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1.

Leaders, Community, and Citizens [electronic resource]

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In a First Grade class at the Rooftop Alternative School in San Francisco, Cynthia Vaughn helps her students differentiate between the titles and roles of elected officials at city, state, and country levels. After a class discussion outlining the various roles of these elected officials, students work in pairs to complete a chart, matching specific names with job titles and buildings. Each group reports its finding to the whole class. Finally, the students build their own fictitious community and explore and present the issues facing the town.
Online
2003
2.

State Government and the Role of the Citizen [electronic resource]

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Diane Kerr, a Fourth Grade teacher at Butcher Greene Elementary School in the ethnically diverse community of Grandview, Missouri,presents a lesson on the state of Missouri and its three branches of government. Students work in groups to create posters that represent the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. They voice their concerns about what can be done to improve their lives and the life of the community. As a class, they work to understand the process of how a bill becomes a law.
Online
2003
3.

Making a Diference Through Giving [electronic resource]

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In Darlene Jones-Inge's Fourth Grade class at O'Hearn Elementary School in Boston's inner city students experience a complex lesson that focuses on the theme of giving. They work in teams to determine a meaningful service project addressing the needs within their school, community, country, or world. Through thoughtful voting and collaborative decision making, students determine the goal and scale of their project.
Online
2003
4.

Understanding Stereotypes [electronic resource]

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Libby Sinclair, a Fourth and Fifth Grade teacher at Alternative Elementary School #2 in Seattle, Washington asks her students to define the term "stereotype" from a variety of perspectives. At the beginning of the lesson, students brainstorm individually and in groups to understand how stereotypes have affected their lives and their learning. After recognizing that the contribution of Negro baseball leagues has been omitted from the history of baseball, students thoughtfully plan and execute a letter campaign to contact text publishers.
Online
2003
5.

The Individual in Society [electronic resource]

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Brian Poon, a teacher at Brookline High School in metropolitan Boston, teaches a 12th Grade philosophy lesson focusing on the role of the individual in society. Based on readings by various philosophers, including Reinhold Niebuhr, Thomas Hobbes, Mao Zedong, Martha Nussbaum, and Plato, students apply the philosophers' viewpoints to solve the dilemmas of a fictitious nation called "Fenway." They participate in a dynamic class discussion about how to integrate the best philosophical ideas to address Fenway's problems.
Online
2003
6.

Unity and Diversity [electronic resource]

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Examines how social studies teachers in any grade level can embrace both unity and diversity in their classrooms. Topics range from exploring democratic values to building awareness of student diversity. Through examples of students connecting with one another and embracing the different cultures within their community, teachers reflect on how to best address issues of unity and diversity in their classroom.
Online
2003
7.

Dealing With Controversial Issues [electronic resource]

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Examines how Social Studies teachers in any grade level can encourage open and informed discussions on controversial issues. Topics range from stereotypes and gender-based discrimination to the conflict in the Middle East. Through clearly identifying issues, listening to multiple perspectives, and formulating personal positions, teachers explore a variety of strategies that can be used to teach challenging issues.
Online
2003
8.

Creating Effective Citizens [electronic resource]

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Explores how Social Studies teachers in any grade level can help their students develop the democratic values that will make them effective and responsible citizens. Teachers are shown helping students see their community in a broader sense and inspiring them to think about ways they can make a difference. The classroom lessons emphasize how civic processes work, how to discuss issues from multiple perspectives, and how teachers can inspire their students to take social action.
Online
2003
9.

Freedom of Religion [electronic resource]

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Ninth-grade civics teacher Kristen Borges involves her students in a simulation of a U.S. Supreme Court hearing on a First Amendment case. Students assume the roles of Supreme Court justices, attorneys for the school district, and attorneys for the families. They first work in groups to prepare for the hearing, then participate in the hearing, and finally, debrief their experiences and write short papers stating their positions on the case. The methodologies highlighted in this lesson include questioning strategies and mock trials.
Online
2003
10.

Electoral Politics [electronic resource]

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Shows the conclusion of a 12-week civic engagement unit developed by the national Student Voices program. José Velazquez's 12th-grade students divide into small groups to brainstorm and research community issues, prioritize the issues, present their findings to the class, and develop a whole-class consensus on a youth agenda that they present to the mayoral candidates in a televised question-and-answer forum. The methodologies highlighted in this lesson include issue identification and consensus building.
Online
2003
11.

Constitutional Convention [electronic resource]

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Matt Johnson's 12th-grade AP Comparative Government class creates a constitution for a hypothetical country called Permistan. Students work in cooperative learning groups to discuss and debate issues relating to the executive and legislative branches of government. The lesson closes with a simulation of a constitutional convention. Simulation is the primary methodology highlighted in this lesson.
Online
2003
12.

Public Policy and the Federal Budget [electronic resource]

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Leslie Martin's ninth-graders create, present, revise, and defend a federal budget. After assuming the roles of the President and his or her advisors to create a federal budget, students are introduced to the actual 2001 federal budget, and in a whole-class discussion, discuss some key concepts involved in creating it. Next, students return to cooperative learning groups, revise their budgets based on what they learned, present their revised budgets, and simulate a Congressional hearing. Highlights the integration of teacher-directed instruction with small-group work.
Online
2003
13.

Patriotism and Foreign Policy [electronic resource]

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U.S. government teacher Alice Chandler has her students create a Museum of Patriotism and Foreign Policy. The lesson alternates between whole-class discussion and small-group committee work as students create a gallery for the museum using their respective arts concentration as the medium. The lesson concludes with students presenting their gallery contributions in dance, music, theatrical performances, and visual presentations. This lesson highlights small-group work as a constructivist methodology.
Online
2003
14.

Civic Engagement [electronic resource]

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Shows a group of 11th- and 12th-grade students at Anoka High School in Minnesota engaging in service learning. Students in a human geography class work in teams to define a project, choose and meet with a community partner who can help educate them about the issue and its current status, conduct further research, and present the problem and a proposed solution first to their peers, and then to a special session of the Anoka City Council. The primary methodology presented in this lesson is service learning.
Online
2003
15.

Controversial Public Policy Issues [electronic resource]

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In this 12th-grade law class, JoEllen Ambrose engages students in a structured discussion of racial profiling. She connects student learning both to their study of due process in constitutional law and police procedure in criminal law. Students completing opinion polls, conduct research, and participate in debates. The methodologies highlighted in this lesson include role playing and structured academic controversy.
Online
2003
16.

Rights and Responsibilities of Students [electronic resource]

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Students in a 12th-grade law course engage in a culminating activity to help them review and apply what they have learned. Students write and distribute one-page briefs of Supreme Court cases they have studied. Next, students are assigned to small groups and given hypothetical cases related to student rights cases from the Supreme Court's 2001-2002 term. Students prepare their cases and present them to the Justices. This lesson highlights the use of case studies for synthesis and analysis.
Online
2003