Unit Overview 

Learners look at primary documents of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence to gain a sense of the purpose, motivations, and people of the founding documents. Through viewing, reading, quotations, and discussion, students explore the meaning of democracy and responsible citizenship. Students explore the impact of service and volunteerism in our democratic history. They write a personal statement of responsible citizenship and create a group presentation about the importance of taking action for the common good as democratic citizens. The demonstration will include writing and technology to communicate personal statements of advocacy as it relates to their roles as citizens.

Service Experience 
Learners create a presentation (audio, video, or other technology) that communicates a statement of advocacy for a specific issue or to promote personal responsibility in a democratic society to act for the common good. The students determine an appropriate audience and venue for their piece of advocacy in order to teach others about their responsibility as "We the people."
Lessons in This Unit 
Unit: 
We ARE the Government
Lesson 1 of 3
Grades: 
6
7
8

In this lesson, learners read primary documents that illustrate the motivations of the founding fathers of the United States. These documents show the dedication to principles (government by the people, freedom, civil rights, shared power, etc.) that are upheld by groups and people who (in US history) have worked to gain civil rights for a population that was discriminated against or underserved.

Unit: 
We ARE the Government
Lesson 2 of 3
Grades: 
6
7
8

In this lesson, learners reflect on the meaning of democracy. They discuss and explore examples of participatory democracy in history. They read and report about concepts such as civic responsibility, patriotism, right to petition, and philanthropy.

Unit: 
We ARE the Government
Lesson 3 of 3
Grades: 
6
7
8

In this lesson, learners identify different levels of participation in a democracy. Each student writes a statement describing what type of citizen he or she would like to be. In groups of 4-6 students, the learners create an audio or visual presentation advocating for civic responsibility. They share their presentations with an outside audience. Students also reflect on their personal role in "writing history."