Am I Missing Something? Voice

11/6/2017

Voice Video and Lesson Plan

Video Message

  • There is an impression that there is too much arguing in state legislatures.
  • Disagreements allow different “voices” to be heard.
  • The best decisions are made through debate and compromise.

Goals

  • To strengthen understanding of the role played by debate and compromise in lawmaking.
  • To increase student understanding and appreciation of the political process.
  • To increase student interaction with state and national elected officials.

Ultimate Impact

  • Better understanding that through representative democracy citizens have a “voice” in government.
  • Favorable change in impressions of the political system held by the public. 
  • Increased citizen knowledge, understanding, appreciation, and participation in the political system.
 
Activities

Activity #1

Activity #2

Activity #3

Summary and discussion of message of the video.

Partnership activities with a state legislator to build an understanding of the processes of state government. 

Role play situations to illustrate “voice”.

Suggested Timeframe:

  • 1-2 Class Periods

Suggested Timeframe:

  • 2-3 Class Periods

Suggested Timeframe:

  • 1-2 Class Periods

Objectives

Objectives

Objectives

  • The student will summarize and interpret the message of the video to identify the purpose, audience, and effectiveness of the message.
  • The student will apply knowledge of vocabulary used in the video by using it appropriately in verbal and written activities. 
  • The students will form a partnership with a state legislator to gain a better understanding way state government works.
  • The students will role-play created situations that illustrate ways in which people have a “voice”.

Procedure

Procedure

Procedure

  • Introduce the activity discussing the importance of all people having a voice in government, families, and society. Encourage the students to identify ways in which they have a voice. Ex: buying power in the grocery store, toys, lunch room, etc.
  • Compare the arguing that is mentioned in the legislature with the arguments that families have at home.
  • Determine whether arguing is always a problem in a family, community, etc.
  • Teams create “Conflict Situation” cards, elaborating on common family conflicts.
  • Share situations with the group.
  • Close lesson with discussion of importance of compromise in everyday life, encouraging students to express logical arguments for or against compromise in a political setting.

Extension

  • View NCSL “You Rule” or “Citizen Brain” videos and discuss debate and compromise in the legislature. 
  • Introduce lesson by discussing the scenarios/ situations created in the earlier lesson.
  • Invite a few students to participate with teacher in acting out a teacher created situation.
  • Discuss ways in which “voices” are heard in everyday life situations.
  • Put students into small groups for role-playing activity. Each group select a situation card.
  • Specify period of time for each group to prepare roles.
  • Dramatize the situations for the whole group.
  • Debrief the situations presented and the ways in which people’s voices are heard.
  • Students reflect on lessons learned by composing an essay.

 

 

Day 1:

  • Introduce the lesson by asking who the legislators are for the districts in which they live.
  • Introduce students to the state government website, navigating to demonstrate locating the legislator’s pictures and contact information. 
  • Discuss information about America’s Legislators Back to School Program sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures, www.ncsl.org/backtoschool.
  • Discuss the possibility of forming a partnership with the legislator, citing the possibilities for a trip to the Capitol to watch the legislature in action.
  • View NCSL “You Rule” or “Citizen Brain” videos
  • Develop questions for the interview.   
  • Compose letters to the legislator to invite him/her to the classroom.

Day 2: (Interview)

  • On day of the interview, review questions and note-taking techniques. If possible, video the interview to review in a later class session, if needed.
  • Conduct interview
  • Identify ways the class could be of service in the partnership.
  • Compile information from the interview in an essay.

Extension 

  • Create a hall or classroom display of “Meet Your Elected Officials” Sheets to include local, state, and national elected officials.
  • Add additional pictures and information as interviews are conducted throughout the school year. 

Evaluation

Evaluation

Evaluation

  • Participation
  • Completed Activity Sheets
  • Participation in Class and in Interview/s
  • Completed Activity Sheets
  • Essay
  • Rubric for Evaluation of Essay
  • Participation in Role-Playing Activity
  • Essay
  • Rubric for Essay Evaluation

Resources

Resources

Resources

 

  • America’s Legislators Back to School Program-National Conference of State Legislatures, www.ncsl.org/backtoschool
  • NCSL videos “You Rule” and “Citizen Brain
  • Internet Access
  • Home State Government Website
  • “Meet Your Elected Officials” Activity Sheet (p 7)
  • “Interview Questions and Notes” Activity Sheet (p 8-9)
  • Essay Planner for Interviews (p 10) 
  • Sample

“Situation Cards” (p 5)

  • Student-created “Situation Cards” (p 3-4)
  • Essay Planner (p 6)

 

 

 

Activities

Activity #4

Activity #5

Create a book for children about state or local government. 

Create a “Day in the Life of our _________” Video or Power Point Presentation. 

Suggested Timeframe:

  • Extended Class Periods

Suggested Timeframe

  • Extended Class Periods

Objectives:

Objectives:

  • The student will work independently or with an illustrator to plan, compose, and illustrate a children’s book about state or local government or government officials. 
  • Working with a local or state elected official, Create a video or Power Point presentation to document day to day events for chosen elected officials. 

Procedure:

Procedure:

Day 1:

  • Introduce the activity by showing the book, House Mouse, Senate Mouse, on the Democracy Kids page of the Center on Congress website, www.centeroncongress.org
  • Discuss what children could learn about Congress from this book. 
  • Brainstorm ideas for children’s books that could be used to teach younger students about local and state government. 
  • Review the “Am I missing something” videos to get additional ideas. 

1. ABC book

2. Fiction

3. Non-fiction

4. Activity book

5. Other

  • Students work independently or with an illustrator to plan, compose, and illustrate a children’s book. 
  • Upon completion, partner with a class of younger students to read the books created.

 

 

  • Introduce the activity by viewing E-Learning modules on the site of the Center on Congress at Indiana. (See resources)
  • Discuss importance of understanding responsibilities and work done by elected officials to represent our voice at the city, county, state, and national level. 
  • Make a list of all elected officials for the area.
  • Students form teams to select the official they will contact. 
  • Follow the planning guide to set goals and objectives, establish a plan of action, and organize materials for a presentation.
  • Teacher arrange for access to officials via job shadowing, e-mail, mail, or in person. 

 

Evaluation

Evaluation

  • Finished Books
  • Rubric for Product Evaluation

 

  • Participation
  • Finished Products
  • Presentation before Authentic Audiences
  • Student developed rubric

Resources

Resources

  • “Write a Children’s Book”  Contract and Requirement Sheet (p 11)
  • Samples of Children’s Books
  • Access to the internet
  • Center on Congress website “Democracy Kids
  • American Democracy Videos

www.centeroncongress.org

  • “A Day in the Life of…” E-Learning Modules
  • Access to elected officials
  • Project Planning Guide (p 12-15)
  • Student compiled rubric for evaluation (See Rubric Bank)

 

Developed by Carol Western Paola, Mississippi Project Citizen Co-Coordinator, for Representative Democracy in America: Voices of the People, a national project sponsored by the Alliance for Representative Democracy, a partnership of the Center for Civic Education, the Center on Congress at Indiana University and the National Conference of State Legislatures' Trust for Representative Democracy. 

Additional Resources

Lesson Worksheets | PDFs

Related Sites