First Amendments Essays by fku17725


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									             Preserving American Democracy – Grade 11

     Ohio Standards           Lesson Summary:
      Connection:             Students will analyze American civil liberties, as found in
                              the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the
                              Constitution, in relationship to the changes in these rights
Benchmark A                   that may take place for individuals in the United States as a
Evaluate, take and defend     result of the USA Patriot Act. Through a debate and an
positions about issues        essay, students will evaluate how the USA Patriot Act and
concerning the alignment
of the characteristics of
                              other government policies serve the public good.
American democracy with
realities in the United       Estimated Duration: Three to four hours
States today.

Indicator 1
Analyze the actions of the    Commentary:
U.S. government and           This lesson will give students the opportunity to examine a
evaluate the extent to        specific government policy and evaluate its effect on the
which these actions reflect
characteristics of American   characteristics of American democracy. The students will
democracy and help to         have practice in forming an opinion based on information
serve the public good.        about a current issue.

                              Have students answer the following questions:
                              1. What are the basic characteristics of American
                              2. How might the government have to balance individual
                                 rights with the need for national security?
                              3. What are the rights and responsibilities of individuals in a

                              Scoring Guidelines:
                              Look for the following points as you read the student’s
                              1. Can the student list basic characteristics of American
                                  democracy (e.g., the people are the source of
                                  governmental authority, individual rights are guaranteed
                                  under the Constitution – see Government, Grade 6,
                                  Indicator 2 in Ohio’s Academic Content Standards: K-12
                                  Social Studies.)?
                              2. Does the student see a connection between the
                                  characteristics and the need for security?
                              3. Can the student list some of the rights and responsibilities
                                  of individuals in a democracy?
                              Collect answers and use the results to focus instruction and
                              review rights and responsibilities if necessary.

             Preserving American Democracy – Grade 11
Have the students write an essay that:
1. Describes in detail the characteristics of American democracy as reflected in the First,
   Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution.
2. Explains how these amendments promote the public good.
3. Analyzes and evaluates how the characteristics of American democracy might be affected
   by laws enacted to provide for national security, specifically the USA Patriot Act.

Scoring Guidelines:
Use the scoring rubric, Attachment A, to score the students’ essays.

Instructional Procedures:
Day One
1. Have students complete pre-assessment questions.
2. Lead a class discussion on the answers to the pre-assessment.
3. Based on results of pre-assessment, review any vocabulary terms or concepts that may
   need to be clarified.
4. Review with the students the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the
   Constitution. Provide a brief summary of each amendment while allowing the students to
   ask clarifying questions.

Day Two
5. Distribute to each student a summary of the USA Patriot Act. Individually have the
   students read the summary that has been provided.
6. As they read, have the students highlight specific items or parts of the act that may relate
   to one of the amendments discussed during the last class period.
7. After the reading, lead a whole class discussion of the summary just read. Center the
   discussion around the following key questions:
    What, in general, does the USA Patriot Act say?
    What parts of the act relate to the four amendments discussed?
    What risks do Americans take in protecting freedoms?
    How does this act help to serve the public good?
    Does this act reflect characteristics of American democracy?

Day Three
8. Divide students into two debate groups. In preparation for a debate, assign each group a
    position on the USA Patriot Act, either Pro (preserving American democracy) or Con
    (infringing on civil liberties).
9. Allow groups enough time to research their position and prepare for a debate the next
10. Have groups:
      Decide on three to five major points they want to stress,
      Find facts or passages from the Act or other sources to summarize in support of their

             Preserving American Democracy – Grade 11
     Create opening and closing statements, and
     Select speakers to represent their group.
11. Have the students complete their debate preparation as homework.

Day Four
12. Allow groups a short amount of time for final debate preparations.
13. With the help of students, discuss and decide upon guidelines and format for the debate,
    i.e., appropriate language, time limits, rebuttals, active listening, interruptions, etc.
14. Have one speaker from each of the groups begin the debate with their opening arguments
    and then proceed with the established format. Allow a student from each team to present
    one argument and then hear a rebuttal from the other side. Next, allow the second side to
    present their point and hear a rebuttal from the opposing side. Contine until all points
    have been made and closing arguments can be stated (This is a condensed format that
    should fit into one class period.).
15. For homework, have students write a two-paragraph reflection of the class’s debate. Tell
    students that the first paragraph should state their opinion of the USA Patriot Act,
    including whether or not the debate affected this opinion, and the second paragraph
    should be a reflection on the debate process.

Day Five
16. Have students complete the post-assessment essay. Provide them with the questions and
    scoring guidelines found in Attachment A.
Differentiated Instructional Support:
Instruction is differentiated according to learner needs, to help all learners either meet the
intent of the specified indicator(s) or, if the indicator is already met, to advance beyond the
specified indicator(s).
 Pair students who have reading difficulties, with a partner for reading the summary of the
    USA Patriot Act
 Form debate groups heterogeneously, keeping in mind the needs of all students
 Give the Post-Assessment as an oral evaluation
 Have students write a letter to the editor regarding the relationship between the War on
    Terror and civil liberties

 Have students research another time in U.S. history when, for the sake of national
   security, the rights of citizens or foreigners have been limited.
 Have students research information regarding one of the political action groups that
   works on issues related to civil liberties and/or national security. Ask the students to give
   an oral report to the class regarding the work of one of these groups.

             Preserving American Democracy – Grade 11
Homework Options and Home Connections:
 Have students complete the debate preparation and research at home.
 Have students survey members of their family or neighbors to find out their view
  regarding national security.

Interdisciplinary Connections:
English Language Arts
 Writing Applications
   Benchmark D: Produce informational essays or reports that establish a clear and
   distinctive perspective on the subject, include relevant perspectives, take into account the
   validity and reliability of sources and provide a clear sense of closure.
   Indicator 4: Write informal essays or reports, including research, that:
   a. develop a controlling idea that conveys a perspective on the subject;…

Materials and Resources:
The inclusion of a specific resource in any lesson formulated by the Ohio Department of
Education should not be interpreted as an endorsement of that particular resource, or any of
its contents, by the Ohio Department of Education. The Ohio Department of Education does
not endorse any particular resource. The Web addresses listed are for a given site’s main
page, therefore, it may be necessary to search within that site to find the specific information
required for a given lesson. Please note that information published on the Internet changes
over time, therefore the links provided may no longer contain the specific information related
to a given lesson. Teachers are advised to preview all sites before using them with students.

For the teacher: USA Patriot Act summary, resources with information about the Bill of

For the students: Writing materials, copies of the Bill of Rights, copies of the USA Patriot
                  Act summary, access to research sources, note cards for debate.

 public good
 patriotism
 national security
 civil liberties
 democracy
 patriot

Technology Connections:
 Provide students with access to Internet resources for debate preparation. A summary of
   the USA Patriot Act is available at:
 Have students use a word processing program to write their post-assessment essay.

             Preserving American Democracy – Grade 11
Research Connections:
Marzano, R. et al. Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for
Increasing Student Achievement, Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and
Curriculum Development, 2001.

       Summarizing and note taking are two of the most powerful skills to help students
       identify and understand the most important aspects of what they are learning.

General Tips:
 Be sure to include students in creating the guidelines and format for debate. Discuss
   appropriate behavior before beginning the debate. Students may even want to create
   consequences for participants that don’t adhere to guidelines.
 Encourage students to use note cards to write down their debate points.
 Stress to students that they do not have to believe in the point of view they are debating,
   only make a convincing argument for that opinion. This exercise will help them to see
   opposing viewpoints.

Attachment A, Post-Assessment Scoring Rubric

             Preserving American Democracy – Grade 11
                                         Attachment A
                                Post-Assessment Scoring Rubric

     Item            Four Points            Three Points          Two Points             One Point

First, Fourth,    Demonstrates a clear     Demonstrates a       Demonstrates an      Demonstrates only
Fifth and Sixth   and complete             general              awareness of the     a slight awareness
Amendments        understanding of the     understanding of     First, Fourth,       of the First, Fourth,
                  characteristics of       the First, Fourth,   Fifth, and Sixth     Fifth, and Sixth
                  American                 Fifth, and Sixth     Amendments to        Amendments to the
                  democracy reflected      Amendments to        the Constitution.    Constitution.
                  in the First, Fourth,    the Constitution.
                  Fifth, and Sixth
                  Amendments to the
                  Constitution (i.e.,
                  powers of
                  government are
                  limited by law and
                  individual rights are
                  guaranteed by the

Explanation of    Gives a detailed         Includes an          Includes some        Includes an
promoting the     explanation of how       adequate             description of       incomplete
public good       these amendments         description of       how some of          description of how
                  promote the public       how these            these                these amendments
                  good.                    amendments           amendments may       may promote the
                                           promote the          promote the          public good.
                                           public good.         public good.

Analysis and      Gives a detailed         Gives an             Gives some           Gives incomplete
evaluation of     clear analysis and       adequate analysis    analysis and         analysis and
USA Patriot Act   evaluation of how        and an evaluation    evaluation of        evaluation of how
                  characteristics of       of how               how                  characteristics of
                  American                 characteristics of   characteristics of   American
                  democracy might be       American             American             democracy might
                  affected by policies     democracy might      democracy might      be affected by
                  needed for national      be affected by       be affected by       policies needed for
                  security, specifically   policies needed      policies needed      national security
                  the USA Patriot Act.     for national         for national         specifically, the
                                           security             security,            USA Patriot Act.
                                           specifically, the    specifically the
                                           USA Patriot Act.     USA Patriot Act.


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