Civics Grades 9-12                                                                                         Page  of

Units:

Unit 1: Foundations of American Government/ Constitution

Unit 2:  Political Beliefs, Behaviors, and Institutions/ Mock Election

Unit 3:  Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Unit 4:  Government at all levels (Legislative, Executive, Judicial)



Unit Title

Unit 1: Foundations of American Government/ Constitution

Timeframe 

10 Days

Unit Summary

In this unit, students will gain an understanding of the constitutional underpinnings of the United States Government. Students will interact with a variety of texts that influenced and focus on the unit theme, “The Constitution.”  We will review events and considerations that influenced the formation and adoption of the Constitution in the 1780’s. Additionally, we will examine three essential aspects of the Constitution: separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism.  We will also encounter selected theories of democratic government.

Learning Targets

Essential Questions

Students will understand:

  • How have theory, conflict, and compromise influenced the U. S. constitutional system?

  • How have constitutional and political developments affected public policy today?

  • Is federalism a viable form of government today?

  • Is the concept of “separation of powers” a reality today?

Enduring Understandings

Students will understand:  

  • The American system of government creates a balance between government authority and individual liberty through the use of a system of checks and balances and federalism.

Know

By the end of this unit, students will know:

  • Checks and balances
  • Federalism

Do

By the end of this unit, students will:

  • Analyze primary source documents.

Evidence of Learning

Formative

Checkpoint Quiz

Summative/ Benchmark

Unit Test including document analysis and simulations

FRQs

Alternative Assessments

Learning Activities

  • Federalist/Anti-Federalist Newspaper understanding the Point of View of both sides
  • Reading Like a Historian, “Shays’ Rebellion” Doc Analysis Lesson
  • Venn Diagram: Articles of Confederation vs. Constitution-Students will analyze both documents and determine why the Constitution has endured when the Articles of Confederation did not
  • State of Nature Activity
  • Collaborative Discussion on the topic of how our Forefathers were able to create a document that keeps up with the times even though it was written over 200 years ago.  Students will then discuss the internet and emerging technologies to explain how the document has evolved over time.
  • Students will work in groups to analyze recent Supreme Court cases involving technology and free speech and post a blog explaining some constitutional issues regarding emerging technologies and their solutions.

Materials / Equipment / Resources

Core Instructional

Materials and Texts

Handouts,Google Classroom, Resources from multiple civics based websites

Equipment

Chromebooks, Laptop, Projector

Supplemental Resources

Standards

Content Statement

Indicator

•Determine the credibility and value of information, while also considering context, point of view, and multiple perspectives.
•Collaboratively evaluate possible solutions to problems and conflicts that arise in an interconnected world.
•Critically analyze information, make ethical judgments, and responsibly address controversial issues.
•Communicate through rational and persuasive written and oral arguments to present solutions to controversial issues.
•Make informed and reasoned decisions and accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions and/or inactions.

6.3.12.A.1  Develop a plan for public accountability and transparency in government related to a particular issue(s) and share the plan with appropriate government officials.

6.3.12.C.1  Participate in a real or simulated hearing about a social issue with a related economic impact (e.g., growing health care costs, immigration), and justify conclusions after weighing evidence from multiple experts and stakeholders.

21st Century Skills and Themes

Interdisciplinary Connections

Career Ready Practices

9.2 Career Awareness, Exploration, and Preparation  

ELA-Primary source  “Reading Like a Historian”
History-Constitutional Analysis

  • CRP6. Demonstrate creativity and innovation.
  • CRP8. Utilize critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • CRP12. Work productively in teams while using cultural global competence

By the end of 12th grade,

  • 9.2.12.C.4 Analyze how economic conditions and societal changes influence employment trends and future education.

Technology Standards - 8.1

9-12th Grade

E: Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
  • Process data and report results.

8.1.12.E.1 Produce a position statement about a real world problem by developing a systematic plan of investigation with peers and experts synthesizing information from multiple sources.

 

Modifications/Accommodations

IEPs

  • Shortened assignments
  • Extended time is allotted for students when directed by IEP’s.
  • Modification of project dimensions or materials for students with special needs.
  • Provide students for multiple choices for how they can represent their understandings (e.g. multisensory techniques-auditory/visual aids; pictures, illustrations, graphs, charts, data tables, multimedia, modeling)
  • Oral, short-answer, modified tests
  • Student choice of texts, projects, writing prompts, etc.

504s

  • Shortened assignments
  • Extended time is allotted for students when directed by 504 plans.
  • Modification of project dimensions or materials for students with special needs.
  • Provide students for multiple choices for how they can represent their understandings (e.g. multisensory techniques-auditory/visual aids; pictures, illustrations, graphs, charts, data tables, multimedia, modeling)
  • Oral, short-answer, modified tests
  • Student choice of texts, projects, writing prompts, etc.

ELLs

  • Shortened assignments
  • Extended time is allotted for students
  • Visuals/video provided where possible

G/T

  • Game incentives to explore areas of interest.
  • Structure learning around explaining or solving a social or community-based issue
  • Provide electronic games, lessons, etc to encourage students to expand or move ahead of class learning.

END OF UNIT


Unit Title

Unit 2:  Political Beliefs, Behaviors, and Institutions/ Mock Election

Timeframe 

15 Days

Unit Summary

In this unit, students will gain an understanding of the political nature of the United States.  Students should become familiar with the workings of the electoral process; the role of money and interest groups on campaigns; the laws governing elections; and the way individual campaigns operate on the local, state, and national level. Examine contemporary news and Internet coverage and analysis of elections and campaigns. Engage in discussion of exit poll data.

Learning Targets

Essential Questions

How does the American “mosaic” define our political beliefs and shape our political behaviors?

Enduring Understandings

Students will understand:

  • Individuals engage in multiple forms of political participation, including voting, protest, and mass movements.
  • Political beliefs and behaviors are influenced by family, school, media, race, gender, and geography.

Know

By the end of this unit, students will know:

  • Election process

Do

  • Complete a Political Spectrum Survey
  • Debate video analysis
  • Analyze campaign ads
  • Mock Election
  • Analyze documents on Electoral Dysfunction

Evidence of Learning

Formative

•        Checkpoint Quiz
•        Daily Do-Nows

Summative/ Benchmark

•        FRQs

•        Election Project

•        Unit Test

Alternative Assessments

Learning Activities

  • Political Spectrum Survey to gauge political ideology-Students will survey peers, family and teachers to analyze the various political ideologies.
  • Current Event: Debate Video Analysis-Students will view select presidential debates and analyze key points and body language.
  • Campaign Ad Analysis
  • Mock Election Project; Collaborative teamwork in campaign groups creating propaganda and strategy and running a mock campaign utilizing different campaign strategies and social media.
  • Electoral Dysfunction Documentary Analysis

Materials / Equipment / Resources

Core Instructional

Materials and Texts

Handouts, Resources from multiple civics based websites, Laptop cart and Printers,Google Classroom,

Equipment

Cameras, IMovie, Chromebooks, Poster boards

Supplemental Resources

Standards

Content Statement

Indicator

•Determine the credibility and value of information, while also considering context, point of view, and multiple perspectives.
•Collaboratively evaluate possible solutions to problems and conflicts that arise in an interconnected world.
•Critically analyze information, make ethical judgments, and responsibly address controversial issues.
•Communicate through rational and persuasive written and oral arguments to present solutions to controversial issues.
•Make informed and reasoned decisions and accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions and/or inactions.
•Take actions that result in a more just and equitable society.

6.3.12.C.1 Participate in a real or simulated hearing about a social issue with a related economic impact (e.g., growing health care costs, immigration), and justify conclusions after weighing evidence from multiple experts and stakeholders.  

6.3.12.A.1  Develop a plan for public accountability and transparency in government related to a particular issue(s) and share the plan with appropriate government officials.

21st Century Skills and Themes

Interdisciplinary Connections

Career Ready Practices

9.2 Career Awareness, Exploration, and Preparation  

Math-Analyzing data and survey results

ELA-Document Analysis and citations

  • CRP6. Demonstrate creativity and innovation.
  • CRP8. Utilize critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • CRP11. Use technology to enhance productivity.
  • CRP12. Work productively in teams while using cultural global competence

By the end of 12th grade,

  • 9.2.12.C.4 Analyze how economic conditions and societal changes influence employment trends and future education.

Technology Standards - 8.1

9-12th Grade

C. Communication and Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others by employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • Communicate information and ideas to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

8.1.12.C.1 Develop an innovative solution to a real world problem or issue in collaboration with peers and experts, and present ideas for feedback through social media or in an online community.

Modifications/Accommodations

IEPs

  • Shortened assignments
  • Extended time is allotted for students when directed by IEP’s.
  • Modification of project dimensions or materials for students with special needs.
  • Provide students for multiple choices for how they can represent their understandings (e.g. multisensory techniques-auditory/visual aids; pictures, illustrations, graphs, charts, data tables, multimedia, modeling)
  • Oral, short-answer, modified tests
  • Student choice of texts, projects, writing prompts, etc.

504s

  • Shortened assignments
  • Extended time is allotted for students when directed by 504 plans.
  • Modification of project dimensions or materials for students with special needs.
  • Provide students for multiple choices for how they can represent their understandings (e.g. multisensory techniques-auditory/visual aids; pictures, illustrations, graphs, charts, data tables, multimedia, modeling)
  • Oral, short-answer, modified tests
  • Student choice of texts, projects, writing prompts, etc.

ELLs

  • Shortened assignments
  • Extended time is allotted for students
  • Visuals/video provided where possible

G/T

  • Game incentives to explore areas of interest.
  • Structure learning around explaining or solving a social or community-based issue
  • Provide electronic games, lessons, etc to encourage students to expand or move ahead of class learning.


Unit Title

Unit 3:  Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Timeframe 

15  Days

Unit Summary

We will familiarize ourselves with the rights and liberties of the American people. It is an examination of the Constitutional, historical, and philosophical underpinnings of those freedoms, the government institutions that define and uphold them, the laws and policy mechanisms that apply them, and the role they play in the American political system. It is an examination of the Bill of Rights and attending Constitutional Amendments, legislation, and federal and state court rulings. If the preceding units are the means of the American political system, civil rights and liberties are their end.

Learning Targets

Essential Questions

  • What are Civil Rights?  

  • What are your Civil Liberties?  What is the difference between the two?  

  • How have the Civil Rights of Minorities and Women developed?  

  • What guarantees and protects your Civil Liberties?  

  • What is selective incorporation and how has it developed?

Enduring Understandings

Students will understand:

There is a distinct difference between civil rights and civil liberties, which have both been interpreted over the course of U.S. history by Supreme Courts and other policy-influencing bodies.

Know

By the end of this unit, students will know:

  • Civil Rights
  • Civil Liberties
  • Bill of Rights

Do

  • Bill of Rights Scenarios
  • Moot Court simulation
  • Survey peers on constitutional rights
  • Compare US Constitutional rights to that of another selected country through current events

Evidence of Learning

Formative

Checkpoint Quiz
Scenarios

Summative/ Benchmark

Unit Test/ Open-ended
FRQs
Moot Court Work
Defense and Prosecution Teamwork and Supreme Court Justice analysis

Alternative Assessments

Learning Activities

  • Bill of Rights Scenarios-Students will work collaboratively to problem solve which of the 1st ten amendments  are being addressed
  • Conduct survey on peers regarding constitutional rights
  • Conduct moot court simulation on the Fourth Amendment
  • Compare US Constitutional rights to that of another selected country through current events

Materials / Equipment / Resources

Core Instructional

Materials and Texts

Readings, Constitution, Google Classroom

Equipment

Laptop, Projector, Chromebooks

Supplemental Resources

Standards

Content Statement

Indicator

•Determine the credibility and value of information, while also considering context, point of view, and multiple perspectives.
•Collaboratively evaluate possible solutions to problems and conflicts that arise in an interconnected world.
•Critically analyze information, make ethical judgments, and responsibly address controversial issues.
•Communicate through rational and persuasive written and oral arguments to present solutions to controversial issues.
•Make informed and reasoned decisions and accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions and/or inactions.
•Take actions that result in a more just and equitable society.

6.3.12.A.1  Develop a plan for public accountability and transparency in government related to a particular issue(s) and share the plan with appropriate government officials.

6.3.12.C.1 Participate in a real or simulated hearing about a social issue with a related economic impact (e.g., growing health care costs, immigration), and justify conclusions after weighing evidence from multiple experts and stakeholders.


21st Century Skills and Themes

Interdisciplinary Connections

Career Ready Practices

9.2 Career Awareness, Exploration, and Preparation  

ELA-Document Analysis and citations

History-Constitutional Analysis

  • CRP1. Act as a responsible and contributing citizen and employee.
  • CRP7. Employ valid and reliable research strategies.
  • CRP8. Utilize critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • CRP10. Plan education and career paths aligned to personal goals. 

By the end of 12th grade,

  • 9.2.12.C.4 Analyze how economic conditions and societal changes influence employment trends and future education.

Technology Standards - 8.1

9-12th Grade

E: Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
  • Process data and report results.

8.1.12.E.1 Produce a position statement about a real world problem by developing a systematic plan of investigation with peers and experts synthesizing information from multiple sources.

 

Modifications/Accommodations

IEPs

  • Shortened assignments
  • Extended time is allotted for students when directed by IEP’s.
  • Modification of project dimensions or materials for students with special needs.
  • Provide students for multiple choices for how they can represent their understandings (e.g. multisensory techniques-auditory/visual aids; pictures, illustrations, graphs, charts, data tables, multimedia, modeling)
  • Oral, short-answer, modified tests
  • Student choice of texts, projects, writing prompts, etc.

504s

  • Shortened assignments
  • Extended time is allotted for students when directed by 504 plans.
  • Modification of project dimensions or materials for students with special needs.
  • Provide students for multiple choices for how they can represent their understandings (e.g. multisensory techniques-auditory/visual aids; pictures, illustrations, graphs, charts, data tables, multimedia, modeling)
  • Oral, short-answer, modified tests
  • Student choice of texts, projects, writing prompts, etc.

ELLs

  • Shortened assignments
  • Extended time is allotted for students
  • Visuals/video provided where possible

G/T

  • Game incentives to explore areas of interest.
  • Structure learning around explaining or solving a social or community-based issue
  • Provide electronic games, lessons, etc to encourage students to expand or move ahead of class learning.

Unit Title

Unit 4:  Government at all levels (Legislative, Executive, Judicial)

Timeframe 

40 Days

Unit Summary

Students should understand the workings of the legislative process; the functions and powers of Congress; the relationship to other branches of government under the Constitution; and the change and evolution of congressional powers as a result of specific events in American history.

Students should understand the functions and powers of the executive branch; its relationship to other branches of government under the Constitution; the changes and evolution of the executive branch and the bureaucracy as a result of specific events in American history; the relationship between the national government and state and local government bureaucracies; and the role of the bureaucracy in formulating a budget.

Students should understand the workings of the judicial process; the functions and powers of the federal court system; the relationship of the Supreme Court to other branches of the government under the Constitution; and the change and evolution of the judiciary as a result of specific events in American history.
 

Learning Targets

Essential Questions

  • Has the presidency, as an institution, become too powerful?

  • Is there effective legislative oversight of the bureaucracy?  

  • Where does the “real” work of Congress occur?

  • How does the organization of the three branches of government affect legislation and policy interpretation?

Enduring Understandings

Students will understand:

  • The U.S. government relies on the participation of citizens to elect officials to local, state, and federal positions.
  • The U.S government is comprised of various levels, all of which are responsible for providing for the rights, needs, and safety of its citizens.
  • Power balances and relationships between institutions of government (formal and informal) may evolve gradually or

             change dramatically as a result of crises.

Know

By the end of this unit, students will know:

  • The three branches of government and their functions

Do

  • Research and generate their own bill within a certain budget.
  • Simulate committees and discuss with an eventual passing of the bill.
  • Redistricting Game
  • Analyze mayoral, gubernatorial, and presidential scenarios and respond with appropriate response.
  • Research the Cabinet departments and agencies in the Federal Bureaucracy.
  • Analyze scenarios for which Cabinet departments should be involved.
  • Simulate a courtroom based on a criminal case used by NJ Bar Association.  
  • Identify the roles of the courtroom and the problems they face in a basic courtroom setting.

Evidence of Learning

Formative

Do Now’s

Exit Slips

Checkpoint Quizzes on Vocabulary

Presidential Scenarios, Federal Bureaucracy Scenarios

Summative/ Benchmark

Unit Tests for all 3 separate branches
Model Congress
Checklist for participation rubric and bill proposal
Mock Trial Rubric and pre-trial analysis packets for each role to be utilized during the trial

Alternative Assessments

Learning Activities

Legislative Branch

  • Webquest:
  • Identify our representatives and their beliefs
  • Model Congress: Students research and generate their own bill within a certain budget. Students simulate committees and discuss with an eventual passing of the bill.
  • Gerrymandering activity: Students play the “Redistricting Game.”

Executive Branch

  • Students analyze mayoral, gubernatorial, and presidential scenarios and respond with appropriate response.
  • Students research the Cabinet departments and agencies in the Federal Bureaucracy. Analyze scenarios for which departments should be involved.

Judicial

  • Students will simulate a courtroom based on a criminal case used by NJ Bar Association.  
  • Identify the roles of the courtroom and the problems they face in a basic courtroom setting.

Materials / Equipment / Resources

Core Instructional

Materials and Texts

 Readings, NJ Bar Materials, Bill of Rights Institute Materials, YLI Materials, Google Classroom

Equipment

Laptop, Projector, Chromebooks

Supplemental Resources

Standards

Content Statement

Indicator

•Determine the credibility and value of information, while also considering context, point of view, and multiple perspectives.
•Collaboratively evaluate possible solutions to problems and conflicts that arise in an interconnected world.
•Critically analyze information, make ethical judgments, and responsibly address controversial issues.
•Communicate through rational and persuasive written and oral arguments to present solutions to controversial issues.
•Make informed and reasoned decisions and accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions and/or inactions.
•Take actions that result in a more just and equitable society.

6.3.12.A.1  Develop a plan for public accountability and transparency in government related to a particular issue(s) and share the plan with appropriate government officials.

6.3.12.C.1 Participate in a real or simulated hearing about a social issue with a related economic impact (e.g., growing health care costs, immigration), and justify conclusions after weighing evidence from multiple experts and stakeholders.


21st Century Skills and Themes

Interdisciplinary Connections

Career Ready Practices

9.2 Career Awareness, Exploration, and Preparation  

ELA-Document Analysis and citations

History-Constitutional Analysis

  • CRP1. Act as a responsible and contributing citizen and employee.
  • CRP2. Apply appropriate academic and technical skills.
  • CRP4. Communicate clearly and effectively and with reason.
  • CRP5. Consider the environmental, social and economic impacts of decisions.
  • CRP6. Demonstrate creativity and innovation.
  • CRP7. Employ valid and reliable research strategies.
  • CRP8. Utilize critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • CRP11. Use technology to enhance productivity.
  • CRP12. Work productively in teams while using cultural global competence.

By the end of 12th grade,

  • 9.2.12.C.4 Analyze how economic conditions and societal changes influence employment trends and future education.

21st Century Skills and Themes

C. Communication and Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others by employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • Communicate information and ideas to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

8.1.12.C.1 Develop an innovative solution to a real world problem or issue in collaboration with peers and experts, and present ideas for feedback through social media or in an online community.

E: Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
  • Process data and report results.

8.1.12.E.1 Produce a position statement about a real world problem by developing a systematic plan of investigation with peers and experts synthesizing information from multiple sources.

 

Modifications/Accommodations

IEPs

  • Shortened assignments
  • Extended time is allotted for students when directed by IEP’s.
  • Modification of project dimensions or materials for students with special needs.
  • Provide students for multiple choices for how they can represent their understandings (e.g. multisensory techniques-auditory/visual aids; pictures, illustrations, graphs, charts, data tables, multimedia, modeling)
  • Oral, short-answer, modified tests
  • Student choice of texts, projects, writing prompts, etc.

504s

  • Shortened assignments
  • Extended time is allotted for students when directed by 504 plans.
  • Modification of project dimensions or materials for students with special needs.
  • Provide students for multiple choices for how they can represent their understandings (e.g. multisensory techniques-auditory/visual aids; pictures, illustrations, graphs, charts, data tables, multimedia, modeling)
  • Oral, short-answer, modified tests
  • Student choice of texts, projects, writing prompts, etc.

ELLs

  • Shortened assignments
  • Extended time is allotted for students
  • Visuals/video provided where possible

G/T

  • Game incentives to explore areas of interest.
  • Structure learning around explaining or solving a social or community-based issue
  • Provide electronic games, lessons, etc to encourage students to expand or move ahead of class learning.