Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills: United States Government

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills: United States Government


Lesson 1: A Different Kind of Government Course introduces students to CAP. First, students learn that one of the main purposes of public education is to prepare future citizens to participate in our democracy. Then they are given an overview of CAP. Finally, they brainstorm the attributes of an effective citizen.

§113.44(c)(14)(C). The student is expected to understand the responsibilities, duties, and obligations of citizenship such as being well informed about civic affairs, serving in the military, voting, serving on a jury, observing the laws, paying taxes, and serving the public good….


Lesson 2: Introduction to Public Policy introduces the link between policy and problems. First, students read and discuss a short article defining policy. Then they discuss policy and its connection to problems. Next, in small groups, they do a newspaper search to find examples of public policy.

§113.44(c)(14)(C). The student is expected to understand the responsibilities, duties, and obligations of citizenship such as being well informed about civic affairs, serving in the military, voting, serving on a jury, observing the laws, paying taxes, and serving the public good….


Lesson 3: Problems, Policy, and Civic Actions gives students further background in problems, policy, and civic action to prepare them for CAP. First, students analyze problems in terms of causes and effects. Next, they explore how policy can be linked to problems. Finally, they list possible civic actions that can be taken to when working on a problem.

§113.44(c)(14)(C). The student is expected to understand the responsibilities, duties, and obligations of citizenship such as being well informed about civic affairs, serving in the military, voting, serving on a jury, observing the laws, paying taxes, and serving the public good….

§113.44(c)(15)(A). The student is expected to analyze the effectiveness of various methods of participation in the political process at local, state, and national level….

§113.44(c)(20)(B). The student is expected to create a product on a contemporary government issue or topic using critical methods of inquiry….


Lesson 4: Introducing Policy Analysis helps students develop a deeper understanding of public policy and the interaction between government and citizens in making policy. They look at case studies and are introduced to policy analysis.

§113.44(c)(15)(A). The student is expected to analyze the effectiveness of various methods of participation in the political process at local, state, and national level; (B) analyze historical and contemporary examples of citizen movements to bring about political change or to maintain continuity….

§113.44(c)(20)(B). The student is expected to create a product on a contemporary government issue or topic using critical methods of inquiry….


Lesson 5: Policymaking in the Three Branches of Government introduces students to executive, legislative, and judicial policymaking and to policy evaluation. First, students discuss how policy can be made by each of the branches. Then they read about and discuss how the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance to suppress gang activity and how each branch of government was involved in the policy. Finally, students are introduced to a policy-analysis rubric (GRADE) and apply it to the Chicago gang ordinance.

§113.44(c)(8)(C). The student is expected to analyze the structure and functions of the judicial branch of government, including the federal court system, types of jurisdiction, and judicial review….

§113.44(c)(15)(A). The student is expected to analyze the effectiveness of various methods of participation in the political process at local, state, and national level; (B) analyze historical and contemporary examples of citizen movements to bring about political change or to maintain continuity….

§113.44(c)(20)(B). The student is expected to create a product on a contemporary government issue or topic using critical methods of inquiry….


Lesson 6: Analyzing Anti-Gang Policies provides students with practice in analyzing policy. First, as a whole group, they evaluate an anti-gang policy using GRADE. Then in small groups, they are given policies that address gang violence and they evaluate each.

§113.44(c)(15)(A). The student is expected to analyze the effectiveness of various methods of participation in the political process at local, state, and national level….


Lesson 7: Policymaking at the Local Level gets students to examine an instance of policymaking at a school board, one of the most common institutions at the local level. First, students read about and discuss a common local (and national) problem, the dropout rate. Then they role play subcommittees of a hypothetical school board, examine documents about the dropout problem, and craft a policy to address the dropout problem. Finally, they exchange policies with other groups and evaluate one another’s policies using the GRADE rubric.

§113.44(c)(15)(A). The student is expected to analyze the effectiveness of various methods of participation in the political process at local, state, and national level….


Lesson 8: Law & Policy informs students about how existing law can influence public policy and policymaking. First, students read about and discuss how existing law can influence public policy. Then in small groups, they role play members of a public policy law firm and decide whether a policy of evicting renters violates existing law and whether a new law is needed to protect renters.

§113.44(c)(15)(A). The student is expected to analyze the effectiveness of various methods of participation in the political process at local, state, and national level….


Lesson 9: Persuading introduces students to the art of persuasion. First, they read about and discuss the three types of persuasion: logos, ethos, and pathos. Then students prepare two-minute persuasive talks on why the issue that they have chosen to address in CAP is important. Finally, in pairs, students present and critique one another’s talks.

§113.44(c)(15)(A). The student is expected to analyze the effectiveness of various methods of participation in the political process at local, state, and national level….

§113.44(c)(20)(B). The student is expected to create a product on a contemporary government issue or topic using critical methods of inquiry; (C) analyze and defend a point of view on a current political issue….


Lesson 10: Building Constituencies introduces students to the importance of building a constituency to support or oppose public policies. First, students read and discuss about how a historically significant movement gained support in the community. Then in small groups, students brainstorm how they can get support for their CAP issue.

§113.44(c)(15)(A). The student is expected to analyze the effectiveness of various methods of participation in the political process at local, state, and national level; (B) analyze historical and contemporary examples of citizen movements to bring about political change or to maintain continuity; (C) understand the factors that influence an individual's political attitudes and actions.

§113.44(c)(20)(B). The student is expected to create a product on a contemporary government issue or topic using critical methods of inquiry; (C) analyze and defend a point of view on a current political issue….


Lesson 11: Setting the Public Agenda introduces students to the public agenda and its importance to policy. First, students read about and discuss the public agenda and ways that citizens can influence it. Then in small groups, students are given different situations and they develop strategic plans for getting their issues or solutions to issues on the public agenda.

§113.44(c)(15)(A). The student is expected to analyze the effectiveness of various methods of participation in the political process at local, state, and national level….


Lesson 12: Using the Media helps students learn about the importance of the media in setting the public agenda. First, they read about and discuss how the media help set the public agenda and how citizens can influence the media and even create their own media to help change the public agenda. Then they develop a plan to do one action to use or affect the media. Finally, they begin to implement their plan. As homework, they complete their action.

§113.44(c)(15)(A). The student is expected to analyze the effectiveness of various methods of participation in the political process at local, state, and national level….

§113.44(c)(20)(B). The student is expected to create a product on a contemporary government issue or topic using critical methods of inquiry; (C) analyze and defend a point of view on a current political issue….


Lesson 13: Persuading Policymakers informs students that legislative and executive bodies often hold public hearing and how students can make effective presentations at these hearings. First, students read about public hearings and techniques for making presentations at these hearings. Then students role play a city council and people appearing before it attempting to persuade policymakers on hypothetical issues.

§113.44(c)(15)(A). The student is expected to analyze the effectiveness of various methods of participation in the political process at local, state, and national level... .


Lesson 14: Creating Change Through the Electoral Process
focuses on electoral politics and how it deeply influences policymaking. First, students read about and discuss the role that electoral politics plays in policymaking. Then in small groups, students role play campaign workers and create strategies to attract young people to participate in an election campaign.

§113.44(c)(15)(A). The student is expected to analyze the effectiveness of various methods of participation in the political process at local, state, and national level….

Last modified: Monday, 29 June 2015, 2:45 PM