eday Lessons KAP Political Science

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1 KAP Political Science

2 Standards Topic: Basic Principles of the U.S. Constitution Principles related to representative democracy are reflected in the articles and amendments of the U.S. Constitution and provide structure for the government of the United States. Content Statement 7. Constitutional government in the United States has changed over time as a result of amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Supreme Court decisions, legislation and informal practices. Expectations for Learning Select an example of how constitutional government in the United States has changed the meaning and application of any one of the basic principles which help define the government of the United States and summarize the nature of the change. Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content. a. Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences the claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant data and evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both claim(s) and counterclaims in a discipline-appropriate form that anticipates the audience s knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases. c. Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims. d. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing. e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from or supports the argument presented. 2. Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes. a. Introduce a topic and organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. b. Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience s knowledge of the topic. c. Use varied transitions and sentence structures to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts. d. Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic; convey a knowledgeable stance in a style that responds to the discipline and context as well as to the expertise of likely readers. e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation provided (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic). 4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. 5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. Columbus City Schools Page 2 of 11

3 Task Write a well-organized essay addressing the question below. Be sure to include an introduction, body, and conclusion. U.S. Supreme Court decisions have addressed the issue of the constitutional rights of various groups. These decisions have limited or expanded the rights of members of these groups. Discuss two Supreme Court cases related to the rights of specific groups. For each case: Explain the historical circumstances that led to the case. Discuss the Supreme Court s decision in the case. Analyze how the Supreme Court decision limited or expanded the constitutional rights of members of a particular group. Evaluate the Supreme Court s decision. Do you agree or disagree with the Court s decision? Why? You may use any Supreme Court case from your study of U.S. Government in which the Supreme Court addressed the issue of the constitutional rights of various groups. Some suggestions you might consider include Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), Korematsu v. United States (1944), Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964), Roe v. Wade (1973), and California v. Bakke (1978). Day One: Research and Prewriting You may use your textbook and outside printed or electronic resources as reference material. As you conduct your research, take notes using the attached graphic organizer. Day Two: Essay Outline and Rough Draft Write an outline for your essay using the information from your research. Complete the attached outline pages. From your outline, complete a rough draft of your essay on a separate sheet of notebook paper. Day Three: Final Essay Revise the rough draft of your essay and complete a final essay. Check your essay for correct grammar and spelling. For additional assistance with your essay, see the attached handouts: Writing an Analytical Essay in Social Studies and Extra Practice: Constructing and Supporting a Thesis. Columbus City Schools Page 3 of 11

4 Prewriting: Graphic Organizer Court Case: Court Case: Historical circumstances that led to the case Explanation of the Supreme Court s decision in the case Columbus City Schools Page 4 of 11

5 Court Case: Court Case: How the Supreme Court s decision limited or expanded the constitutional rights of members of a particular group Agree or disagree with the Supreme Court s decision in the case? Columbus City Schools Page 5 of 11

6 Essay Outline Introductory Paragraph Interesting hook 2-3 sentences leading to the thesis statement Thesis statement (Claim) First Body Paragraph Topic sentence Details, Examples, Evidence Columbus City Schools Page 6 of 11

7 Second Body Paragraph Topic sentence Details, Examples, Evidence Columbus City Schools Page 7 of 11

8 Third Body Paragraph Topic sentence Details, Examples, Evidence Concluding Paragraph Columbus City Schools Page 8 of 11

9 Writing an Analytical Essay in Social Studies An analytical essay requires you to construct a thesis (make a claim) about history or current events, and support the thesis with evidence. The essay should follow a standard format and include an introductory paragraph (including the thesis), several body paragraphs (evidence and support for the thesis), and a conclusion (summary of statements and support). Introduction The introduction is the first paragraph in your essay. In this paragraph, you should: capture the reader's interest (often called a hook ), introduce the topic, and construct a thesis (make a claim) about your topic. The thesis is a road map for the paper it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper. For example, a thesis on the causes of the Civil War might be as follows: While both Northerners and Southerners in the Civil War believed they were fighting oppression, Northerners focused on the oppression of slaves while Southerners defended their own right to self-government. Body The body of the essay typically includes three paragraphs (in a standard five-paragraph essay). Each paragraph should be limited to the explanation of one general idea that supports your thesis. If you begin to transition into a new idea, start a new paragraph. You should state your idea as a topic sentence, and support it with two or three sentences of evidence and examples. Your essay should include accurate and detailed information to support the thesis. For example, using the thesis above, you might have a body paragraph that begins with the following topic sentence: Many Northerners who supported the Union during the Civil War believed that the system of slavery denied the natural rights of life and liberty to enslaved persons. You would support this topic sentence by citing evidence from letters, speeches, diaries, and other records that show how many Northerners thought about slavery. Each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis in the introduction. Body paragraphs should follow a pattern that includes: the topic sentence, supporting ideas, and transition statement. Transition statements may start with words like: moreover; in addition; in fact; for example; furthermore; as a result; for this reason; similarly; and by comparison. Conclusion In the final paragraph, summarize your main points and restate your thesis. Highlight your main points, but do not repeat specific examples. Do not introduce new content in the conclusion. After you complete the first draft of your essay, review your thesis and see if you have adequately supported it with evidence in each paragraph. Check to ensure every sentence in your essay supports the claim you made in the introduction. Columbus City Schools Page 9 of 11

10 Extra Practice: Constructing and Support a Thesis 1. Recognizing the difference between a topic and a thesis A topic is a general category of interest and research. A thesis is a statement about this topic that can be supported with data and evidence. Here are some examples of topics and thesis statements: Topics Subjects taught in school Curfews Thesis Statements Students who take art and music classes in high school are happier and more successful than those who do not. When parents enforce curfews, they encourage their children to break them. 2. Supporting a thesis statement In order to communicate an idea effectively, a thesis statement must be well supported with credible data. As soon as a thesis statement has been created, you must find evidence to support it. Example: Thesis: Students who take art and music classes in high school are happier and more successful than those who do not. Evidence: In a study of 60 high school seniors, those who participate in 3-4 hours of art and music per week achieve grade point averages 2-3 points higher than their classmates. Evidence: In a survey of 50 high school students, students who participate in 5-6 hours of art and music per week report lower levels of stress than those who do not. Evidence: According to college admissions statistics from five local universities, students who take art and music classes in high school are twice as likely to be accepted to top ranked colleges and universities as those who do not. 3. Creating a persuasive argument You can develop a persuasive argument in the following way: Determine alternative positions to the ones they are considering; Decide which position they identify with most; Finally, gather additional data to support that statement. Columbus City Schools Page 10 of 11

11 Once you have followed this process, you can then use a basic outline to frame the presentation of your persuasive argument: Reason #1 - (with data) Reason #2 - (with data) Reason #3 - (with data) 4. Strengthening a weak thesis Examine the following sample chart and note the difference in the weak and stronger thesis statements. Weak Thesis Stronger Thesis Possible Supporting Evidence Students should take more art and music classes. Students who take art and music classes are happier, more academically successful students. Students who take art and music classes receive higher grades than those who do not. Specific Data to Serve as Supporting Evidence In a study of 60 graduating high school seniors, students who participate in 3-4 hours of art and music per week achieve grade point averages of 2-3 points higher than those who do not. 5. Practice Refuting a Thesis Look critically at thesis statements and understand that, just as you are called upon to defend thesis statements, you may also be called upon to refute them. To refute a thesis, a writer might either find "holes" in the argument presented (point out ways that the thesis is unsupported or untrue), or prepare and present a counterargument (develop evidence that proves an alternative position). For example, suppose you encountered the following claim: Thesis: The United States took appropriate action when it ordered the internment of Japanese- Americans during World War II. What counter argument and supporting evidence could refute this thesis? Columbus City Schools Page 11 of 11

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