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American Government - Grade 12 - Week One

Printable Version - Week One Learning Board (in PDF)

 12th Grade

American Government

Week 1 March 30-April 3

Social Studies Objectives: Students will be able to: 

 

  • components of a well-functioning constitutional republic, including concepts such as democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.

Lessons

Lesson 1- Pick 3 resources, that discuss the U.S. Constitution or its legacy and impact on American society. Then write a 5-8 sentence academic paragraph answering the following prompt: Is it the people or the U.S. Constitution that protects the rights of American Citizens? Be sure to cite evidence.

Lesson 2- Pick 3 resources to read and explore. Write down some facts from each resource about the leaders, events, or organizations that fought for civil or human rights.

Lesson 3- Pick 3 resources to read and explore. Then create a 3-column chart, with each column representing one of the resources, and write 3-5 facts for each column.

Newsela

‘We the People’ The Constitution, and the Political Legacy of Slavery

Native American History: The Iroquois People (First American Democracy)

Philosophers Who Influenced the American Revolution and Constitution

“We Are Getting Stronger”: Passamaquoddy tribal constitution and sovereignty

Famous Speeches: Malcolm X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet

Teen Dreamers Advocate for Undocumented Immigrants

Five Years on: Recalling Trayvon Martin and the Birth of Black Lives Matter

Videos

Video 1: Madison’s Three Big Ideas

Video 2: Eyes on the Prize: Power!

Video 3: Chicano! Fighting for Political Power

Video 3: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Video 4: The Lemon Grove Incident

Historical Texts

Text 1 The U.S. Constitution

Text 2 The Bill of Rights: A Transcription

Text 3 Mendez v. Westminster

Text 4 Brown v. Board of Ed.

Enrichment Activities

Produce something creative (i.e. a poem, song, poster, collage, drawing/painting etc.) expressing the sentiment of an issue related to civil rights, human rights, and/or the U.S. Constitution (i.e. landmark court cases, amendments, COVID 19 Crisis, climate change, Immigrant rights, Black Lives Matter, femicide etc.).

Independent Civic Action Project

Project idea 1-Think of an issue you are passionate about to write a letter to the editor (newspaper or online publication) stating your opinion.

Project idea 2-Design a political cartoon depicting an issue or event related to the U.S Constitution.

Project idea 3-Do some research on a social movement and write a summary of your interpretation of it to be able to educate others.

Assessments

Construct an argument (e.g. detailed outline, poster, essay, ppt etc.) that explains one of the following topics: A) The importance of the U.S. Constitution to American society, or B) The role that political action or court litigation has had on fulfilling the guarantees of the Bill of Rights for people of color.

Vocabulary

Boycott: to engage in a concerted refusal to have dealings with (a person, store or organization, etc.) to express disapproval or force acceptance to certain conditions.

Civil Disobedience: refusal to obey governmental demands or commands as a non-violent, usually collective means of forcing concessions from the government.

Lynching: to put to death by mob action without legal approval or permission.

 

Stand your ground: laws that allow people to respond to threats or physical force without fear of prosecution, rather than abiding by traditional self-defense laws that a person under physical threat has a “duty to retreat.”

Segregation: The process of isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group by enforced or voluntary residence in a restricted area, by barriers to social intercourse.

De Jure (Jim Crow): by right or based on laws or actions of the state.

De Facto: being such in effect but not formally recognized.

Sovereignty: a supreme power over a body politic which allows for freedom from external control (autonomy) and controlling influence.

 

Litigation: the act, process, or practice of settling a dispute in the court of law.

Precedent: something done or said that may serve as an example or rule to authorize or justify a subsequent act of the same kind to serve as a model.

Self-determination: free choice/determination by the people of a territorial unit of their own future and political status.

COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program): (1956-1971) was a series of covert and, at times, illegal projects conducted by the US FBI aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting American political organizations & program)

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