Help! Need a good in-class civics project

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Jerseygirlteach, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Sep 17, 2010

    I teach 7th grade sp. ed. social studies and they're studying civics. So far we've discussed citizenship, democracy and immigration. In addition to the textbook, I regularly bring in relevant current events articles for them to reflect on.

    However, writing and reading comprehension are major struggles for them. I want to give them a break from it and do some kind of on-topic project with drawing or something that doesn't involve reading and writing. Anyone have any ideas for me? Anything would be very much appreciated. I feel like some of them are just lost.

    By the way, I can't do anything that involves computers. My classroom is devoid of any and all technological resources - unfortunately.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 17, 2010

    How about if they stage some sort of a schoolwide election? It could concern anything from school mascot to I'm not sure what.

    But you could talk about how important it is to ensure that no one votes more than once, about how important it is that each person has the right to a private ballot, and so on.
     
  4. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Sep 17, 2010

    How about expanding Alice's idea to setting up a representative government system for them to role play.

    On one week, have them be the senate developing bills in committee. (Divide the class into 3 committees and have each develop a bill.) Have the bills be some new rules in you classroom, like ways to earn a simple reward. Once the bills are passed, be ready to implement them in your class so that it's real for the students.

    Next, have each committee present the bills to the senate (class role plays the senate) followed by votes on the bills.

    Next, we play congress and the bills go before congress for a vote/ modification.

    Then back to Senate for approval of the modifications.

    Finally, for the executive branch. Have each group present their bill to a "president" and his administration. The president has 3 options.....sign it to approve now, veto to send it back, and do nothing which lets it pass without signature.

    If there is a veto, back to congress for an override vote.

    Once approved, it becomes a law.

    It's a long term project and many details that I have missed or been not quite accurate on, but a worthwhile effort.
     
  5. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Sep 17, 2010

    How about a mural of the Bill of Rights? or a collage?

    How about if they create a graphic novel about the fundamentals of democracy? or the responsibilites of good citzenship?

    How about creating a new political party? slogan, platform and party name all in pictures
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    They could break into groups and form their own countries.

    They could make up a constitution, and a basic framework of government. They could design their own flags, decide how important a central government they could have, and so on.
     
  7. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Sep 19, 2010

    Thank you for these great ideas! I will definitely be using elements from many of these. :) Thanks again and if there are any more, keep 'em coming. ;) I think I've been so overwhelmed, my creativity has been stifled.
     
  8. myloveasdeep

    myloveasdeep Rookie

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    Sep 20, 2010

    Our civics teacher is doing a mock election with an AWESOME twist. He assigned each teacher a special interest group to represent and gave us each $2000 of play money. The kids have to convince us they will be the best candidate for our group so we will donate to their campaign! I'm the farm lobby. Best thing ever.
     

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