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Re: [Channel-talkcivics] Making Civics Real

From: Lynn Saxton <lsaxton@warsaw.k12.ny.us>
Date: Mon Aug 20 2007 - 14:01:05 EDT
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I just finished lesson 3 and was very impressed with Ms. Martin's lesson on the Federal Budget. Her students were very engaged in the process of creating their own budgets. They took it very seriously and brought so many great varied opinions, for the most part well-thought out. I also very much liked that she had students role-play the Senators in the final budget presentations - what a great way to also gain familiarity with the points of view of some of the real Congressmen and to see the interplay between the Executive and Legislative Branches over the process of allocating funds. I'm wondering with these lessons how long their class periods are - do they have block scheduling? I also have noticed that most of these so far dealt with honors students or students in magnet schools. My students will be a general population - all students in New York must take PIG and Economics - and in fact, the upper level students will probably be siphoned off to the college credit course in Government. I feel that
 this sort of lesson is still exactly what my students will need - they love hands-on learning - but I'm wondering how I will have to modify the lessons to make sure they are effective for my kids. For example, she had students who were very familiar, I thought, with party politics and one in particular talked about relating the budgetary process to an article he heard on NPR. If I want my kids to know these things, I think I will definitely have to teach them first. So perhaps there will be more prerequisite learning.


>>> <Efroehlich1@aol.com> 08/19/07 1:50 PM >>>
I think that's a fabulous idea! That's what really struck me about the
structure of that lesson. Rather then just debate (which can get really messy),
she had lawyers for and against and then the students, via justices, deciding
which argument was more compelling, in addition to its constitutionality.
When we approach some of the issues going forward I'm definitely going to
employ that format.
Having the Justices defend their decisions would make it even better.

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Received on Tue Aug 21 10:38:13 2007

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