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Big-time Bureaucratic Brouhaha

Lesson Plan Author(s): 
Kevin Peterson and Nathan Clark
Topic: 
What kind of role does the Federal Government play in my life?
Teaching Area: 
Social Studies
Standards: 
American Government ODE 23; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.8
Grade Level: 
9th Grade
Teaching Level: 
Secondary Childhood
Origins Item(s): 

This lesson plan helps students recognize how the government affects their everyday lives and ponder what its role should be. The selected Originsarticle reflects the disconnect between Democrats and Republicans over the role the government should have in everyday life as seen in the 2016 presidential election. This article discusses big government regulations as something that can help people, despite “big government” often being used as a derogatory term. The article connects examples of government regulations throughout history from the building of the railroads to the Affordable Care Act. This history calls into question the idea of Government Regulations as anti-American. Students will use the Article to discuss types of regulations and whether they are a good thing or a bad thing. A rock paper scissors activity engages students in competition, while showing them the differences between a capitalist and socialist economy. They experience first-hand the differences between equality and equity. A messy board activity asks students to have a silent discussion with classmates. Students answer questions that require them to think deeply about all sides of the debate over government regulations. They will also respond to other students who they may agree or disagree with. The lesson wraps up with an exit ticket where students will think of five different ways that the government and its regulations impact their everyday lives. This ticket cumulates in a discussion about which government regulations have had a positive and negative impact on their lives and why.

Instructional Strategies:
Bell-ringer
Four Boards (Messy Board)
Exit Ticket

Lesson Materials:
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Key Words: 
Regulation, Bureaucracy, Equity