Tiered Assignment Objective: to study and compare/contrast the different types of governmental structures found in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The class will read together Chapter 18 “Partners in the Hemisphere” in their Social Studies books. Students will be asked to keep a tree map classifying the different aspects of the governments of North America, Central America and the Caribbean (democracy, dictatorship, etc.). Groups will then be given one of the following four assignments based on their ability levels: 1. Compare/contrast democracy and dictatorship using either a double bubble map or a Venn diagram. Use examples from a country with each type of government to support your answers. 2. Pretend that you are setting up the government of your very own country. Would you choose a democracy or a dictatorship? Use a tree map to list the pros and cons of each form of government. Write a journal entry explaining your choice and why you chose it over the other option. Give at least five reasons to support your choice citing examples from countries we have studied. 3. Look up the definition of the word “monarchy.” How are a monarch, a dictator and a democratic president alike? How are they different? Organize your findings in an appropriate graphic organizer of your choice so that your data is neat and easy to read. Write a journal entry explaining which type of ruler you would choose to be and why. Give at least five reasons to support your choice. 4. Define the word “oligarchy” and find examples of governments that were/are oligarchies. Compare/contrast oligarchy and democracy using an appropriate graphic organizer of your choice. Is the United States a democracy or an oligarchy? Pretend that two members of Congress are arguing this issue; create a debate using evidence from your research to support each side. Differentiation: This tiered assignment addresses the varied needs of learners of different skill levels in the classroom. Each group is learning about types of governmental structures and comparing/contrast using graphic organizers. Gifted learners are required to go beyond the curriculum and use abstract thought to challenge a concept they have readily accepted as true…the United States is a democracy. They must research and explore this new concept of oligarchy to determine its validity. A congressional debate is a real life product that will enable gifted learners to see both sides of an issue. Kristin Wallbrown Catawba Co. Schools Through CONNECTIONS-NC, Inc. Course on Curriculum Differentiation, 2005.
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