Thursday, September 14, 2017


Welcome to American Government! Our first unit focuses on Civic Participation. Below is our syllabus for the unit. 

American Government

The purpose of this unit is to develop an understanding of both the rights afforded to citizens in a democracy and the duties and responsibilities that accompany these rights. Citizenship will be investigated as a legal status and a way of life with special attention paid to the necessity of civic participation.

Enduring Understandings:
American citizenship is a legal status that includes duties such as obeying the law, serving in the armed forces, and jury duty, as well as responsibilities such as voting and public service.  Democracy is dependent upon the participation of its citizens in government and society.

  1.   Defining citizenship:               Activity: What is good government?
Forms of Citizenship
Civics in Action [pp6-20]  
Special Focus: James Foley
 2. Citizenship as a legal status
        History of immigration in US – Choices background brief
        Travel documents in North America – Webquest        
        Selected Readings: What Does Immigration Actually Cost Us? The New York Times
        FILM:  Documented  by Jose Antonio Vargas
                                                Civics in Practice [pp. 11-16]   
Position paper: Ending the DACA program and deporting undocumented students is a legal, moral and necessary step towards securing our borders.

3.      Participatory Democracy: “Cast your vote not with a mere strip of paper, but with your whole life.”
Henry David Thoreau
 Demographics: Class Census Project
 Participating in communities: family, school, town, state, nation
                       Reading and Focus Questions: Adolescent Lives in Transition by Donna San Antonio   
                       Webquest:  Get to know your community. Problems, Solutions and Service
                                              FILM:  Freedom Riders PBS
                                              Civics in Practice [pp. 17-21]
4.  Civic Participation Project: Class will design, implement and reflect upon an authentic service   
Hurricane Harvey: How can we make a difference?
Adopt a Classroom research, action plan and goals.