Unit 3: Civil Rights, Citizenship, and Civic Participation
This Unit Activity will help you meet these educational goals: Inquiry Skills—You will identify and analyze real-world public problems, contribute appropriately to public deliberations, evaluate and use evidence, develop explanations and make persuasive arguments in support of your conclusions, and communicate your conclusions. 21st Century Skills—you will employ online tools for research and analysis, use critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, independently raise questions and pursue leads, and communicate effectively.
This unit ties together the ideas of individual rights and civil rights that is protected by the Constitution. In the first task of this unit activity, you will explore individual rights in more depth and examine how these rights can sometimes be at odds with protecting the good of all people.
In this unit, you also looked at ways in which an individual or a group of individuals can influence the political process and even affect the way the government is run. In the second task, you will think of an issue that is important to you and communicate your thoughts about it to one of your representatives in Congress.
Directions and Analysis
Task 1: Balancing Liberty, Order, and Democracy
A balancing act occurs in US government and society between the rights of individuals and the maintenance of the common good, which can affect the whole country.
a. Write a 250- to 500-word argumentative essay on one of the listed topics. Choose a topic that you find interesting or is somehow relevant to you: Why are there laws limiting the freedom of speech?
Why is it important to balance majority rule with minority rights? Is the use of civil disobedience warranted in response to laws that some people feel are unjust? What is the correct balance between protecting the freedom of religion, maintaining the separation of church and state, and protecting people from discrimination?
In the space provided below, explain a little about the topic you’ve chosen and why you chose it. In your answer, note a time in history when this issue has come up or a current event that relates to the issue. A few resources and examples are provided in the Resources section below, but you are also encouraged to find and use your own sources and examples. The resources provided demonstrate only a few of the many ways that the listed topics can be interpreted.
Type your response here:
b. Now that you’ve started to think more about your topic, it’s time to write your essay. Use the Process section to help you write a well-structured response to the question you’ve picked.
Type your response here: People in this world are cruel but that’s in your own opinion everyone supports subjects that other people see is right or wrong. America is the land of the free you have the right to support your beliefs but make sure you’re doing it the right way turns away on the person’s skin, race and beliefs.
Task 2: Writing a Letter to Congress
This unit has stressed that civic participation is an important part of a working democratic system and that there are many ways for a person to get involved in this process. Voting is one important example, but concerned citizens also have the opportunity to write to their representatives at the state and national levels. Because the legislative branch makes the laws, it is important to let your representatives know your thoughts on certain issues.
a. For this task, choose any issue that is relevant to you or that is currently being discussed in your local or national news. If you like, you can reference something related to the issue that you explored in the first task of this Unit Activity. In the space provided below, explain a little about the issue you’ve chosen and why it is important to you.
Type your response here:...
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