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“An American Moment” Federalism and the States’ Response to Disaster Preparedness and Response Materials: Video/audio clip of issues relating to federalism and Hurricane Katrina from http://www.c-span.org Handouts of the “Side by Side” comparison of government actions between Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita from http://uspolitics.about.com/library/bl_katrina_rita_side_by_side.htm Issues listed on strips of paper Two index cards for each student, one titled “Federal Government” and one titled “State Government” TEKS: 7.14 7.15 Government Objective: The student will demonstrate an understanding of federalism as set-forth by the constitution by focusing on real-world issues and current events, specifically the impact of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita on a federal and state level. This lesson complies with the state mandate of recognizing key dates and holidays relevant to social studies classes; it can be modified to meet the needs solely of the 7th grade TEKS, a 7th/8th grade TEKS vertical alignment, or an 8th grade TEKS activity. Overview of Activity: In this response group activity, students will be assigned to heterogeneous groups and given slips of paper with issues typed on them. After listening to or viewing the clips on the effects of Hurricane Katrina and the preparations and effects of Hurricane Rita, the students will evaluate the issues and determine if it should be, or have been, handled by the state of Louisiana, the state of Texas, the federal government, or both state and federal governments. Students also will suggest improvements to the problems encountered before, during and after the hurricane while focusing on the issue of federalism. Preview: Students will begin the activity by reviewing the term “federalism” and answering the following questions: Which government is responsible for the catastrophe following Hurricane Katrina, the federal or state government? Which government is responsible for rebuilding the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, the federal or state government? What plans did the state of Texas, the state of Louisiana and the government make for Hurricane Rita charted to make landfall along the Texas/Louisiana coastline weeks after Katrina? Guided Practice: 1. Students will be grouped in heterogeneous groups and given the title I.I.P.— Independent Investigative Panel. 2. Within each group, students will review the term “federalism” and share examples from historical or current events. 3. Each group will be given a set of issues cut up into separate strips along with two index cards labeled “Federal Government” and “State Government”. 4. Students will watch a video/audio clip cspan.org, specifically a segment that has a direct reference to responsibilities of the U.S. Government and the state of Louisiana. 5. Students will review the actions taken by state and federal governments in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita using the handout from http://uspolitics.about.com/library/bl_katrina_rita_side_by_side.htm. 6. Students then will sort the strips under “Federal Government” or “State Government” depending on which issue they think should be or should have been handled by the state or by the federal government. 7. Students must come to a consensus within their group. 8. Students also will be asked to come up with changes or improvements to the issues surrounding the impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the state and federal governments. 9. Each group will assign a presenter who will share their team’s decisions to the rest of the class. Closure: Some debriefing questions will be addressed in class as part of the closure to this activity. Processing: Create a hurricane preparedness plan for a city along the Texas coast. Include evacuation plans, travel routes complete with actual inter- and intrastate highway designations, crisis management, and rebuilding plans.
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