In this unit students examine public issues relating to Michigan. The unit begins with an examination of the responsibilities of citizenship as students learn that one key civic responsibility is being informed about matters of public concern. Student explore a variety of public issues in the local community, identifying various points of view, and applying core democratic values to support their positions (e.g., “Should a school ban the use of scooters on school grounds?,” or “Should a community tear down an historic barn in order to build a homeless shelter?”). Next, using a variety of resources including newspapers and Web sites, students identify current public issues in Michigan. After analyzing why these are public issues, they pose the policy issues as questions (e.g., “Should the state of Michigan provide funds for a rapid transit system in metropolitan Detroit?” or “Should Michigan establish a network of waterways and greenbelts?”). Students then address a public issue as a class with guidance by the teacher. They gather background information regarding the origin of the issue. Meeting in small groups students discuss various viewpoints on the issue and ultimately express a reasoned position on it by writing a short persuasive essay. The unit concludes with students applying the steps of responsible citizenship by choosing a public issue in Michigan to investigate and writing a persuasive essay that supports their position on the issue.
Stage One - Desired Results
How do state and national governments work to solve problems citizens face?
core democratic values
point of view
responsibilities of citizenship
Stage Two - Assessment Evidence
Stage Three - Learning Plan