Foundations: U.S. Civics

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Essential Questions: 

*What are the roles and responsibilities United States citizens?
*How are human rights defined and guaranteed in the United States?
*How does reading about human experience inform one's personal choices?
*What are the founding principles of the United States?
*How do citizens choose elected officials?




Habits Of Mind: 

Habits of mind are at the core of learning. Students are asked to track assignments with care, read and analyze challenging texts, and express themselves in written and oral manner. Students are encouraged to think about who they are and how they fit into society. As they explore the themes of this early-in-the-year unit, they are challenged to explore and reflect on each assignment fully.


*Human Rights are universal; guaranteeing rights is an essential role of government.
*Original texts (Declaration of Independence and Constitution) guide our society.
*Citizens have important roles in governing the U.S.
*Personal history affects how one reacts to issues and voting in elections.
*The Founders' arguements and agreements led to decisions that affect us today.
*Limits on power, three branches of government, and citizen rights are core American ideals.

Skills and Processes: 

*Expository writing and critical comment, extending work on paragraphs. Essay writing in 5-paragraph format.
*Reading for meaning. Further development of critical thinking.
*Journaling, reflection, and creative response about all topics, including current court cases and current events.
*Discussion and listening skills.
*Recitiation skills.


*Peer Review
*Oral Presentations
*Paragraph and Essay Rubrics
*Nightly assignments
*One long term project associated with writing and debate concerns a legal controversy.
*Quizzes and tests


1- We the People, a constitution curriculum
2- The Declaration of Independence
3- The Constitution of the United States
4- Current Events; primarily court cases with constitutional issues as the focus.

Multicultural Dimension: 

*Human Rights are intrinsic human values; all world citizens are born with them. How this country has addressed individual rights has influenced others.
*Rights of minority groups and certain cultural groups were not guaranteed at the founding of the American Republic.
*Literature represents points of view of many groups of United States' citizens.

Integrated Learning: 

*Students look at iconic American art as a way to see how artists capture American themes.