Print

Print


-----Original Message-----
From: MarcoGram [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, January 24, 2003 1:29 PM
To: marcogram@mailcenter
Subject: MarcoGram: American Politics: Then and Now


 The MarcoGram: For teachers, principals and teacher-trainers.
<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/documents/marcogram/banner/mp_feb200
3.gif>

American Politics: Then and Now
Ever since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620, the democratic
process has been an integral part in the development and growth of the
American political system. From George Washington, who was unanimously
elected in 1789 as the nation's first president, to George W. Bush, who
became the 43rd president in 2000 after much debate, American politics
has seen its share of ups and downs. This month, MarcoPolo is
celebrating President's Day with lessons and resources about the people
and ideas that shaped America's political history, from colonial times
to today. Use the warm-up activities below to introduce your students to
American politics, then scroll down for links to more lessons and
resources.


The MarcoGram is created in HTML. If you are unable to properly view the
images or hyperlinks, please view the online version at
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/MarcoGrams/Feb2003.html.



  _____

Warm-up Activities






<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/documents/marcogram/warmup/mp_joinor
die.jpg>
Image courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
[LC-USZC4-5315].
         1. Political cartoons provide visual commentary on current
events, mostly on the subject of government mishaps, and often reflect
the cartoonist's bias or prejudice about the event. Benjamin Franklin's
"Join or Die" illustration, widely accepted as America's first political
cartoon, depicts a snake whose severed parts represent the colonies.
Franklin drew the cartoon to support his argument at the Albany Congress
of 1754 for the colonies to join together to deal with the problematic
relationship with the Iroquois. Although the cartoon was widely
published, the movement later failed.

Why did Franklin use a snake in his cartoon? (It alludes to the Native
American belief that a severed snake would be resurrected if the pieces
were placed next to each other.) What other animals often appear in
political cartoons?(elephants, donkeys)


Ask students to select a current news event and illustrate a political
cartoon depicting their feelings about the event. Students with limited
drawing ability can create a collage from magazine or newspaper
clippings. Share the cartoons with the entire class, asking students to
analyze the images and determine the point of view of each illustrator.



Students examine political satire in:

"Drawing Political Cartoons
<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl20.aspx> " (Grades 10-12) from
ARTSEDGE, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts


  _____



<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/documents/marcogram/warmup/mp_politi
cs.jpg>
C Microsoft Design Gallery Live
         2. Public figures use careful language to gain the support of
their audience during speeches, debates and critical meetings. Speech
writers must not only maintain up-to-the-second knowledge of current
events, but also employ persuasive writing techniques to create a
positive reaction from their audience.

Can you identify some memorable or persuasive phrases from well-known
speeches? What was the underlying theme of the speech? How was the
speech received by the public? Do you agree or disagree with the
speaker's idea? Why?


Select an article from the editorial section of the local newspaper or
an Internet-based publication. What does the writer want the audience to
think, feel or do? Ask students to point out important keywords or
phrases that communicate the writer's feelings on the subject. Suggest a
school-related issue important to the class (such as a change in
cafeteria food or longer recess time), and ask students to write a
letter to the principal or school board asking them to consider a
change.


Students use persuasive writing and debate techniques in:

"Battling for Liberty: Tecumseh's and Patrick Henry's
<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl16.aspx> Language of
Resistance" (Grades 6-8) from ReadWriteThink, International Reading
Association and the National Council of Teachers of English


                 "Can  <http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl17.aspx>
You Convince Me?: Developing Persuasive Writing" (Grades 3-5) from
ReadWriteThink, International Reading Association and the National
Council of Teachers of English


                 "Endangered Species 2: Working to Save Endangered
<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl24.aspx> Species" (Grades 6-8)
from Science NetLinks, American Association for the Advancement of
Science


                 "Making Good Decisions
<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl26.aspx> " (Grades K-2) from
Science NetLinks, American Association for the Advancement of Science


                 "The  <http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl25.aspx>
Great Energy Debate" (Grades 9-12) from Xpeditions, National Geographic
Society


  _____



<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/documents/marcogram/warmup/mp_threep
ence.jpg>
Image of pine tree threepence courtesy of University of Notre Dame,
Department of Special Collections.
         3. As the early-American colonists adapted to life in a new
land and began to form laws and government policies, they had to pay
attention to their financial status as well. Although they bartered
goods with Native Americans and received financial backing from England,
they needed to develop their own currency and rates of exchange in order
to secure their independence.

What are some items the colonists used in place of money to purchase
goods from Native Americans? (Wampum, tobacco, food and furs.) Why were
these items considered valuable in colonial America? When did the
colonies begin creating their own form of currency?


Assign each student one coin that was available in colonial times, such
as the shilling, threepence or sixpence. Ask students to use library or
Internet resources to research what the coin could purchase during
colonial times. Students should complete a one-page report, accompanied
by a drawing of their assigned coin.


Students discover trade and early American currency in:

"Economic Spotter: Trade in Colonial
<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl23.aspx> History" (Grades 3-5)
from EconEdLink, National Council on Economic Education


  _____



         4. In 1789, as the framework for the new government was still
being developed, General George Washington was unanimously appointed by
the electoral college as the first president of the United States. It
may surprise you to discover that he received this honor without
campaigning, debating or receiving a single public vote. In this, the
first presidential election, the electoral college used the plurality
method of voting, in which each member was allowed one vote, and the
candidate who received the most votes won.

What if voters were allowed to cast their ballot using the strategic
method, in which they cast votes for their first, second and third
choices? How would the results be tallied? Would there be a clear
winner?


Ask students to explore alternate methods of voting, including
variations of the plurality method such as runoff elections, the
electoral college and two-thirds majority. Which method is currently
used for our presidential elections? Given the issues in the 2000
presidential election, make recommendations for ensuring a more
definitive process for the next presidential election.


Students explore different election processes in:

"Will the Best Candidate Win?
<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl30.aspx> " (Grades 9-12) from
Illuminations, The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


  _____



         5. The United States of America was founded on the idea of
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Of course, it took many
debates and heated discussions to develop an appropriate government that
would fulfill this idea for its citizens.

Why was it necessary to hold a Constitutional Convention? Who attended?
What solutions or plans, were presented? (The Virginia Plan, the New
Jersey Plan, Hamilton's Plan and the Connecticut Plan.) What were the
pros and cons of each plan? What parts of the different plans were used
to create the Constitution?


Separate the class into four groups and assign one plan to each group.
Create a chart for each plan, on which the students should note the
plan's issues and which founding fathers supported or opposed the plan.
Which plan do the students think was most fair?


Students learn about the development of the United States Constitution
in:

"The  <http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl18.aspx> Constitutional
Convention: Four Founding Fathers You May Never Have Met" (Grades 6-8)
from EDSITEment, National Endowment for the Humanities

  _____

Featured Lessons
Use these standards-based Partner lessons in your K-12 classroom.

"Balancing Three Branches at Once: Our System of Checks and Balances"
(Grades 3-5)
EDSITEment, National Endowment for the Humanities
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl15.aspx
Students learn about the branches of government and how they check one
another.

"Battling for Liberty: Tecumseh's and Patrick Henry's Language of
Resistance" (Grades 6-8)
ReadWriteThink, International Reading Association and the National
Council of Teachers of English
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl16.aspx
Students study two historical speeches to develop an awareness of both
Native and non-Native movements to resist oppression and domination in
Colonial America.

"Can You Convince Me?: Developing Persuasive Writing" (Grades 3-5)
ReadWriteThink, International Reading Association and the National
Council of Teachers of English
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl17.aspx
Students become aware of the techniques used in persuasive oral
arguments and apply them to independent persuasive writing activities.

"Drawing Political Cartoons" (Grades 10-12)
ARTSEDGE, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl20.aspx
Students analyze visual and language clues to determine the meaning of
contemporary and historical political cartoons.

"Economic Spotter: Trade in Colonial History" (Grades 3-5)
EconEdLink, National Council on Economic Education
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl23.aspx
Students use an interactive time machine to visit 1680s Boston Harbor to
look for economic trade.

"Endangered Species 2: Working to Save Endangered Species" (Grades 6-8)
Science NetLinks, American Association for the Advancement of Science
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl24.aspx
Students explore issues and problems faced by endangered species,
including the government's role in preserving natural resources.

"Making Good Decisions" (Grades K-2)
Science NetLinks, American Association for the Advancement of Science
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl26.aspx
Students act as councilmembers and debate the destruction of a parcel of
land.

"Newspaper of the Colonial Era" (Grade 4)
ARTSEDGE, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl27.aspx
Students work in groups to create articles and artwork that depict
colonial life for publication as a class newspaper.

"The Constitutional Convention: Four Founding Fathers You May Never Have
Met" (Grades 6-8)
EDSITEment, National Endowment for the Humanities
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl18.aspx
Students research some not-so-famous men and their ideas that shaped the
U.S. Constitution.

"The Devil and Daniel Webster" (Grades 9-12)
Illuminations, The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl19.aspx
Students examine the use of a recursive sequence in a game between the
devil and Daniel Webster.

"The Economics of Voting" (Grades 9-12)
EconEdLink, National Council on Economic Education
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl22.aspx
Students explore the causes and possible cures of low voter turnout on
election day.

"The Great Energy Debate" (Grades 9-12)
Xpeditions, National Geographic Society
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl25.aspx
Students assume the roles of pivotal stakeholders and testify to a mock
congressional committee responsible for making decisions about public
lands and energy resources.

"The President's Roles and Responsibilities: Understanding the
President's Job" (Grades K-2)
EDSITEment, National Endowment for the Humanities
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl28.aspx
Students learn about the roles and responsibilities of the U.S.
president, and their own roles as citizens of a democracy.

"Where Were the U.S. Presidents Born?" (Grades 3-5)
Xpeditions, National Geographic Society
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl29.aspx
Students identify the states that have presidential birth sites, giving
them the opportunity to recognize all 50 of the United States on a map.

"Will the Best Candidate Win?" (Grades 9-12)
Illuminations, The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/fl30.aspx
Students learn about various voting methods, ways in which these methods
can be manipulated to achieve certain outcomes, and the impossibility of
fair elections when more than two alternatives are available.


  _____


Partner-Reviewed Web Sites
Use these Partner-reviewed and approved resources to increase
comprehension about this month's topic.

CongressLink
Reviewed by EDSITEment
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/rw2.aspx

Graphing Calculator
Reviewed by Illuminations
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/rw3.aspx

Herblock's History: Political Cartoons
Reviewed by ARTSEDGE
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/rw4.aspx

KidsBank.com
Reviewed by EconEdLink
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/rw5.aspx

Little Planet Times
Reviewed by Science NetLinks
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/rw6.aspx

Maryland History Page
Reviewed by ARTSEDGE
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/rw7.aspx

National Geographic: Inside the White House
Reviewed by Xpeditions
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/rw8.aspx

Web English Teacher: Argument and Persuasive Writing
Reviewed by ReadWriteThink
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/rw9.aspx
Search for more lessons and resources
 <http://www.marcopolosearch.org/mpsearch/basic_search.asp>


  _____

MarcoPolo Resources
Use these professional development resources from the MarcoPolo
Partnership to improve teaching skills.


The MarcoPolo Education Foundation has updated both the elementary and
secondary editions of its popular Teacher's Guides. The updated guides
contain a detailed look at the lessons, links and other materials
offered by each of the seven Partner sites, as well as tips for using
ReadWriteThink and updated screenshots. Register online to download the
new Teacher's Guides; the information you provide will help us learn
more about our audience and will help us continue to improve our Web
site and resources.


"MarcoPolo: Internet Content for the Classroom:
A Teacher's Guide to Finding and Using the Best of the Net"
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/tr2.aspx


This is your newsletter.
What topics or resources would you like to see highlighted in a future
MarcoGram?
How do you use the MarcoGram in your classroom?
Please send your topic suggestions to [log in to unmask]
<mailto:[log in to unmask] Feb2003> .
         <http://www.marcopolo-education.org/teacher/marcograms.aspx>
MarcoGram header graphic
Catch up with the MarcoGram

January 2003: Understanding
<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/marcograms/Jan2003.html> Patterns
December 2002: Reading: It Takes You
<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/marcograms/Dec2002.html> Places
November 2002: Double Take: There Are (At Least) Two Sides to
<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/marcograms/Nov2002.html> Every Story


Read more back issues
<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/teacher/marcograms.aspx>


  _____

Find more MarcoPolo lessons

Explore the current list of new Partner lessons by visiting the Teacher
Resources section of the MarcoPolo Web site.


Find New Partner Lessons
<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/teacher/new_lessons.aspx>


Use the MarcoPolo Search Engine to search for lessons by topic, keyword,
grade level or Partner.


Search MarcoPolo
<http://www.marcopolosearch.org/mpsearch/basic_search.asp>



  _____

Get trained to use MarcoPolo

The MarcoPolo Education Foundation has provided free professional
development to more than 160,000 educators to date. Find out how to
bring MarcoPolo training to your school or district by visiting the
Professional Development section of the MarcoPolo Web site.


Sign up for MarcoPolo Professional
<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/pd/pd_index.aspx> Development



  _____

Join the MarcoPolo listserv

Join this moderated online discussion group and share resources and
ideas with other educators who are using MarcoPolo in their classroom.


Join the MarcoPolo listserv
<http://www.marcopolo-education.org/teacher/mp_listserv.aspx>


Post a question to the list
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>



  _____

The MarcoGram is produced by

MarcoPolo: Internet Content for the Classroom


 <http://www.marcopolo-education.org> MarcoPolo Logo


SUBSCRIBE
If you're not already a subscriber and would like to receive the next
issue of the MarcoGram by e-mail, subscribe at
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/marcograms/mg_subscribe.aspx.


UNSUBSCRIBE
Do you no longer want to receive the MarcoGram? If so, unsubscribe at
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/marcograms/mg_unsubscribe.aspx.


SHARE THE WEALTH
The MarcoPolo Partnership grants permission to reprint and distribute
this MarcoGram for use in a training session or classroom, or on Web
sites devoted to the field of education or professional development. All
Web addresses and links must be maintained in their original form as
used in the published MarcoGram.


C 2003 by MarcoPolo Education Foundation
http://www.marcopolo-education.org


Back to  <> Top