Civics February 2009

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Introduction

Course Guiding Question:

What does it mean to be a citizen?

 

Theme I: Citizenship and Civic Duty

Purpose: To recognize the responsibilities of citizenship and acquire skills necessary to affect change.

Essential Question: What is citizenship?

Focus Questions:

What do the ideological terms mean (liberal, conservative, libertarian, etc)?

What should every citizen know in order to be able to affectively to participate in democracy?

How does the US Congress make laws?

 

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Schema: Are you a donkey or an elephant?; green or neutral? How do you know?

What do the ideological terms mean (liberal, conservative, libertarian, etc)? Why does the linear political spectrum really not work? Why the 2-dimensional scale?

Political Ideology Activity

How do your political views match 2008 presidential candidates and political parties?

What have you learned about your emerging political ideology?

Due by the end of class today Thursday

 

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What do the ideological terms mean (liberal, conservative, libertarian, etc)? Why does the linear political spectrum really not work? Why the 2-dimensional scale?

Political Ideology Activity

How do your political views match 2008 presidential candidates and political parties?

What have you learned about your emerging political ideology?

Due by the end of class today.

HW:

Log in: econgress:

Username: your first initial and last name

Password: last name

Mike: Yours is:

mikepope/mpope

Read through the econgress intro complete the study guide as you go through the introduction. Submit the survey on page 8 and the quiz on page 14. I will track your progress on line - be sure you have submitted by 7:00 am Monday.

 

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Unit I: Article I - The Legislative Branch

EQ: How does the US Congress make laws?

Standards: CSSI-Strand 1.8: Describe the interactions between citizens and their government in the making and implementation of laws

  • Explain the factors that contribute to making and implementing of laws

 

Legislative Branch Info/Links

Senate Organization Chart for the 111th Congress
 

9  Schema: How is our government like a 3Ring Circus?

I. The Legislative Branch

Know:

  1. What is the structure of Congress?
     
  2. What are the responsibilities of Members of Congress?
     
  3. How does Congress make laws?

Understand: How a bill becomes a law

Do: explore national issues of interest through web-based research in order to determine a topic of interest for creating an original piece of legislation.

HW: Complete sections 1-3 in the research guide

Create a google doc account This is where you will upload your work and "share" with me  by first emailing me at merklhs@gmail, once I receive, I will send an invite.

Your final assessment - Portfolio - will be uploaded and shared with the class.

 

 

 

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Continue Research through section 6

Know:

where political parties stand on national issues

possible conflicts between your proposed legislation and the U.S. Constitution

Understand: Your  legislator must accept and  propose your bill to congress.

Do: express your views by writing to your local legislator

 

 

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Letters Due to Google Doc - bring hard copy to class

Continue Research: Section 7

Know: the  differences between mandatory and discretionary spending.

Understand:

Government Spending: “to create a new program, the government normally gets the money either by cutting funds to an existing program OR by raising taxes.”

Do: determine how much your proposed bill will cost and how the government will pay for it.

HW: Post all work to google docs and share with me. Bring hard copy to class Thursday.

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Schema: School of Rock - I’m Just A Bill

Bill Writing Session

Know:

  1. Characteristics of effective legislation
  2. Components of a bill and fiscal impact

Understand: that effective legislation requires sound research; is original, states a purpose related to contemporary issue and that the author's   political ideology must  align with the  goals of the Bill.

Do: evaluate sample bills using the rubric and justify responses; write your bill!

 

 

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Rough Draft of Bill Due

 

HW: Final Draft Due Wednesday for Committee phase. Please post to google docs and bring 2 copies to class.

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Complete Fiscal portion of Bill

 

 

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Final day to work on your Bills!

  1. Sample Bills from 2006 econgress
  2. Self Assess using the the bill review guide and the Peer/Self Edit and Revise using project rubric
  3. Switch with at least 2 other people -- help each other find more info if needed!
  4. Your final drafts should be in the table format shown in the samples about and emailed/posted by the end of the day. Seriously.
  5. We will switch with Mr. Storrs and begin the committee phase on Tuesday. 

HW:

 Review how laws are made (Quiz Tuesday)

 Go to Currently on the House Floor and review a bill currently in the process

    3 How laws are made Quiz

Committee Phase Opens

Committees Assigned

Schema: Agree or disagree with the following statement?

“There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.” - Michel de Montaigne

Groups discuss the importance of argument to the development of legislation.

Know: criteria for pass, fail, table, or amend; how to review a bill

Understand: A bill must be approved by a majority of committee members before it can move on to the House Floor -- most bills never make it past this step.

Do: Critically review each bill using the bill review guide (before discussing in committee); communicate effectively, come to consensus.

 

HW: Currently on the House Floor

  6 Committee Phase Continued or Begin House Floor...depends on how far we get Tuesday

Schema: The House Floor Cartoon Analysis

Know: Significance/role of the:

  • majority leader          

  • majority whip 

  • minority leader

  • minority whip

  • party caucus

  • speaker of the House

Understand: The process by which a bill becomes a law; bills not voted on during House Floor fail and do not become law.

Do: determine legislative priorities and simulate a party caucus (groups = percentage of Republicans and Democrats found in the current U.S. Congress.)

In caucus, the parties will:

  • Read and review all bills presented on the House Floor.
  • Discuss the priorities of the party based on political ideology. Which bills would  the party likely support? Reject? 
  • Leaders should try to build consensus among their members as to which bills are deemed most important. In other words, which bills does the party want to vote on first?
  • Whips should try to get a majority of the party behind bills the party supports.

House Floor Continued

 

Bills must be presented to me in the order your part wants them heard by the end of class today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civics - September 2008

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
 

 

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Welcome Class of 2009!

  • Review Course/Class Expectations
  • Citizenship Test

HW: Write 6-8 questions you have about American government.

• Think about the key ideas / concepts that YOU think an American citizen should know to participate in our democracy. Be as specific as possible.

2. Get a 3-ring binder for civics.

 

 

3 (A) 4 (B)

Quick HW Check -- How did you do?

1. Pair-Share Activity: With table partners,  share questions created, identify the most important questions in your group and discuss/list what citizens really should know to participate in American democracy. 

Group lists will be turned in.

 

2. What do the ideological terms mean (liberal, conservative, libertarian, etc)? Why does the linear political spectrum really not work? Why the 2-dimensional scale?

Political Ideology Activity

5 (A)

 

 

8 (B)

What have you learned about your emerging political ideology?

How do your political views match 2008 presidential candidates and political parties?

Vote Match 

HW: Blog Entry  All postings Due Friday

Political Compass Link for blog assignment.

Blog Response Rubric

9 (A) 10 (B)

Vote Match

 

 

HW:

Blog

 

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Young Voters Page

Assignment for Young Voters

Your log in for ABCCLIO:

Username: mercurio

Password: merklhs

 

HW: Finish for Tuesday

 

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16  Business lab 105

Executive Branch

Powers reserved for the President?

Vice President?

Who are the Vice Presidential Candidates?

Go to Women Against Sara Palin: http://womenagainstsarahpalin.blogspot.com/ - Read through the blog comments – post if you feel compelled – take notes on the issues being raised – are they valid? Agree disagree? Find a site that supports her and compare – valid? Agree/disagree?

 

HW: Who is Joe Biden? Research pro/con – your thoughts?

 

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Discuss:

  • Civic Duty (Young Voters)
  • Executive Branch: Thoughts on the current candidates?
  • Politics and popular culture

 

September 29, 2008 Cover

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Who can be President?

Should the qualifications to become president be changed?
 

The United States Constitution: Article II; Section 1 (excerpts)'


The Presidency: Unofficial Requirements

Biographies of American presidents

HW: Wiki discussion

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Continue w/ Executive Branch:

 

Comparative Politics

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Comparative Politics

 

HW: Political  Debate Evaluation Assignment

You must view and respond to tonight's presidential debate! If you are going to the dance then record and watch over the weekend.

Debate posted on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-nNIEduEOw

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Discuss comparative politics and the presidential debate. To what extent did the candidates represent their party platform?

 

1 2  Extended project proposal due!

Politics and Popular Culture

Debate Tonight - same activity sheet!

After viewing the 2008 presidential and vice-presidential debates:

Compare the questions asked in 1960, and the questions asked in 2008. How are they similar? How are they different? How have our expectations of candidates changed since 1960?

 

 

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