Sie sind auf Seite 1von 19

We the People Grade: 8th Grade Students Purpose: Learn about the American Government by having a hands on approach.

Time Period: A Semester Brittany Balash

Part One: Contextual Factors Unit Theme: The theme of this unit is the American Government. The purpose of this unit is to allow for the students learn about their national, state and local government. They will then have the opportunity to use the knowledge they have gained and form their own classroom government. Grade Level and Estimated Time: This unit will be targeting the 8th grade level and will approximately take a full semester to complete. Within this semester there will be field trips and guest speakers, thus allowing the students to have a first-hand experience. Unit Description: This unit is entitled We the People. In this unit the students will experience many different aspects that make up the American government. They will learn the foundation of our government how it was developed and the different roles of each branch. The students will also be exposed to the separation of local, state and national government. They will learn about their local representatives and hopefully have the opportunity to meet and ask some of them questions. The students will also learn how the laws they follow actually become laws. They will then have the opportunity to create their own legislation for the classroom. Since this unit is going to be taught in a history or social studies classroom setting the students will begin learning about the American Government by first targeting the primary documents. They will learn about the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Then they will have an opportunity to create a constitution for their own nation.

Significance/rationale for the unit: 1) The middle school curriculum should focus on general education. This unit plan will target the students both as a whole and personally. They will be able to embrace their individuality through many different activities including the creating of their own constitution. This unit will show the students that they are a vital part of the American society and they should be able to speak their voices. It will also allow them to be more informed on what people really vote for, thus allowing them to feel more obligated to vote when they are of age. 2) The central purpose of the middle school curriculum should be helping early adolescents explore self and social meanings at this time in their lives. This unit will allow the students to understand that they have an important role in their society. They will have the opportunity to explore the political world through the eyes of local, state and national government. They will also be able to attend field trips that will show them the importance of political roles. They will be able to explore their own personal beliefs and engage in debate over social and classroom issues. 3) The middle school curriculum should respect the dignity of early adolescents. In this unit the students will be treated at a normal citizen. They will not judged by their age level. Instead we will embrace their age. They will be able to participate in discussions focused on recent current events and issues; they will also have the task of brainstorming different ways we can solve current debates and conflicts. 4) The middle school curriculum should be firmly grounded in democracy. One aspect that is both crucial for society and for those at the middle school age level is the importance of democracy. In this unit the students will have the opportunity to

develop different laws and legislation for the classroom and they will have the chance to vote on them. This will allow the students to not only witness what true democracy is but it will also expose them to the system of checks and balances; which is another huge aspect of the American Government. 5) The middle school curriculum should honor diversity. Since a lot of the work that is done during this unit is based on the opinion and beliefs of the students they will be able to embrace their individual diversity and learning diversity. When it comes to their writing, I want them to write whatever they feel necessary in order to get their point across. I also want to embrace the cultural diversity in my classroom. Thus having a lesson that would revamp our current constitution and asking them what they feel should be added in order to allow our society to be more excepting of others differences. 6) The middle school curriculum should be of great personal and social significance. The book Is Voting for Young People? written by Martin P. Wattenberg, shows a drastic problem in regards to young citizens being involved in not only politics but voting in general. Many have said that it is because our young society is not fully educated enough to understand who and what they are voting for, thus they do not even attempted to get involved. In this unit the main goal is to not only educate the students, but to also get them involved. If they are exposed at such a young age they them will feel more comfortable to take part when they are of age. By teaching them the background of our society they will understand that they too can have their voices heard and make a difference.

7) The middle school curriculum should be lifelike and lively. This unit will allow the students to experience the intensity that a politician faces. They will engage in debates, be able to write letters to the editors of newspapers and take part in a mock political election. When taking part in these assignments and projects they will be assessed on their ability to use political vocabulary and the amount of personal belief and intensity they put into their work. As the teacher, I want them to feel comfortable expressing their opinions and beliefs. In our society debate is very crucial and as young Americans they should be able to have that experience. 8) The middle school curriculum should enhance knowledge and skills for all young people. The students will be able to use their own background knowledge and combine it with the different skills and materials taught in this unit to allow them to understand the basis of American politics and government. At the end of this unit they will have a better understanding as to who had control over what and why it is important for them as young citizens to take part in what happens with our nation. They will have a better understanding of the voting system and learning the importance of having that right to vote.

Part Two: Provide and justify the objectives for the unit 1. Students will review the history of our independence, and analyze the Bill of Rights to gain a better understanding of their basic rights and freedoms. a. Understanding, Summarizing, Remembering, Listing, and Paraphrasing i. C.8.1 Identify and explain democracy's basic principles, including individual rights, responsibility for the common good, equal opportunity, equal protection of the laws, freedom of speech, justice, and majority rule with protection for minority rights ii. C.8.2 Identify, cite, and discuss important political documents, such as the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and landmark decisions of the Supreme Court, and explain their function in the American political system 2. Students will be introduced to the structure of local government and other positions utilized by the government. a. Applying, Implementing, Outlining i. C.8.4 Describe and explain how the federal system separates the powers of federal, state, and local governments in the United States, and how legislative, executive, and judicial powers are balanced at the federal level 3. Students will have an understanding of services provided from community taxes. a. Creating, Designing, Understanding, Applying i. C.8.4 Describe and explain how the federal system separates the powers of federal, state, and local governments in the United States, and how legislative, executive, and judicial powers are balanced at the federal level

4. Students will actively participate in local government by having a simulated classroom election and community handling problem. a. Creating, Devising, Judging, Evaluating, Reviewing 5. Students will study the structure of the state government. They will have the opportunity to research and name their governor, senators and district representative. a. Evaluating, Checking, Critiquing, Analyzing, Understanding, Remembering i. C.8.4 Describe and explain how the federal system separates the powers of federal, state, and local governments in the United States, and how legislative, executive, and judicial powers are balanced at the federal level 6. Students will have an understanding of the term capital in the sense that this is where the state government is housed and that all 50 states have a capital. a. Understanding, Summarizing, Comparing i. C.8.4 Describe and explain how the federal system separates the powers of federal, state, and local governments in the United States, and how legislative, executive, and judicial powers are balanced at the federal level 7. Students will explore the other capitals of the fifty states. a. Comparing, Understanding, Remembering, Recognizing, Listing, Locating i. C.8.4 Describe and explain how the federal system separates the powers of federal, state, and local governments in the United States, and how legislative, executive, and judicial powers are balanced at the federal level

8. Students will observe the structure of the National Government. Students will be informed about where the President lives and works by visiting the White House via the internet. a. Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Remembering, Recognizing, Locating, Summarizing i. C.8.5 Explain how the federal system and the separation of powers in the Constitution work to sustain both majority rule and minority rights 9. Students will understand the importance of their role in society by learning how, where and why to vote. a. Evaluating, hypothesizing, experimenting 10. Students will learn how a bill is passed and be able to write and submit their own bill. a. Creating, Designing, Constructing i. C.8.1 Identify and explain democracy's basic principles, including individual rights, responsibility for the common good, equal opportunity, equal protection of the laws, freedom of speech, justice, and majority rule with protection for minority rights ii. C.8.3 Explain how laws are developed, how the purposes of government are established, and how the powers of government are acquired, maintained, justified, and sometimes abused 11. Student will be able to establish their own government, by constructing their own constitution and legislation. a. Creating, Inventing, Making, Hypothesizing

i. C.8.1 Identify and explain democracy's basic principles, including individual rights, responsibility for the common good, equal opportunity, equal protection of the laws, freedom of speech, justice, and majority rule with protection for minority rights ii. C.8.7 Locate, organize, and use relevant information to understand an issue of public concern, take a position, and advocate the position in a debate iii. C.8.8 Identify ways in which advocates participate in public policy debates

2, 3, 4, 5,6, 7

State Government The students will be assigned a state and be instructed to put together a presentation that targets their form of government. They will look at who the elected officials are and see what they have passed so far. They will be able to put this together as an oral presentation however there is no limit as to what forms of media they may use.

10, 11

Creating a Bill The students will design a bill that they want to be passed in the classroom. They will then present this bill to the class and indicate why they feel we need it vote on it.

2, 3, 4, 5, 10

Weekly Newspaper Article

The students will be able to look at a state government that is not their own. They will research and identify the political figures from that area. They will learn how government is run and understand how the community is served by those people. By creating their own bill the students will be able to see the process of how a bill is passed. They will understand why it takes congress so long to establish new bills and they will learn the format of bill writing. Students will also be able to have the opportunity to express what they feel needs to be changed in the classroom. Students must bring in a weekly newspaper article that they

The students will be assigned an individual state They must research and identify the political figures involved in the state government. They must prepare an oral presentation that should be about five minutes. They must provide credible sources. They must design a bill that they feel needs to be passed for the classroom. They must create the bill using some type of computerized program, such as Word or Publisher. They must have justifications as to why this bill must be passed.

Students must bring in an article of their choice Have some

feel is related to an important political issue. y

Amendment Assessment Students will be assigned an amendment per week. They have the ability to choose which one they would like to look over. Then at the end of the week they must either write about it or create a piece of art work that reflects the meaning of this amendment

Students will be aware of what each amendment means and how they are affected by them

y y

1, 2, 6, 8, 11

Vocabulary Quiz

2,4, 10

Community Involvement

Students will be quizzed on the different vocabulary used when working with politics and governmental positions Students will have to do three acts of community involvement. These can either be politically related or community based. There will be volunteer opportunities available in the classroom so

understanding and proof that they read the article Share their information during an informal classroom discussion Students pick one amendment Read it and either write what they feel it means in their own words or create an art piece based on how they feel when they read it. Each quiz will have the word and then the students must describe what the term means.

Each student must volunteer three different times throughout the semester They must have a signed sheet of paper from each place indicating what they did and where they worked

that everyone has an equal opportunity to complete this.

Each assessment will be worth a percentage of the final grade. The percentages are as follows: State Government: 20% Creating a Bill: 20% Weekly Newspaper: 10% Amendment Assessment: 10% Vocabulary Quiz: 10% Community Involvement: 30% Grading Scale:
y

A - 92-100) Outstanding level of performance Indicates that the pupil has done excellent work and has mastered the course objectives, consistently does excellent work with skill and thoroughness; and consistently has applied knowledge gained to new situations. B - 83-91) High level of performance Indicates that the pupil has done above average work, mastered almost all of the course objectives; and has applied knowledge gained to new situations. C - 74-82) Satisfactory level of performance Indicates that the pupil has done average work and has mastered many of the objectives of the course. D - 65-73) Needs improvement in performance Indicates that the pupil has done below average work and has mastered few of the objectives of the course. F - Below 65) Unsatisfactory level of performance Indicates that the pupil's work fell below a level of acceptance for the course and was unsatisfactory. I) Incomplete Indicates incomplete work which will need to be made up prior to a grade being assigned.

Oral Presentation Rubric : State Government

4 CATEGORY Preparedness Exceeds Criteria

3 Met Criteria
Student is completely prepared and has obviously rehearsed. Student understands the material and does not stumble on it when giving presentation.

2 Missing Some Criteria

1 No Criteria Present

Posture and Eye Contact

Stands up straight, looks relaxed and confident. Establishes eye contact with everyone in the room during the presentation.. Student is able to accurately answer almost all questions posed by classmates about the topic. Students are able to provided information about their topic of government. Uses vocabulary appropriate for the audience. Extends audience vocabulary by defining words that might be new to most of the audience. . Shows a full understanding of the topic.

Comprehension

Vocabulary

Content

Review the History of Our Independence (1, 10)

Bill of Rights

Freedoms and Rights

Role of National Government (8)

Presidencial Role

Checks and Balances

Role of State Government (5, 6, 7)

State Political Figures

Difference from states to state

Role of Local Government (2, 3, 4, 5)

Mayoral Duties

Community Figures

Effect on Us (10, 9, 4)

Role of voting

Importance of being involved

Create your own government (11)

Take prior knowledge to create their own classroom goverment

Lesson Plan 1
Objective: Students will review the history of our independence and analyze the Bill of Rights to gain a better understanding of their basic rights and freedoms as an American citizen. Standard: C.8.1 Identify and explain democracy's basic principles, including individual rights, responsibility for the common good, equal opportunity, equal protection of the laws, freedom of speech, justice, and majority rule with protection for minority rights C.8.2 Identify, cite, and discuss important political documents, such as the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and landmark decisions of the Supreme Court, and explain their function in the American political system Materials Needed: Bill of Rights Computer Access Know Your Rights Worksheet Activity: Warm Up: Students will be asked to write down as many rights as possible. As a class we will have a discussion about what rights we have as Americans. Students will begin to understand how the Bill of Rights has power over what happens to them. They will then be given a worksheet entitled Know Your Rights Students will have the opportunity to get with another classmate and use the computer to find the Bill of Rights online. They will then work in groups to complete this worksheet. When completing this worksheet they will be instructed to indicate what rights they have for each of the situations listed.

To wrap up this lesson we will come back together as a group and they will share with the class which rights they had. Thus allowing the classmates to have an open debate about what the Bill of Rights means, and how it can mean different things to different people.

Lesson Plan 2
Objective: Students will be introduced to the structure of local government and other positions utilized by the government and community Standard: C.8.4 Describe and explain how the federal system separates the powers of federal, state, and local governments in the United States, and how legislative, executive, and judicial powers are balanced at the federal level Materials Needed: Computer Access Activity: Definitions: Students will be given the following definitions/terms: Mayor City Council Member Police Chief Fire Department Chief Heath & Social Services Appoint Approve Elect As a class we will go through each term and position. We will talk about what they are in charge and what they are currently doing in our community. The students will then be instructed to go online and look up who their local members are and create a chart showing how the power flows through community government.

Lesson Plan 3
Objective: Students will observe the structure of the State Government. Standard: C.8.4 Describe and explain how the federal system separates the powers of federal, state, and local governments in the United States, and how legislative, executive, and judicial powers are balanced at the federal level C.8.5 Explain how the federal system and the separation of powers in the Constitution work to sustain both majority rule and minority rights Materials Needed: Internet Access Activity: Definitions: As a class we will discuss the following branches of government: Executive, Legislature, & Judicial. We will go through the roles of each branch and talk about how they are all affected by the system of Checks and Balances. Then we will decide if the politicians are elected or appointed. Finally we will talk about our local elected officials that fall under these categories. Then students will be instructed to complete an internet activity in which they complete a worksheet by naming the governor, two senators and district representatives.

Knowing Your Rights Worksheet


1. You are accused of robbing a local 7-11 store. You are tried and found innocent. Two years later more information is found. They decide to try you again for the same crime.

2. The government passes a law that states that all newspaper articles must be read by a judge before they can be published.

3. Julie, found guilty of staling candy, has her right hand cut off.

4. It is against the law for anyone to own a gun.

5. You have been accused of stealing a car and bail has been set for $100,000.

6. Your property, where your home is located, is needed for the building of a new school. The state takes your land from you and tells you that you must move, but they pay a fair price for the land.

7. In order to save money, the army decides to place soldiers in your home for six weeks, even though there is no war going on.

8. You have been accused of a crime. You are put in jail. You are in jail for three years before you have a trial.

9. Police officers search your home to see if you have any stolen item, and present you with a search warrant.

11. John was accused of a crime and given a quick trial but he was not allowed to have any defense. 12. All guns are called in by a local judge to be kept in a safe holding area. The people were allowed to use their guns only when they went hunting.

14. A warrant was issued to search your house for a large sofa. While searching for the sofa, a small painting was found in a closet. The painting has been stolen, so the police took it with them.