U.S. Government, Civics, U.S. History
In this lesson, students will understand the responsibilities, rights, and privileges of United States citizens. They will develop and employ the civic skills necessary for effective, participatory citizenship.
Use a projection device to display the statement for Criticism 5 in the attached Public Criticism list. Have students explain if they agree or disagree with this statement, and why.As a class, compile a list of things citizens can do to influence legislators.
Read the response or explanation to Criticism 5 and discuss the students' reactions. Summarize the response or explanation and make sure students understand that for the most part members of Congress are responsive to individuals.
Distribute copies of local newspapers to students. Have students select a specific problem identified from the newspaper articles.
Ask students to devise a plan to rectify the problem. This plan should incorporate the recommendations for influencing politicians that are listed in the response to Criticism 5.
Extending the Activity
Invite your local representative to speak to the class. Ask your representative to explain the various ways he or she can be contacted and to give examples of citizens who may have influenced him or her, and how they did so.
One possible homework assignment would be for the students to contact their representative or senator, share the communication with the class, and then share the Congress members replies as they come in.
Computer access for students
Current local newspapers
Whiteboard, chalkboard, projector, overhead, or some display capability
Milford Middle School