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Today Students Will (TSW):

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1 Today Students Will (TSW):
View a brief video presentation and examine the Constitution in order to describe how the parts of the document and underlying principles impact the functioning of government. Warm Up: Take a copy of the Constitutional Pre-Test and respond as best you can to the given questions.

2   SSCG3 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the United States Constitution.
SSCG3.c Explain the fundamental principles upon which the United States Constitution is based including the rule of law, popular sovereignty, separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism.

3 The United States Constitution
Structure and Guiding Principles Local, State, and National Government

4 Introduction Reading: Constitution Day
Video: Almost Painless Guide to the Constitution

5 The United States Constitution Quick Facts
Signed into being on September 17, 1787 forming the basis for US Government. 3 Parts: Preamble—Introduction; establishes purpose of US government Articles—7 articles provide guidelines for how government will operate Amendments—27 changes to the original document make Constitution a “living document”

6 What is a Principle? A principle is a basic rule that guides and influences thought or action… Principles guide our decision-making, thus keep us in order What principles do you live by and why? How do those principles affect your everyday actions?

7 American Principles 6 Guiding Principles: 1. Popular Sovereignty
Where do Guiding US Principles Come From? (1) old US documents (2) philosophers (3) old world documents The GOVT. follows these principles when making Laws & Decisions 6 Guiding Principles: 1. Popular Sovereignty 2. Federalism 3. Limited Government 4. Separation of Powers 5. Checks and Balances 6. Judicial Review

8 Popular Sovereignty People are source of govt. power
(1) Popular = “People” (2) Sovereignty = “Power” or “Controller” Example: - elections - peaceful demonstrations

9 Federalism Meaning: power is divided between national (central), state, local govts. - Each level has own responsibilities Example: - Amendment Process - Federal Power = Prints Money - State Power = Driver’s License

10 Powers of Government National Government State Governments Federalism

11 Powers of National Government
Separation of Powers Powers of National Government Separation of Powers The Powers of Government are divided into three Branches: Legislative Branch Makes Laws Executive Branch Enforces Laws Judicial Branch Interprets Laws

12 Definition: Each branch of Govt has some power over the other two branches
Purpose: Prevent any one branch from having too much power Checks and Balances

13 Practicing Checks and Balances
1. If Congress makes a law, what can the President do if he does not like the law? 2. If Congress does not think the President’s veto was fair, what can the Congress do? 3. If a law or action is unlawful, which branch determines if the law or action is unconstitutional?

14 Judicial Review Courts decide if govt. acts violate constitution
Marbury v. Madison established judicial review. Example: Brown v. Board of Ed. Court stated that segregation was illegal in public places

15 Judicial Review Hmmm… Constitutional or not??? Executive Actions
Congressional Laws

16 Limited Government Magna Carta Government Powers are limited to what is written in the Constitution Example: The police cannot search or seize your property without demonstrating cause and getting a warrant. English Bill of Rights

17 Other Important Principles…
Due Process—Govt must follow established procedures when dealing with citizens; your right to be treated fairly by the government. Rule of Law—NO ONE (not even the President) is above the law. Majority Rule Rights of Individuals/Equal Protection

18 Identifying Constitutional Principles
The President appointed a new Justice for the Supreme Court and the Senate will review his appointment next week. The people called a town meeting to debate construction of a new park. The President, the members of Congress, and the Justices of the Supreme Court pay taxes just like every citizen in the United States. The Tenth Amendment of the Constitution states that there are powers that belong to the states. In other parts of the Constitution, powers are given to the national government. The Constitution provides for legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.

19 Putting it all together…
Citizens and Government in the United States share in a reciprocal relationship. While the power to rule is derived from the people, the government is bound by the Constitution to respect and guard the rights of those citizens. Challenge: In what ways do the Constitutional principles imbedded in our founding document ensure the people’s rights will be protected?

20 Learning Log: How do each of these principles of the Constitution manifest themselves in your everyday lives?

21 PowerPoint Reflection
On paper, the six principles of government covered in this presentation seem so simple. Yet it is these principles that form the basis of my Government course curriculum, comprise the substance of at least half the questions on the state standardized test, and time after time utterly baffle my students. Given the significance of these principles in the larger scheme of the course, therefore, it was necessary for me to find a more meaningful, affective means of communicating them to my students. Hence, the purpose of this presentation is to engage the attention of my students as they are first introduced to the topic of Constitutional principles that will weigh heavily on their prospect of success in my Government course. Admittedly, I not only chose this topic as the subject of my PowerPoint because of my need for a much needed, new instructional tool, but also because I thought I would be able to very easily represent these principles visually. I was seriously mistaken in my assumption; in completing the assignment, I was afforded a glimpse into the confusion and frustration my students must encounter when they approach this subject. Searching for images to represent such abstract concepts was extremely difficult and helped me to realize just how vague these ideas can be. It is that realization, I believe, which will give me a much stronger position in the classroom as I help my students to construct their own meaning of these all-important principles in the future.

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