School Improvement in Maryland

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 1.0 Political Science

Topic B. Individual and Group Participation in the Political System

Indicator 2. Defend the importance of civic participation as a citizen of the United States

Objective a. Evaluate ways people can participate in the political process including voting, analyzing the media, petitioning elected officials, and volunteering

Select a topic from early U.S. history in which government officials decided to adopt a new public policy or change existing policies. Examples might include adding the Bill of Rights to the Constitution, creating the Bank of the United States, implementing protective tariffs, facilitating settlement of the frontier (including Indian removal), declaring war on Mexico, passing various reforms, limiting/protecting slavery, or issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. Have the students read a simple secondary account of this issue (such as might be found in a textbook), and then analyze the policymaking process for change through identification of the relevant policymakers for this issue. Be sure this analysis includes student identification of (1) individuals and groups who provided input that led to change; (2) governmental entities that were involved in the decision making process as it relates to this issue; and (3) governmental entities that were involved in implementing, evaluating, or providing feedback on this issue. Next, have the students read secondary and primary sources related to the issue for the purpose of addressing the focus questions: “What strategies did everyday citizens use to change government policies regarding this issue? Were these strategies effective? As a citizen, how would you modify the strategy for today’s information age?”

Resources for Objective 1.B.2.a:
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