This Unit was written for Special Education Students in grades 9-12, who are not always easily motivated and whose reading levels are below grade level. In writing this unit, it is my wish that it will interest and motivate students in what they are learning.
In this unit, students will study, explore, reflect, debate, discuss, write, create and expand their knowledge about the Constitution and their rights.
This unit will assist in developing both knowledge and skills. I will help to examine all issues essential to helping students to understand the government.
This unit will increase students’ development of learning skills, such as reading, analyzing, and organization as well as skills of citizenship.
The first part of this unit will focus on the overview of the Constitution which includes the 1) Preamble, which gives a statement of goals for our government 2) the Bill of Rights which describes our plan for citizen rights.
The second part of this unit will discuss landmark cases affecting teenagers. The cases will form the basis for class-room debates. The cases discussed relate to the question of whether or not teenagers are entitled to the same protection under the law as adults. The third category deals with substantive issues. It deals with cases that relate to the question of what teenagers can and cannot do in society.
This unit will emphasize that the best and most lasting political social, and economic changes result from the functioning of moderate political processes, not from violence and intimidation.
I will further emphasize individual responsibility and provide examples of meaningful change achieved through the legal-system.
The purpose of this unit is to help students acquire knowledge and skills needed to carry out their responsibilities and protect their rights as citizens of a free society. Each lesson will emphasize basic knowledge of governmental institutions, decisions making of public officials, economic policies and processes that affect the decisions of citizens and practical political decisions in the daily lives of citizens. Lessons will also stress doing as well as knowing; they allow for practice of basic skills in finding and using information and in making, judging, and influencing decisions.
As students work through this unit, they will continually make and judge decisions, and they will analyze decision making by government officials and those seeking to influence government.
Responsible decision making involves careful assessment of alternative and their consequences in light of values and goals. Responsible decision makers consider the effects of their choices on themselves and various others. They will judge the fairness of their choices in terms of both individual and group goals. A responsible citizen might ask; 1) How will my decision affect me? and 2) How will it affect various others? The responsible citizen tries to make decisions that balance the needs of the individual and of society.
The Unit will conclude with an originally written case study featuring current topics, issues, and events. Each case is written to develop one or more decision-making skill and to highlight important content in this unit.
Students are motivated to learn when they see clearly that what is learned in school is linked to life outside the school. For example, students who are shown that decision-making skills can help them achieve goals they value are likely to strive to acquire these competencies.
Each activity will challenge students to use information, ideas, and skills. These application exercises allow students to move from lower to higher cognitive levels. Students will not only read about making decisions, they will practice making and judging decisions. They will use skills in finding, comprehending, organizing, evaluating, and communicating information and ideas. Through regular application of these skills, students may demonstrate competence.
This unit has been designed to help students learn basic knowledge and skills needed to become competent citizens. The reward for learning the unit will be to make significant progress in the lifelong pursuit of becoming a good citizen in a free society.