Why are civics, politics and government relevant to our lives as Americans?
Can individuals make a difference?
Students will target the relevance of civics, politics and government as Americans in this course so that their lives can be benefited.
Students will analyze the elements of American political culture and identify the fundamental principles that make up the American political system
Students will understand the history, structure and powers of the Constitution
Students will assess the importance of civil liberties and civil rights and the need for them in a democracy
Students will analyze how individuals and groups participate in the political process, are influenced by and linked to political institutions, and develop values of effective citizenship.
Students will analyze and investigate the structure of American political institutions and their effect on the political process, citizens and policies.
Students will develop the understanding of the impact and the importance of civic involvement in a democratic society.
Students will develop and refine the skill of creating and developing claims in form of an argument and position
Student will use evidence from multiple sources to develop viewpoints.
Students will interpret and integrate information from primary and secondary sources
Students will evaluate information and sources of varying elements with comparing and contrasting perspectives
Students will analyze the causes of events and effects of multiple results.
Student will develop and and refine the skills of Argumentative Writing with a high depth of analysis.
Assessment- Are you learning what we are teaching?
Civics and the American Government... Unavoidable!
Do your best, and forget the rest!
The US Beginnings
Unit 1: Foundations of US Government
Who benefits if you don’t participate?
What are the rights and responsibilities that are essential for a democratic republic?
How have the written rights in the constitution changed over time? How have these affected citizenship?
How has the definition of citizenship evolved, How have actions and activism of various groups highlighted democracy
How can I use my knowledge and exercise my rights and responsibilities as a citizen to improve the country and community?
In what ways can people participate?
How does one become a citizen?
Title: Foundations of Government
Compelling Question(s): Who should wield power?
What are the political philosophies about the necessity and purposes of government?
How are the concepts of sovereignty, power, authority and legitimacy related to one another?
How is power distributed in a unitary, federal, and confederal system?
What are the different forms of democracies?
What is a State?
Locke v. Jefferson
What is Rule of Law?
Articles of Confederation
Federalist v. Anti-Federalists
The Constitution... the bones and muscles of the US
Unit 2: The Constitution (B of R & CP's)
Title: The Constitution
Is the Constitution relevant and effective in America today?
Why did the founders choose a Federal system?
How is the Constitution formally and informally amended?
How has federalism changed or evolved over time?
How are power and responsibility distributed, shared, and limited in the government established by the U.S. Constitution?
How has the interpretation of the Bill of Rights evolved over time?
Bill of Rights
1st/4th/5th Amendment Analysis
1st Amendment Limits
School Law vs. Criminal Law
Role and Impact of Congress
Unit 3: Legislative Branch (The Congress)
Powers, Impact and Influence of the Legislative Branch
Compelling Question(s): How effective is the Legislative branch in governing?
How does Congress make policy?
What effects Congressional decision making?
How is Congress organized?
Implied vs. Expressed Powers
Electoral College role of Congress
How a Bill becomes Law?
What is a Constituent?
Presidents options with Bill
Gerrymandering- Michigan Districts
What is the Census?
Powers of the Most Powerful Position in the World?
Unit 4: Executive Branch (The Prez)
Target: Executive Branch and Foreign Policy
Is a powerful president a threat to our society?
- How does the Executive branch make decisions?
- What effect does the President have on decisions?
- How is the Executive Branch organized?
- What formal and informal powers does the president have?
- How and why does the United States decide to participate in treaties and international organizations?
- How should the United States’ ideas on rights influence foreign policy?
- How do “American values” influence foreign and domestic policy?
- How do historical and current circumstances affect foreign and domestic policy?
- What should be the role of the United States in the world?
Target: Other Actors
Are these entities meant to be part of a democratic process?
Do “other actors” fit into a democracy?
Why are hundreds of millions of dollars spent in one election cycle in America?
What roles do political parties, interest groups, the media and individuals play in the development of public policy?
What is the role of campaigns and elections in the American politics?
How and why does the United States decide to participate in treaties and international organizations?
How should the United States’ ideas on rights influence foreign policy?
How do “American values” influence foreign and domestic policy?
How do historical and current circumstances affect foreign and domestic policy?
What should be the role of the United States in the world?
Executive Branch Basics
Electoral College vs. Popular Vote
- How does the Executive branch make decisions?
Lifelong Impact and Influence
Unit 5: Judicial Branch (The Supreme Court)
Target Title: Judicial Branch
Is the Supreme Court too independent of the other two branches?
How does the Judicial Branch makes decisions?
What affect does the the Supreme court have on decisions?
What is the organization of the Judicial Branch?
Does the Supreme Court have too much power?
Should Supreme Court justices have lifetime tenure?
What are the purposes and processes of the judicial branch as outlined in Article III of the Constitution?
How are the powers of the Supreme Court limited by the other branches of government?
What might justify acts of civil disobedience?
Where do your rights end and your neighbor’s begin?
How could it be possible for everyone to be in a minority group?
What is the role of the Supreme Court in determining human and civil rights?
In what ways might limits on our rights be justified?
Judicial Branch/Supreme Court Basics
What is Judicial Review?
Criminal vs. Civil Cases
What is a precedent?
Supreme Court Case(s) Analysis
Gideon v. Wainwright
DNA Under Arrest
What is Judicial Independence?
Roe v. Wade?
Plessy v. Furgeson/Brown v. Board of Education
US vs. World Governments
Local, State, National and World Governments
How and why do local governments influence the choices people make on where they live and work?
What level of government is best able to protect the rights of minority groups?
How does a community’s diversity affect state and local governments?
What is the impact of state and local government on the quality of life in my community?
Final Assessment Review