‘how to take action’. Each topic has accompanying worksheets/teaching tools.

This resource covers a lot of material regarding the death penalty without being too dense or long. The lessons can take between 1-4 class times and teachers can be flexible with the content.

Resource Details


This resource uses two case studies (Troy Davis and Anthony Hynes) to cover the main issues and debates around the death penalty. More specifically, this lesson enables students to:

  • Analyse the concept of just and unjust punishment;
  • Evaluate critically the arguments for and against the death penalty;
  • Identify and name a selection of human rights from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR);
  • Express and justify personal viewpoints;
  • Learn about an international organisation working on human rights

The activities provided in this pack include:

  • Voting cards (Both introduction and conclusion)
  • A quiz
  • Case studies worksheet
  • Debate arguments
  • Universal declaration of human rights summary version

Available from:

Download A matter of life and death PDF (3.8MB)