Visit http://www.congresslink.org/print_expert_voice.htm to read “The Voices of Your Classroom are the Voices of Our Future” by Everett M. Dirksen (The Instructor, 1967). In his words:
Political apathy is dangerous in that, while it causes no concrete destruction, it also offers no positive contribution. Couple apathy with the often negative and destructive activities of political dissidents, and we have a cause for concern. When there are in evidence no positive demonstrations to counter draft protesters, flag burnings, looting, and the destruction of private property, we must ask why. Where are the strong and enthusiastic youth we would expect to rally to the defense of their nation and its heritage?
The answer, I believe, lies in apathy. The young, strong voices that we need so much to hear at the present time lie dormant. Youth is indifferent. Our young people are not solely to blame for their lack of commitment and involvement. They are merely imitating the example that most Americans have set for them. “We learn anything,” wrote William Heard Kilpatrick, “in the degree that we live it, in the degree that we count it important to us, in the degree that we accept it in our hearts for use in life.”
Dirksen continues by stressing the importance of teaching good citizenship.Read More
A contest challenging seventh through twelfth-grade educators to submit lesson plans based on selected content on The Dirksen Center’s web suite.
Who Can Participate
The contest is open to seventh through twelfth-grade educators who have attended one of The Dirksen Congressional Center’s Congress in the Classroom® workshops.
About the Contest
The objective is to use one of our selected resources on our web suite to create a new lesson plan to be posted on our website. Here are the selected resource links: http://www.congresslink.org/cartoons/index.htm ; http://congressionaltimeline.org/ ; http://www.congresslink.org/civilrights/index.htm ; http://www.dirksencenter.org/1945trip/index.htm ; http://dirksencenter.org/leadershiprace/index.htm ; http://dirksencenter.org/guides_emd/Minutes%201961-1968/index.htm
The entry deadline is January 31, 2011. Winners will be notified by February 15, 2011.
Please submit your lesson plan using the following link: http://www.congresslink.org/PHPMailer-FE_v4.0.6/lpcontestform.html
Two teachers will be chosen to present their lesson plan at a panel discussion during the 20th edition of Congress in the Classroom 2011. Your registration fee of $125 will be waived. The Center will pay for your transportation (subject to limitations) and your hotel stay for the duration of the workshop.
Written by Frank Mackaman
During our annual Congress in the Classroom® workshop — http://www.dirksencenter.org/print_programs_CongressClassroom.htm – participants are asked to introduce the lesson plans, resources, and techniques that have proven successful in teaching about Congress in their classrooms. A 2010 participant presented a lesson entitled, The U.S. Constitution Power Grab Game.
The highest law of the land in the United States is the Constitution. This is the basic principle we want young people to understand and support in our social studies classes. Associated with the knowledge of the Constitution are several fundamental ideas: checks and balances, separation of powers, Bill of Rights, and amendments.
The purpose of this lesson plan is to encourage students to comprehend these points of emphasis and relate them to the study of the three branches of the federal government. Several activities are described. The culminating activity is the “Power Grab Game” given before the final test on the Constitution unit.
Students will be able to (1) identify the three branches of American government, (2) describe the function of each branch of government, (3) explain how the “checks and balances” system functions to protect the individual citizen from power-hungry politicians, (4) describe how each branch of government is “separate” in its powers from the other branches of government, and (5) explain how the amendments to the Constitution function today.
Find The U.S. Constitution Power Grab Game at: http://www.congresslink.org/print_lp_powergame.htmRead More