Using Civics

We’re half-way through the year. It’s time to take a commercial break and begin to discuss what Civics can actually do for you. 

So far we have learned: 

  • About the founding of the nation.
  • The history of the ideas from which some of our key documents came
  • The agenda and perspective of the Founding Fathers who designed the structure of our nation and government 
  • How the original laws of our nation, the Articles of Confederation, failed.
  • How the Constitutional Convention shaped the Constitution
  • The two ways of interpreting the Constitution: Conservatives state it must be interpreted exactly as read–the Founding Fathers could have written otherwise. Liberals state that it is a living document that can be interpreted–the Founding Fathers did not have access to the situations we face today.
  • Why the issue of slavery was not included in the Constitution
  • How the Presidential election works
  • The points of view of Democrats and Republicans
  • How the government is involved in our lives at the national level
  • How laws are made and changed
  • The powers of the branches.
  • How to read, interpret, and use documents, laws, codes, and primary sources
  • How to understand Civics-based vocabulary.
  • How to analyze data and draw conclusions from the numbers based on your background knowledge of Civics and math.

Phew!  That’s a lot. I bet you feel pretty good right now. 

We will take a break and watch a movie, Walkout. It is the story of the East LA 13, who protested conditions for Latinos in Los Angeles schools.  By the end of this movie, you should get an idea of how civics can be used by the ordinary citizen (you). This is not just useful in education–it is in any area where government interacts with citizens. Keep those thoughts in your mind. We will consider them more deeply later. 

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