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Making Civics Real Workshop 3: Public Policy & the Federal Budget  
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Workshop 3

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Lesson Plan
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Lesson Plan: Teaching the Lesson: Activity 1

Activity 1. Class Discussion of Government Budgeting Process

Introduce the lesson by briefly reviewing the budget process. Assign students randomly to groups of about five students each, and direct the groups to assume the role of the President and Presidential advisors and create a zero-based budget, i.e., start from scratch and build a budget that reflects their priorities of how the government should spend two trillion dollars. Also direct students to use their negotiating skills within their groups to reach consensus on the budget that will be presented to Congress. To give students some guidance on how to begin, Leslie Martin suggested they start with the 14 executive branch departments they had previously studied. She wanted to keep the exercise fairly simple at this point and purposely did not give them a great deal of detail.

Overview, Goals, and Planning    |     Activity 1
Activity 2     |     Activity 3     |     Activity 4     |     Activity 5     |     Activity 6     |     Activity 7     |     Scheduling and Adaptations


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