We've all had that moment. A family member or a close friend ranting very passionately about politics or government, except they don't know what they're talking about. In 2016, only 26 percent of Americans could name all three branches of government. "If we are country that's not united by any particular racial identity, not united by any particular religious identity, not united by any particular ancestral identity, what is it that unites us?" asks Professor Justin Dyer, executive director of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy. "This is the challenge of civic education."
Class discussion: Can you name all three branches of government? Do you understand how laws are made? What are the duties of executive and judicial officials? Do you know the names of your Congress person and Senators? Can you name any of the members of the U.S. Supreme Court? If you can’t answer these question, do you think you are qualified to vote? Could you parents answer these questions? What could happen to a democracy when most of the populace is ignorant of how government works? Should high school students be required to pass the same citizenship test that immigrants must take to become U.S. citizens?
Colorado NIE Weekly lessons
Colorado NIE Youth Content
Lessons & Classroom Activities
Resources by grade level