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Planes, Trains and Automobiles: American Infrastructure

a highway with lots of cars on it
Lesson Plan Author(s): 
Kevin Brachat
Topic: 
American Infrastructure
Standards: 
D2.Civ.1.6-8. D2.Civ.2.6-8.
Grade Level: 
8
Teaching Level: 
Middle Childhood
Origins Item(s): 

D2.Civ.1.6-8. Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of citizens, political parties, interest groups, and the media in a variety of governmental and nongovernmental contexts.
D2.Civ.2.6-8. Explain specific roles played by citizens (such as voters, jurors, taxpayers, members of the armed forces, petitioners, protesters, and office-holders)

This lesson plan introduces students to the term infrastructure, specifically looking at the United States’ current reporting of different categories of its infrastructure. The Origins article that I chose to use was an article that dealt with past and current funding of America’s infrastructure, giving a deep dive into its funding and how it affects the United States today. The article takes its readers through private and public spending to build its infrastructure, asking its readers to come to their conclusion of what works best. I chose to use this article because I felt the need for students to be introduced to the concept of infrastructure to formulate their ideas about it.  The article is inquisitive, and I wanted the lesson to allow students to question the state of American infrastructure they are knowing, or knowingly, using daily. After introducing the Origins article, we will provide a simplified explanation of different terminology used throughout the article. Then students will be split into small groups to decipher the most recent “grade” the United States has received for one facet of its infrastructure. Students will collaborate to pick out main ideas, facts, statistics they find in the report and create a poster representation of their findings. Groups will use the terminology used in the article and PowerPoint to create their posters. After groups are finished analyzing their category’s grade they will present their poster to the class. Each group will present. As groups, present students are responsible for taking notes on what grade the category received, as well as, facts about each presentation.

Instructional Strategies:
• Guided Notes
• Poster Creation
• Share-out

Downloads:

Grading Scale Material
Guided Notes
PowerPoint Presentation
Lesson Description
 

Key Words: 
Infrastructure, Condition, Funding