As a teacher of ninth grade English in an inner-city school district, I have the opportunity to affect my students’ writing and reading development at a critical stage in their lives. My learners are in transitional stages-from middle school to high school, from children to adults-thus, it is crucial that the instructor of writing and reading makes what they teach accessible, interactive, and enjoyable. Though most teachers downplay the fun factor in their classrooms, if we, as educators, truly wish to engender intellectual curiosity in our students and foster life long learners, it is essential to make our lessons interesting to our students. This unit, by virtue of its connectivity not only to other disciplines, like math and social studies, but to the issues that affect students’ lives, seeks to engage learners in a critical analysis of American democracy through a series of skills-based activities. The final result of this unit is to make the issues of the past and present come alive as students construct a body of knowledge about what democracy in America really means and why their votes and voices matter.
CT Content Standard #4
Students will use the language arts to explore and respond to classical and contemporary texts from many cultures and literary periods.
h. Students will read classic and contemporary literature to determine political and
social ideas which characterize those works.
1. What is democracy?
2. Who is an American citizen?
3. Why is America considered a “free” country?
4. What are the differences between a monarchy, a constitutional republic, and a
5. How does one represent democracy in the printed and spoken word?
6. What is the role of an individual in democracy?