New Features of Representative
Democracy in America
Revised July 2011
Materials You Will Need
• Blue bag with booklet (s) and CD (s)
• Center on Congress Directory
• Summary of Citizen Brain
• Summary of You Rule
• Web quest competition page
1. To demonstrate some of the useful improvements and give
you a tour of many of the new activities on the Center for
2. To remove any negative thoughts regarding teacher/student
3. To provide an opportunity to participate in a web quest for
All of the “major” material has been aligned with
Missouri state standards and the Level III W.T.P.
text. This alignment and all activities may be
found at the following website:
Please check this website on a regular basis
because items are constantly be updated.
Representative Democracy In America
Objective Show-Me Performance CLE/DOK
Explain the 1-A/2-A 2
relationship Social Studies 3 Develop questions
between limited Principles and and ideas to
government and processes of initiate research.
the separation of governance
powers, checks systems
and balances, and Social Studies 6
the protection of Explain the
individual rights. relationship of the
Representative Democracy In America
Quick Reference Guide-Sample
(See www.http://mobar.org for complete document)
Program Individual Group Handouts Assessment Depth of
Title Lesson Activity 1-b Knowledge
Video/CD Analysis of
1-b 1-b 1-b-2 Ben 1-b
What Are Viewing
The Roots of Student Four debate Franklin’s Levels 2-3
Represent- reading topics (Page 38) quote.” If
ative (Pages 6-8) (Page 39) we want this Levels 3-4
Democracy? 1-b Terms to represent-
(Page 37) democracy
to last, what
Debate do we need
to keep it?”
What is R.D.A.?
First and foremost, much of the R.D.A. material has been
revised and the entire Center on Congress has been greatly
improved. Newer material has been developed (found in your
packet) for upper elementary and middle school. See Citizen
Brain and You Rule.
R.D.A. is not a comprehensive program for teaching civics
education. The R.D.A. program consists of a number of
materials from various sources to supplement your teaching of
government. The project introduces citizens, particularly high
school students, to the representatives, institutions, and processes
that we refer to as the American government.
Teaching Strategies for R.D.A.
There are many options for using the RDA material, but I found them most useful to
introduce or reinforce a particular government concept. You will have your choice of
simulations, short videos, and primary source activities. In some cases the entire
lesson plan is laid out for you. Look at the book Fundamentals of Representative
A Video Series Instructional Guide (Representative Democracy In America, Video
Series Instructional Guide) includes lesson plans, a synopsis of each program, a
bibliography, and correlations to the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution
(Level 3) text.
The 6 programs, each approximately 15 minutes in length, address the following
Personal note, I would edit before using
The roots of representative democracy
Federalism and the separation of powers
The roles of representatives, executives, and justices in our democracy
Our representatives and how they are chosen
The role of the citizen in a representative democracy
Open your book to page 95. This should be program 5, How Do Representatives Work
To Represent Us?
Please note the following:
Lesson plans with objectives, terms, and materials
Turn to page 100, you will find handouts ready for your students
A complete package
Additional DVDs are available at- www.http://new.civiced.org/programs/rda
Personal note; once again edit before using
Understanding Congress– (34 minutes)
The Philosophical Foundations of Representative Democracy–The Informal Political Process–
The Role of the U.S. Senate–(17 minutes)
The Role of U.S. House of Representatives–(20 minutes)
The Role of State Legislatures– (28 minutes)
Citizen Participation in State Legislatures– (9 minutes)
Citizen Participation in State Legislatures– (29 minutes)
The Role of Education in a Representative Democracy– (34 minutes)
Components of R.D.A. PART TWO
In your materials please locate Center on Congress at Indiana
University, Directory of Content. I would like to take a few
minutes to point out some of the new features on the site. For
some of the sites you will need to register and create a
password. Here are some of the new features.
The Virtual Congress is a fully functional online replica of the U.S. Congress.
Students become members of Congress: proposing their own ideas for
legislation, discussing them in-world with other student-members, and
working in realistic 3D locations that include congressional offices, committee
rooms, the House and Senate chambers, and the Capitol Rotunda. Each
student will create their own avatar and interact with other students or classes.
Virtual Congress Videos
• CAPITOL BUILDING
• WASHINGTON DC OFFICE
• HOUSE CHAMBER
• SENATE CHAMBER
• HOME OFFICE
We are now going to return to http://www.centeroncongress.org/.
Select E-LEARNING MODULES, and now select, MORE.
Select, “explore the modules”, select E-Learning Activities for
Students,” pick a topic on the left. Impact of Congress on
Everyday Life, click on different sections of the picture.
We are now going to return to main menu,
http://www.centeroncongress.org/ .Select “Primary Sources”,
and then select “more.” Select “Teaching with Primary Sources”.
Select teachers enter here. Select “Consensus Building and the
You now have access to a variety of themes that are complete
with lesson plans, and even some with video enrichment.
Return to “main menu.” Select Dr. Broccoli. Select MORE.
Select Lunch Break with Dr. Broccoli. This program would
probably work best with upper elementary.
Representative Democracy in America
The primary objective of this activity is to give you, the
classroom teacher, the opportunity to explore several web sites
which offer excellent non biased teaching resources. Each of
these sites has been teacher tested and offers effective teaching
In addition, this is your chance to win wonder prizes and
interact with you colleagues. I will now distribute a copy of
the web quest to each pair of participants. You may begin
when all participants have a paper. The first two teams to
answer all questions correctly will win a prize.
Take Away Points
• R.D.A. material aligns with all state level goals and
expectations, and supplements Project Citizen.
• R.D.A. material will better help students prepare for all
state tests, especially end of course exams because it
requires students to apply what they have learned and
engage in critical thinking.
• R.D.A. material is a combination of materials and
contributors. It is best used to introduce or reinforce a
• The Missouri Bar, department of Civic Education can
provide individual in-service training and material to your