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GOVERNMENT TODAY. 3rd Grade Unit. Government Today. Purpose of Local, State, and National Government Structure of Local, State and National Government Make Political, Social and Economic Change through Government. Essential Questions. What is government?

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government today

GOVERNMENT TODAY

3rd Grade Unit

government today1
Government Today
  • Purpose of Local, State, and National Government
  • Structure of Local, State and National Government
  • Make Political, Social and Economic Change through Government
essential questions
Essential Questions
  • What is government?
  • What role do you play in government?
enduring understanding
Enduring Understanding
  • What are the differences and similarities among the local, state and national government?
    • Standard: Distinguish among local, state and national government and identify representative leaders at these levels such as mayor, governor and president.
  • Why do we need government in our society?
    • Standard: Explain the purpose of government.
enduring understanding1
Enduring Understanding
  • What rights do you have as a member of a larger group?
    • Standard: Examine the rights and responsibilities of the individual in relation to his or her social group, such as family, peer groups, and school class.
key perspectives
Key Perspectives
  • Making choices and taking action: The students will be responsible in choosing the laws and rules within their classroom.
  • Individual potential: They will learn about, as they grow older, how their choices and actions are affected by the government.
  • Justice, rights and responsibility: Learn about equality in addition to learning about the duties of the various people in the different levels of government.
interview
Interview
  • What is currently being done around the topic of government?
    • Purpose of teaching government in third grade is mainly for exposure purposes.
    • Introduce the students to the local, state and national governments as well as issues of laws and how they affect citizens
    • For local government a teacher brings in a police officer to talk about local laws
    • For state government a teacher has a state representative talk about state government
    • The president is the focus of national government
    • Distinguish between city, state and country because they have trouble distinguishing between them
    • Keep it basic because they would forget all the details anyway
academic readings
Academic Readings

-Social education should reflect and incorporate current and future issues and trends within the global society. (Zinn Chapter 1)

Learning about the government and how it relates to their lives makes the children active participants in the global network. For primary level students, taking action means taking small steps to improve the quality of their day to day lives and if we make government meaningful to them by bringing it down to their level then they will better understand their role. We will be bringing in current events and discuss how they affect our lives currently and in the future. By bringing these issues into the classroom, we would also discuss how the government plays a role in those issues.

-The important issues that young learners should explore are citizenship and decision-making. (Zinn Chapter 1)

There will be a lot of decision-making in our classroom government which will give them an understanding of the kinds of responsibilities a government and citizens of society possess.

rationale
Rationale

Starting in third grade the students are becoming more responsible for their schoolwork and personal decisions. Because of this it is age appropriate to bring in the topic of government. It is also possible to bring it down to their level so they can make personal connections. (Levstik, p.44)

It is also important to teach children about the government at a young age so they begin the process of becoming informed citizens. Government is a huge part of social studies and history. Many historical events have happened due to what political people have said or done, so it is important for them to know their roles. (Boring, p.98)

The unit is going to be partially teacher directed and also the students will be exploring the issues further based on personal interest. Students will be encouraged to question and explore why the government runs the way that it does. (Levstik, p.45)

literacy links
Literacy Links

Non-fiction government books:

-we would incorporate books on the different branches of government as well as books on how to serve your community. (These books are to be used as an aid to help the students have a better grasp of the concepts that they will be learning.)

-At the third grade level, it is not exactly a topic that the students will be familiar with yet and the use of literature in our unit is substantial in order to create opportunities for the students to learn in the simplest of terms. (Steffey, Chapter 6)

Children’s Periodicals:

-We would incorporate Time For Kids in our unit, because this magazine does a nice job of bringing challenging information down to a child’s level. It also makes it interesting for them to get involved in.

slide11
Using newspapers:

-To begin our discussion on current events, we will have students bring in newspaper articles to get them more involved in the global and local world and then branch our learning off of those events. (Levstik, 58)

Developing speaking/listening experiences:

-The students will be developing speaking and listening skills throughout this unit. The first experience with this skill will be through their interviews. There will be much public speaking throughout the unit which will aid in their development.

tuning in
Tuning In
  • Decision Timeline
  • Think about the decisions you had to make today. Did you make them? Did someone else make them for you? Were you happy with the decision that was made?
    • Whether or not to wake up
    • Whether or not to go to school
    • What to wear
    • What to eat for breakfast
  • Students will create and share a timeline of these decisions.
slide13

Standard: Examine the rights and responsibilities of the individual in relation to his or her social group, such as family, peer groups, and school class

Instructional strategy: Incorporating Current Events

The students will be discussing the current choices they have made that day.

preparing to find out
Preparing to Find Out
  • KWL Chart about what we think we know about our government
  • Guiding questions:
    • Who are the people that make up the government?
    • Where do they live?
    • What do they do?
    • How do they affect us?
    • How do we affect them?
slide15

Standard:

Explain the purpose of government

Distinguish among local, state and national government and identify representative leaders at these levels such as mayor, governor and president

Instructional strategy: Using surveys

We will be surveying the students knowledge of government at this point in the unit.

finding out
Finding Out
  • Researching local, state and national government.
  • The teacher will lead a discussion of the roles and differences of each level of government.
  • The students will use both local and national newspapers and magazines to find pictures and articles that represent some form of government. Then they will place them in a 3 hula hoop Venn diagram for a better visual representation.
slide17

Standard:

Examine the rights and responsibilities of the individual in relation to his or her social group, such as family, peer groups, and school class

Explain the purpose of government

Distinguish among local, state and national government and identify representative leaders at these levels such as mayor, governor and president.

slide18

Instructional strategy:

Incorporating Current Events

Using community resources

Using documents/primary source materials

They will be searching through current events using primary source materials such as newspapers and magazines from the community and beyond.

sorting out
Sorting Out
  • Looking at profiles of government officials
  • Research roles and responsibilities of president, governor and mayor
  • Take artifacts from Venn diagram and integrate them into the lesson to further their understanding visually of these positions.
slide20

Standard:

Distinguish among local, state and national government and identify representative leaders at these levels such as mayor, governor and president

Instructional strategy:

Using documents/primary source materials

The students will use magazines and newspapers from the previous lessons to help them better understand the differences in the roles.

going further
Going Further
  • The voice of the people
  • Interview the superintendent, principal and teacher and compare their roles to those of the president, governor and mayor respectively.
  • The students will be creating interview questions in order to find out about these peoples positions.
slide22

Standard:

Explain the purpose of government

Distinguish among local, state and national government and identify representative leaders at these levels such as mayor, governor and president

Instructional strategy: Using interviews

The students will be practicing their interviewing skills in order to gain more knowledge about these positions.

making connections
Making Connections
  • Creating a classroom government
  • Students will discuss how and why they would classroom government.
  • The students will elect classroom officers and create a classroom “government” explained through their own definition.
slide24

Standard:

Explain the purpose of government

Examine the rights and responsibilities of the individual in relation to his or her social group, such as family, peer groups, and school class

Instructional strategy:Using role play/debate/simulation

The students will create a simulation of a government.

taking action
Taking Action
  • Proving your role as an informed citizen
  • Through their evolving understanding students will see they the change they as third graders can make in the community.
  • The students will come up with ideas of how they can help to improve and contribute to the betterment of their community.
  • They will generate a plan to implement and make change.
slide26

Standard:

Explain the purpose of government

Examine the rights and responsibilities of the individual in relation to his or her social group, such as family, peer groups, and school class

Instructional strategy:Field experience

The students will first handedly experience the process of making change within their community.

formative assessment
Formative Assessment
  • The students will journal periodically throughout the unit on different topics such as how the government has affected them that day, what they are still having questions about, what they think should change, etc.
  • The teacher will have conferences with the students during the classroom government phase to assess progress, how things are going and answer any questions.
summative assessment
Summative Assessment
  • The students will work in groups to create a government for a newly discovered planet.
  • They must come up with the rules, the various leadership positions, and other structural elements for their government.
  • They will present their ideas at the end of the unit to their fellow classmates.
reflections
Reflections
  • Process
    • If it was not for one of our cooperating teachers we would not have known where to start
    • It is difficult to distinguish between essential and enduring questions
    • It is so much easier to work with a group on units
big picture
Big Picture

Unit planning vs.. lesson activity planning we found to be much more feasible than individually completing each lesson

Unit planning allows for the teacher to cater the lesson to his/her students’ needs

content
Content
  • The content of our unit focus is on a few key aspects of government as learning about the broad topic of “government” is too overwhelming. The benefits of focusing our topics allow the students to learn those areas more thoroughly than memorizing route facts. This is a unit that incorporates hands-on activities to enable learning on all levels.
this unit will reflect our future work by
This unit will reflect our future work by…
  • Encouraging us to work with our peers in the future because of the obvious benefits in surplus ideas and knowledge
researching local state and national government lesson plan
Researching Local, State, and National Government Lesson Plan

Purpose

  • Essential/Driving Question:

What is government?

  • Enduring Understanding:

What are the differences and similarities among the local, state and national government?

  • Key Concepts:

Justice, rights, and responsibility

slide34
Standards Alignment:
  • Examine the rights and responsibilities of the individual in relation to his or her social group, such as family, peer groups, and school class
    • Students will learn how individuals have rights and responsibilities through various media articles and through class discussions about the different types of articles found in the class
slide35
Standards Alignment (cont.):
  • Explain the purpose of government:
    • Searching through magazines and newspapers for articles about the government, students will gain a very brief and basic understanding of its purpose
slide36
Standards Alignment (cont.):
  • Distinguish among local, state, and national government and identify representative leaders at these levels such as mayor, governor and president.
    • This standard will be addressed when students sort out the articles they found into local, state, and national government. They will also begin to see how sometimes there is overlap between the three levels.
slide37
Materials Needed:
  • Variety of local and national newspapers and magazines
  • 3 Hula-Hoops
  • Large sheet of paper
  • Markers
  • Glue
slide38
Procedure:
  • The lesson begins with a teacher-led discussion about the roles and differences of each level of government. Students should learn from the discussion that local governments only make rules and decisions for their local area, state governments only for their specific state, and the national government oversees the entire nation. At this time, students should see if they can name any people who hold governmental offices and try and identify at which level their office is.
slide39
Procedure (cont.):
  • After the discussion, students should get into small groups and go through the various newspapers and magazines in search for articles or photographs that are about government at any level. As they go along, they should begin to sort their articles into national, state, and local groups.
  • Once all groups have had enough time to search through the different media, the class should gather around the hula-hoops arranged into a three-circle Venn diagram with a circle for each level of government. Each group should take a turn placing their article or photo into the appropriate hoop. (Some may fit into more than one level of government.) Students should explain why the chose to classify their articles as local, state or national.
slide40
Procedure (cont.):
  • After all of the articles have been placed into the Venn diagram, discuss why students might have found more articles about one level of government than another. Also discuss why/how there could be overlap among the different levels. What kind of articles/photos fit into all three levels?
  • Using the large sheet of bulletin board paper, recreate the Venn diagram. This can be done either by pasting the actual articles onto the paper, or by summarizing each article and writing it in the diagram.
slide41
Adaptations for individual or group differences:
  • If students are experiencing difficulties locating articles about government in the various medias, this step could be skipped and they could classify material the teacher has already selected. The difficulty of the pre-selected material would depend on the students’ capabilities.
  • An adaptation to this lesson for one or two students would be to pair them up in a group of students and give them a certain role such as recorder of material found. They could also provide illustrations to go along with the articles students find.
slide42
Assessment:
  • We will use formative assessment to gauge student learning from this lesson. After the lesson, students will write in their journal about how their everyday lives are affected by government using the information they presented in the Venn-Diagram.
  • Informal assessment will also be used throughout the lesson. The teacher will be able to see whether or not students are understanding the difference between each level of government when they are classifying their articles into the Venn diagram.
bibliography

Bibliography

Teacher

Knowing Your Government: Your Rights and Responsibilities. Glove Fearon. Educational Publisher, 1994

Levstik, Linda S. Doing History. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers London, 2001

Steffey, Stephanie and Hood, Wendy J. If This Is Social Studies, Why Isn’t It Boring? Stenhouse Publishers. Portland, Maine, 1994

Children

Granfield, Linda. America Votes: How Our President Is Elected. Scholastic Inc. 2003

Both

Giesecke, Ernestine. Local Government Kids’ Guide. Hanemann Library. Chicago, Il. Reed Educational Professional Publishing 2000