According to the dictionary definition, Civics is “the study of the rights and duties of citizenship” http://www.bing.com/search?q=dictionary+definition+of+Civics
We will begin Civics class with a pretest which will cover the map of the United States. It is important to know the location of different states throughout our country as we study local, state and federal government. It is also important to know the location of states as citizens of the United States.
We will also be studying current events which will require our knowledge of the states.Our class will review the location of the seven continents and four oceans of our world to help us better understand world events as well.There are a number of good web sites which allow you to not only study the map of United States, but also to print the map.
In the school year 2016-2017, we will be discussing a number of topics. As Civics is associated with our life in the United States as well as our place in a global society, we will study and research differing topics which are important during our changing times. We will incorporate new topics as we go through the year, and of course the presidential election.
Civics (10 points), Mr. Wade, Course Description
In the school year 2016-2017, we will be discussing a number of topics. As Civics is associated with our life in the United States as well as our place in a global society, we will study and research differing topics which are important during our changing times. We will incorporate new topics and possibly eliminate topics as we go through the year. Below are the main points we will be covering.
Principles of government:
-government and “The State”
-Forms of Government
-Basic Concepts of Democracy
– 14th amendment.
-How does one become a citizen?
-How does one lose citizenship, is it possible?
The Electoral College (Very important with November election upcoming)
-What is the electoral college?
-How does a candidate get “electoral votes.”?
-Flaws of the electoral college.
-Supporters of the electoral college
Origins of American Government:
-Our Political Beginnings
-the Coming of Independence
-the Critical Period
-Creating the Constitution
-Ratifying the Constitution
Voters and Voter Behavior:
–the Right to Vote
The Electoral Process:
-the nominating process
-elections (presidential election, November 2016)
Three Levels of Government-Local, State, Federal
Legislative Branch of each level:
-the House of Representatives
Executive Branch of each level:
-President’s job description
Judicial Branch of each level:
-three levels of courts
–written homework most nights, reading other nights, 35% of grade (see handout for specifics)
-quizzes and tests as needed, 35% of grade
-research paper and oral presentation due second marking period
-book reports, first and second marking periods
– in-class group projects, part of homework grade, will be noted in power school
-class participation, 30% of grade (see handout for specifics)
-text: American government
-periodicals including the Internet
September 11, 2001
What do we know?
-It was a terrorist attack.
-3,000 people died
-There was a total of 4 plane crashes.
-The third plane crashed into the Pentagon.
-The fourth plane crashed into
a field in Pennsylvania
after passengers tried to apprehend the hijackers.
-The attack was conducted by terrorists from Al Queda.
-The figurehead of Al Queda was Osama Bin Ladin.
-Osama was killed by the U.S. Special Forces.
-The U.S. asks Afghanistan Government to give up Bin Ladin and Al Queda.
-The U.S. attacks Afghan. After refusal.
-The U.S. still fights terrorism to this day.
American government text, Chapter I Section 1: Government and the State
Introduction: This lesson focuses on the goals of the Federal Government
Activities- Student Participation And Objectives 1. Students name three basic kinds of power that a government exercises; 2. discuss the difference between a government and a state; 3. list the main purposes of the American system of government.
- Government and the state
- government – The institution through which a society makes and enforces it’s public policies.
- Public policies – All of the things a gov. decides to do, i.e. taxation, defense, education, crime control, environment, etc. p. 4
- Must have power! – ability to achieve a desired end – must be able to prevent or command/demand action;
- Three basic types of power, set by the Constitution (body of fundamental setting up principles, structures, and processes of a gov;
- legislative – power to make law and public policy
- executive – power to enforce and administer law
- judicial – power to determine meaning of laws and settle disputes/arguments within society
- You will define dictatorship:
- List important facts from remaining 5 paragraphs on p. 5
- The state – Body of people living in defined territory, organized politically with the power to make and enforce law.
- Population – must have people!
- Territory – must have land!
- Sovereignty – supreme and absolute power within it’s own territory; responsible for itself, not a colony;
- Gov. – already defined – see p. 6 & 7 and outline I. A
- Origins of the state – From where did the idea of “state” come? 4 main theories. Make sure you are able to explain each of these theories
- The Force Theory –
- The Evolutionary Theory
- The Divine Right Theory –
- The Social Contract –
- Purpose of gov. -These come directly from the preamble to the United States Constitution. Using your text, or chrome book, research and paraphrase the meaning of each of the six purposes
- – form a more perfect union
- Establish justice
- Insure domestic tranquility –
- Provide for the common defense –
- Promote general Welfare –
- Secure the liberty
Review: public policies, 3 kinds of power, dictatorship, democracy, the state, territory, sovereign, government, theories, 6 purposes of gov.
We will be studying democracy and its attributes using Chapter 1, section 1, in Magruders American government. A PowerPoint outline may be found on the the Internet by looking up Magruders American government
Electoral College Lesson
Objective: 1) Students will be able to name which states have the most electoral votes 2) Students will analyze whether or not the electoral College is a “fair or unfair” method of choosing our president 3) students will be able to write a comprehensive essay explaining the function of the Electoral College.
Materials: student handout, students text, classroom computer
Anticipatory Set: question to students: Who received the most popular votes in the election of 2000? One student, using classroom computer, will assist in researching election totals. Depending upon answers, teacher will explain that Al Gore received approximately 500,000 more votes than George Bush. Question to students: why did George Bush win?
Students will outline in groups of two, both their text and a handout on Electoral College.
Electoral College- History/Purpose
-founding fathers (writers of the Constitution) did not trust the populace (people)
- thus, use indirect democracy
-geography, too difficult for candidates to travel around to each state; candidate from highly populated area could win without the rest of the country ever seeing him/her
- needing electoral votes, candidate must visit other states
Electoral College Facts
-the number of electors each state has depends upon the number of members the state has in Congress–Remember; there are two parts to Congress! What are the two parts? How many senators represent each state?
-each state has two senators
-number of representatives depends on population of state-Question to class: If Connecticut has 7 electors, how many representatives do we have in the House of Reps.? Which states have the most electors?
-the District of Columbia also gets 3 electors
-there are a total of 538 electoral votes cast
-Question to class why 538?
-How many electoral votes does a candidate need to win and be president?
Electoral College Timeline during Election Year
-political parties (traditionally Democrats and Republicans) choose their candidates (person to represent their party) at summer convention
-summer convention takes place before the November of a presidential election year
-Question to class: How often does this take place?
-Democratic candidate and Republican candidate choose electors (people loyal to their political party) from each state to represent them in each state
–Example: Connecticut has 7 electors who will cast their ballots
–before the election in November Connecticut will technically have 14 electors if there is a Republican and a Democrat running for president in Connecticut. Question to class: why 14?
-Question to class: what if Connecticut has a Democrat, a Republican and an independent candidate running for president?
-the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every four years there is a presidential election
-the Wednesday after a presidential election votes will hopefully be counted in each state and the winner of each state will be announced
-which ever candidate (Republican, Democrat, or Independent) wins the majority of the popular vote in a state, wins that state
-when a candidate “wins a state”, that means their electors get to vote, and the others do not
-going back to the example, in the 2008 election, the Democrat won the popular vote in Connecticut and therefore his electors were the only ones casting a ballot. The Republican electors did not get to vote because their candidate did not get a majority of the votes in the State of Connecticut.
-in December the winning electors will go to the capital of their state and cast their ballots
-the electoral votes are sealed in an envelope and sent to the president of the Senate (in Washington DC)
-in January, when Congress (Washington DC) comes back from vacation, the envelope is opened and the votes are counted in front of both houses of Congress. Question to class: what are the two houses of Congress?
Review: History, facts, timeline, examples;
Homework: Students will make believe they are running for president and devise a strategy as to how they will win the office;
Chapter I Section 2
Introduction – The lesson focuses on the different types of governments.
- Forms of gov. – Like people, no 2 govs are exactly alike, why?
- who can participate in the process – number of persons who take part in the process
- democracy – People hold supreme political authority and the gov. is run only by and with the agreement of the people; p. 12;
- direct democracy (pure democracy) – the will of the people becomes law; straight from the people;;
- representative democracy – a small grp are chosen by the people to carry out the will of the people (kept in check by elections and attentive citizens);
- dictatorship – those who rule Are NOT responsible to the will of the people
- autocracy – one person has unlimited political power
- oligarchy – power to rule held by small grp of people who usually appointed themselves!; give students terms on bd: unitary, federal, confederate, presidential, parliamentary, dictatorship, democracy;B. Geographic distribution of gov. power within the state – every system of gov. has power to govern in 1 or more places geographically; 3 basic forms read p. 14 & 15, grp activity. S work in grps of 21. unitary -centralized-all powers held by the gov. belong to a single central agency. Usually central gov. creates local units of gov. for it’s own convenience (Central gov. could get rid of local units).2. federal – powers of gov. are divided between central gov, and several local govs. This division of power CANNOT be changed by the local or national level acting alone. (Our Constitution sets this up).
3. Confederate – An alliance (: What is an alliance?) of independent states. The central organization with confederate only handles issues member states ASSIGN to it.
C. Relationship between legislative and executive branches – govs. often classified by relationship between leg. and exec; 2 forms
1. presidential – legislative and executive branches separate but equal; President and legislature chosen by the people at different times for different terms; checks and balances What does this mean?
2. parliamentary – executive made up of prime minister or premier and the official’s cabinet which come from the legislative branch (parliament); Legi slature or parliament choses the executive. read p. 16; research-which countries have parliamentarian gov, and who are the prime ministers of each? Use internet; determine which regions have democracies present and if there are any visible patterns of government shown. They offer historical and geographical reasons for these patterns.
Review: classifying; who participates, democracy, dictatorship, geographic distribution-unitary, federal, confederate; relationship between-presidential and parliamentary;
For the second quarter, and into the third quarter, we researched, analyzed and discussed the three different levels of government, as well as the three branches within each. Students completed a detailed analysis of federal, state and local government and were quizzed on each. The outline below does not cover each and every note taken on the three levels, each level contains detailed analysis. If you would like to see the notes, please talk to Mr. Wade in E113
Objective: Students will be able to explain the three levels of government. 2) Students will be able to explain the executive, the judicial and legislative branch in each level of government
The three levels of government are: Local, State and Federal
The three branches of government are: Executive, Legislative and Judicial
Legislative: City Council
Judicial: circuit Judges
State: (using Internet go to state government web site, discuss)
Legislative: State Senators & Representatives (State Legislators)
Judicial: District Court of Appeals, Appellate Court and Connecticut Supreme Court
Legislative: US Senators and US Representatives (Congress)
Judicial: Supreme Court
Student volunteer will go to chalkboard and create three columns/circles.
Teacher will start with local government, explain Mayor, City Council (Bridgeport serves two years), and courts.
Teacher will then explain state government (page 694 in textbook), Governor, legislature, state Supreme Court
Teacher will explain federal government, president, Congress, Supreme Court.
Students will access textbooks and search in pairs for information on state and federal government.
Review: local, state, and federal government, three branches at each, executive = Mayor, Governor, president; legislative = City Council, legislature, Congress; judicial = City courts, state Supreme Court, federal Supreme Court
Homework: students will compare and contrast the three levels of government using a venn diagram, 2) students will research as to who is running for current offices and what are their political beliefs 3) research newspapers, Internet or other media and find articles about local level activity 4) research newspapers, Internet or other media and find articles pertaining to state level 5) research newspapers Internet or other media and find articles regarding federal level of government
6) concluding homework assignment, which level of government, according to what you have read, seems to have the most effect on your daily life, and why?
The next section we are studying is citizenship and how one obtains citizenship if they are coming in from another country. The lesson will discuss a number of different aspects regarding citizenship and immigration as this has been a large part of our political discourse as of late.
Civics, 10th Grade Magnet
Chapter 21 section 4: American citizenship
1. Identify the questions surrounding American citizenship.
2. Describe how people become American citizens by birth and by naturalization.
3. Explain how an American can lose his or her citizenship.
4. Compare and contrast the status of undocumented aliens and legal immigrants.
Introduction: This lesson focuses on how American citizenship and naturalization is determined as well as the history and problems of immigration (text, page 613)
I. The 14th Amendment
A. 1868 Civil War is over , 14th amendment passed (page 613, American Government, 14th amendment,You also need to understand the 13th amendment, 1865, and the Emancipation Proclamation, 1863,-these are very important facts, not only for class this year, but also for US history next year)
1. A person can become an American citizen either by birth, or by naturalization
2. 90% of Americans are citizens because they were born in the USA, another several million are citizens because:
a. jus soli-the law of the soil where one is born –Congress has
defined the United States to include, for purposes of citizenship, the 50 States,the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana and the Islands. It also includes American embassies and American public vessels abroad.
b. jus sanguinis-law of the blood, to whom one is born-a child born abroad can become an American citizen at birth if he or she born to parent who is US citizen and lived in USA at some time
B. Aliens-citizens or nationals in a foreign country who live in the United States
1. Naturalization-people may become citizens at some time after birth through this legal process (which requirement is the most difficult to evaluate?)
a. Be at least 18 years old
b. Have entered the country legally lived in the United States for at least five years, certain states for at least three months
c. File a petition for naturalization through federal court
d. Be literate in the English language
e. Be of “good moral character”, attached to the principles of the Constitution, and “well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States”
f. Have a “knowledge and an understanding of the fundamentals of the history, and the principles and form of government, of the United States”
g. Take an oath or affirmation (name a type of an oath, what is affirmation?)
2. expatriation-Americans can choose to give up or voluntarily abandon their citizenship (see bottom of page 614)
a. denaturalization– Naturalized citizens who gained citizenship through fraud or deception may lose it through court ordered process
b. Deportation-a legal process in which aliens are required to leave the United States.
Extended period-students must read, annotate and understand “a nation of immigrants”, page 615 text, “undocumented aliens” page 617, students and teacher need to discuss political cartoon page 618
Review: (PowerPoint on citizenship)students will create a chart/graphic summary of ways of gaining and losing American citizenship using chart on pages 614-616 Of American Government Text,
Homework: 1) students must read and annotate pages 613-618 and their text. 2) key terms and main ideas, page 618, questions 1-4 3) critical thinking, applying text knowledge to today, answer critical thinking questions four & five 4) thought
Chapter I Section 3:
“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half the people are right more than half of the time.” E. B. White.
Introduction: This lesson focuses on the basic concepts of democracy and free enterprise
- I. Basic concepts of democracy
- Foundations-democracy will continue in this country as long as the people support it. 5 important features: (slideshow) http://www.republic.k12.mo.us/highschool/teachers/EHanson/amergov/Basic%20Concepts%20of%20a%20Democracy_files/frame.htm
- Worth of the individual-every individual is important, unique, should be respected
- Equality of All Persons-as in “Worth”, individuals should be treated equally. Democratic concept states two primary issues: equality of opportunity and equality before the law
- Majority rule, minority rights – theory is that majority of the people will be right more often than they are wrong. Democratic process searches for SATISFACTORY solutions to public problems.P. 19
- Necessity of compromise- Page 20, AG
- Individual freedom – The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins. Oliver Wendall Holmes; The rights of every man [person] are diminished when the rights of one are threatened. J. F. Kennedy
- Democracy and the free enterprise system – Free enterprise is an economic system which goes with democracy, the political system. g
- How the system works – capitalism (see picture below about socialism and communism)
- government does not decide on production, quantity, or price;
- law of supply and demand – many goods and services, prices drop; shortage, prices go up; (see image)
- government and free enterprise system
- mixed economy – private enterprise works with a large amount of gov. regulations and promotion
- gov. regulations. – i.e. pure food, anti-pollution, building codes
- Promotion – grant for transportation (buses, trains), research-stem cell
- fine line between free enterprise and gov. participation;
- Democracy and the internet – Where do you draw the line regarding freedom?
question seven, page 618