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Bellringer. What does “Democracy” mean to you?. Democracy – a system of government in which the people rule either directly, or through elected representatives. Settling Differences Democratically.

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What does “Democracy” mean to you?


Democracy – a system of government in which the people rule either directly, or through elected representatives

Settling differences democratically

Settling Differences Democratically

1. Review the activity description with the students. Allow students time to silently read the Local Restaurant Guide. (5minutes)

2. You will use the clickers to vote independently which restaurant you prefer. Do not reveal to the class the results of this poll. (2 minutes)

3. Next, you will discuss in a small groups which restaurant would be best. We will vote again and discuss which restaurant the class should go to.

4. We will continue deliberation until one restaurant gets at least 50% of the class’ votes.

Debriefing questions

Debriefing Questions

1. What were the initial restaurant choices of the students? How many different choices? Was there a majority, a plurality at the outset?

2. Did students take a straw vote to find out who favored what?

3. Were there efforts, then, to persuade one another to agree on certain restaurants? Were these arguments made on the merits, such that a particular restaurant had better food, better service, etc.?

4. Did negotiations take place among proponents of one restaurant or another? Were any compromises struck? Was it possible to compromise in this activity?

5. How was the decision as to where to eat made? By a series of votes? One vote? A majority vote? Otherwise?

6. Why did the minority agree to go along with the majority?

7. How did students feel about the process and settlement? Was the process fair? Was the settlement fair?

8. Ask the students to suggest other instances from their own experience where differences had to be worked out by democratic means. What were the differences? Why did they have to be settled? What roles did deliberation and negotiation play? Were any compromises reached?


Forms of Democracy

Direct (pure) Democracy

Representative Democracy

The People

Representatives are elected by

the people.

Every citizen is involved in every

policies and decision.

Policies and decisions are

made by representatives

What kind of democracy is the u s

What kind of democracy is the U.S?

  • Examples of Representative Democracy in the US:

    • We Vote! The President, Senate, House of Representatives, and literally 1000’s of other government officials are elected by the people.

    • Referendum: the practice of submitting a law to a popular vote at election time. The law may be proposed by a voter’s initiative or by the legislature.

    • Recall: a procedure whereby the voters can remove an elected official from office

Characteristics of democracy

Characteristics of Democracy

Majority rule


by and for

the people

Everyone is equal under

the law


Rights of the individual are protected


Elected representatives carry out the people’s will

Basic ideals and principles

Basic Ideals and Principles

  • Popular Sovereignty- government derives its powers from the consent of the people it governs.

  • Respect for the Individual- every individual has the potential for common sense, rationality and fairness and are entitled to "certain unalienable rights."

  • Equality of Opportunity- "all men are created equal," but what kind of equality? Economic, political, legal, social?

  • Personal Liberty- "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and the right of individuals to self-determination.

  • Rule of Law – “a government of laws and not of men” safeguard of liberty.

Option 1 so how democratic are we

Option 1:So, How Democratic Are WE?

  • Read each statement and decide if it represents an example of the democratic process or not, and then write a brief rationale for this position.

  • Based upon these scenarios, what generalizations can you make about American democracy?

  • Is it ok that democracy in the U.S. is sometimes inconsistent or messy? Defend your answer.

Rethinking democracy arab spring

Rethinking Democracy – Arab Spring

Interactive Timeline:

  • On a piece of laundry line, students will pin their event in chronological order (or can use tape on the wall). Each student will read the description of their event as we go over the timeline as a class.

Rethinking democracy arab spring1

Rethinking Democracy – Arab Spring

Before Activity:

  • What country did your event take place in?

  • Who was upset? Why?

  • What action was taken?

    After Activity:

  • How was your event(s) influenced by events other countries?

  • Identify 3 reasons it is so difficult to transition from an authoritarian government to a democratic one?

  • What do you think politics in the middle-east will look like in 10 years? Why?

Exit slip

Exit Slip

What is

“popular sovereignty”?

Extra slides

Extra Slides

  • Activities, political cartoons, added info . . . not pertinent to the test.

Extra activity school of rock

Extra Activity: School of Rock

Look at the lyrics for the songs Fortunate Son recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Daylight Again/Find the Cost of Freedom recorded by Crosby, Stills and Nash and Young, and Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA.

  • What do you think this song is about, i.e. what’s going on? (Hint: you may to consider the year each song was recorded and put it in historical context).

  • Analyze each stanza of the song, and discuss how it relates to “democracy.”

  • What do you think is the overall message of the songwriter of each song?

  • Identify how the songs are different and how they are similar in terms of their perspectives on American democracy.


Artist: PetarPismestrovic, KleineZeitung, Austria

Date: February 2, 2005


Artist: Larry Wright, The Detroit News

Date: February 1, 2005

Did you know

Did You Know…

In ancient Athens, only adult male citizens who had completed their military training as ephebes had the right to vote.

More on representative democracies

More on Representative Democracies

  • Presidential Democracy – people elect a legislature and a president who make and enforce laws.

  • Parliamentary Democracy – people elect a legislature who in turn elects a prime minister.

  • Constitutional Monarchy – people elect government leaders. Monarch has ceremonial power.


Systems of Representative Democracy

Another Way to Look at It.

Presidential Democracy

Parliamentary Democracy

Constitutional Monarchy


Government Leaders

Elected by the



Elected by the



Elected by the people


Inherits ceremonial

power; holds limited

political power


Elected by the


Prime Minister

Elected by



Enacted by legislature

and enforced by the



Enacted by elected



Enacted by elected


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