LESSON: CITIZENSHIP EXAM
To begin this unit, we will examine whether you would be, if you were not born in this country, admitted into the U.S. as a citizen by taking the civics portion of the Homeland Security citizenship exam. We will also have a special guest come and explain what it is like to go through this process as an immigrant.
History of the U.S. System
Why did the Articles of Confederation fail?
To assess the failure of the Articles of Confederation and success of the Constitution.
LESSON: Articles of Confederation
In class we will discuss the failure of the Articles. Take notes on Ms. Eckert's presentation. Read the article below, then respond to the question, "How did the Articles of Confederation fail?"
Complete a vocabulary card for each term below.
The Structure of the U.S. Constitution
Does the Constitution ensure a peoples authority?
In what ways are the main ideas within the Constitution still issues today?
Is it in the government interest to mediate between two equally supported groups (the majority and the minority)? Or, does the government have an interest in maintaining the distribution of power in the hands of the majority?
To dissect the meaning and values within the Constitution.
To evaluate the meaning behind the Constitution and assess the still relevant issues within it.
LESSON: Core Democratic Values
Examine the text below.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Consider: What is the purpose of the Preamble to the Constitution?
Create a vocabulary card for each of the values we discuss.
If you need help defining them, click on the Core Democratic Values.
LESSON: Mapping the Constitution
The six Big Ideas in the Constitution:
Choose an idea to explore more in depth. Examine the Constitution to identify two examples of your Big Idea in action (quotes from the text). Rephrase the quote in your own words to hone in on its meaning. There will be multiple correct answers for each Big Idea. Each group/person will share their examples with the class. Use the Outlining the Six Big Ideas document.
Example: Separation of Powers-Article II, Section 2, clause 2 says that the Executive "shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur." This means that two branches, the President and Congress (the Senate), have to agree before a treaty goes into effect.
LESSON: Success of the Constitution
Read the article below then respond to the question, "Why was the Constitution successful?"
LESSON: Basic Structure of the U.S. System
In class we will examine the basic structure of the U.S. system of government. We will look at the following elements of our governments structure and broaden our understanding of their powers and restrictions.
Take notes on Ms. Eckert's STRUCTURE PREZI by Clicking Here. Ms. Eckert will provide handouts of the following diagrams. Examine these documents to reinforce your learning. Participate in the in-class games to support your understanding of these concepts.
PROJECT: Choose from one of the research questions below and create a poster to represent your learning. Determine whether this aspect of our government meets the needs of a broad base of people. Respond to the question, "Does this way of organizing ensure a people's authority?"