"Democracy in America" by Alexis de Tocqueville is one of the most influential books ever written about America. While historians have viewed "Democracy" as a rich source about the age of Andrew Jackson, Tocqueville was more of a political thinker than a historian. His "new political science" offers insights into the problematic issues faced by democratic society.
This unit, designed for a freshman Civics course, focuses on the basics of American citizenship. The unit introduces the requirements of being an American citizen, how one can become an American citizen, and how American citizenship has been molded over the course of our nation's history. This unit is introduced after students have had an introduction to American Government and have taken an American history course.
Civics HSCEs: C.5: Citizenship in the United States of America
On 12 September 1787, during the final days of the Constitutional Convention, George Mason of Virginia expressed the desire that the Constitution be prefaced by a Bill of Rights. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts proposed a motion to form a committee to incorporate such a declaration of rights; however the motion was defeated. This lesson examines the First Congress's addition of a Bill of Rights as the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
Give Civics, Law, U.S. History students practice in analyzing historical Primary Source document and connect to contemporary news. Develop writing process to incorporate claims, evidence, and reasoning.
Created through a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, Chronicling America offers visitors the ability to search and view newspaper pages from 1690-1963 and to find information about American newspapers published between 1690"“present using the National Digital Newspaper Program.
"Coastal Clash" is a one-hour documentary focusing on the urbanization of California's coastline. The activities and lesson plans for the film "Coastal Clash" target students at the high school level and align with the California State Standards for Government. Students will study the concept of "private property" and the Fifth Amendment, analyze arguments, and evaluate evidence to develop their own opinions.
This lesson will guide your students into a deeper understanding of how the three main branches of the American government check and balance each other. This activity can be utilized ideally in a classroom setting but could also conceivably be moved online in the form of a google plus or skype exercise. Student will be broken into three groups, one for each main branch;Executive, Judicial, and Legislative. The groups then must each decide on an action that they would like to take. Once they divulge the action they would like to take the other groups must peruse the Constitution and their textbooks and seek ways that their branch could check and/or balance the proposed action of the other.
This course examines American constitutional law in historical and modern context. It focuses closely on the constitutional text and Supreme Court case law. It explores the allocation of decision-making authority among government institutions, including the distribution of power across the branches of the federal government and between the federal and state governments. The course also examines the guarantees of individual rights and liberties stemming from the due process, equal protection, and other clauses in the Bill of Rights and post Civil War amendments.
After downloading, please go to www.teachingtolerance.org and view the PD modules that accompany each domain. These standards are an excellent start, and having them posted in our classrooms is powerful, but let's continue to do our own work to live out these standards authentically in our own lives...
This lesson focuses on the American Revolution, which encouraged the founding fathers' desire to create a government that would, as stated in the Preamble, insure domestic tranquility and provide for the common defense. This lesson correlates to the National History Standards and the National Standards for Civics and Social Sciences.
This class introduces students to innovative as well as classic approaches to studying U.S. government. The writing assignments will help you explore, through a variety of lenses, statis and change in the American political system over the last three decades. In the end each student will have a solid grounding in our national political institutions and processes, sharper reading and writing skills, and insight into approaching politics critically and analytically.
This course explores the history of the ideal of personal freedom with an eye towards contemporary debates over the pros and cons of the regulatory state. The first part of the course surveys the sociological and theological sources of the concepts of freedom and civil society, and introduces liberty's leading relatives or competitors: property, equality, community, and republicanism. The second part consists of a series of case studies in the rise of modern liberty and libertarianism: the abolition of slavery, the struggle for religious freedom, and the twentieth-century American civil liberties movement. In the last part of the course, we take up debates over the role of libertarianism vs. the regulatory state in a variety of contexts: counter-terrorism, health care, the financial markets, and the Internet.
provides information about the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, Ford's Theatre, the Franklin Roosevelt Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and more.
Students will learn how the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution was shaped by historical events and how it reflected the fundamental values and principles of a newly independent nation.
In this unit students explore the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Through a lesson on the Bill of Rights, students learn how government affects their daily lives by identifying situations in which specific rights are involved. They also explore why rights have limits and the relationship between rights and responsibilities. In exploring the responsibilities of citizenship, students focus on the need for citizens to be informed about public issues. They deepen their understanding of public issues and the importance of citizen action in a democratic republic. They identify public policy issues facing citizens in the United States and then use sources to analyze information about a particular issue. In exploring the issue, they evaluate alternative resolutions and analyze how conflicts among core democratic values often lead people to want different resolutions to a public policy issue. Finally, students demonstrate competency in expressing their own opinions relative to a public issue in the United States and justify their opinions with a reasoned argument.
This is a short 2-page assessment, where students differentiate school, home, and community responsibilities as well as indicate different roles in the school community. ...
This lesson plan includes documents and images for learning about the American Revolution, the Constitution, the creation of the U.S. Navy, Eli Whitney's patent for the cotton gin, Thomas Cooper's violation of the Sedition Act, and the Electoral College.
This powerpoint contains 9 pictures of rural, suburban, and urban communities. The slides are blank (they do not say which community type they are) which allows for discussion.