Grade 5 Social Studies Unit Preview Unit 4: We the People

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1 Lesson One: What basic ideas about government are included in the Preamble to the Constitution? Describe the significance of the principles of the U.S. Constitution. Analyze social studies information from a variety of sources by interpreting, evaluating and synthesizing information and by recognizing relationships in and among ideas or events such as cause and effect, sequence, main idea, and details. Preamble The introduction to the Constitution; it states that the people establish the government and lists the purposes of the government. Lesson Two: How does the Constitution limit the powers of our government? Describe the three branches of government and their individual powers and responsibilities such as separation of powers and checks and balances. Explain the characteristics of limited and unlimited government. separation of powers The division of powers among the different branches of government; in the U.S.A., powers are divided among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. checks and balances The sharing and balancing of power among different branches of government so no one branch can control the others How did the Framers use separation of powers and checks and balances to limit the powers of government? Give examples of checks and balances at work today. What keeps the president from becoming too powerful? Lesson Three: What are the powers and responsibilities of each branch of government? Describe the three branches of government and their individual powers and responsibilities such as separation of powers and checks and balances. Describe the power and responsibility of the Supreme Court including the power of judicial review. Identify, interpret, and synthesize information from primary and secondary sources to analyze a social studies question/topic/situation/problem being studied. Analyze social studies information from a variety of sources by interpreting, evaluating

2 and synthesizing information and by recognizing relationships in and among ideas or events such as cause and effect, sequence, main idea, and details. legislative branch The branch of government that makes the laws judicial branch The branch of government that interprets and applies the laws and settles disputes executive branch The branch of government that carries out the laws made by the legislative branch judicial review The power of the courts to say that the Constitution does not allow the government to do something Do you think Congress should have the power to pass a bill over the president s veto? Why or why not Do you think the Supreme Court should have the power to declare a law passed by Congress unconstitutional? Why or why not? What are some powers of the president? Which power do you think is most important? Why? How do cases get to the Supreme Court? Should the Supreme Court be allowed to refuse to review a case? Why or why not? Give an example of the Supreme Court exercising its power of judicial review. Explain how the decision made by the court affects your life. Does judicial review give nine justices too much power? Why or why not? Do you think Supreme Court justices should be appointed for life? Why or why not? Should Supreme Court justices be elected instead of appointed? Why or why not? Should the president be allowed to serve more than two terms? Why or why not? Since the president can only serve two terms, should the same restrictions be placed on Senators and Representatives? Lesson Four: What is the Bill of Rights and how does it protect Americans? Describe the significance of the Bill of Rights. Describe responsibilities associated with certain basic rights of citizens such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press, and explain why these responsibilities are important. Describe the due process protections in the Bill of Rights. Identify, interpret, and synthesize information from primary and secondary sources to analyze a social studies question/topic/situation/problem being studied.

3 amendment A change or addition to a document prejudiced Having a negative judgment or opinion without knowledge of the facts Bill of Rights The first ten amendments to the Constitution; it lists some basic rights of the people that the federal government may not interfere with and must protect. jury A group of citizens who decide the outcome of a trial rights of the accused The protections that the Constitution guarantees to citizens who are accused of crimes. Among these protections are the right to a lawyer and the right to a speedy trial liberties The freedoms of citizens, such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion; in the U.S.A., these freedoms are protected by the Bill of Rights. What is freedom of expression, and why is it important to our democracy? How does the Constitution protect freedom of expression? Are there times when freedom of expression should be limited? Why or why not? Give examples. How is freedom of religion protected in the Constitution? When is it acceptable for government to limit the practice of people s religious beliefs? How has the idea of equal protection of the laws been used to protect people s rights? Give examples. The Bill of Rights did not guarantee rights for all, such as women and African Americans. How was this corrected? Lesson Five: How does the Constitution create a federal system of government? Give examples of how powers are distributed in the federal system and how local, state, and federal laws impact people s lives. Organize and display social studies information from print and non-print sources using charts, graphs, graphic organizers, maps, timelines and other visual representations. federal system A form of government in which power is divided between a national government and state and local governments supremacy clause The clause in the U.S. Constitution that explains that states cannot make laws that conflict with the U.S. Constitution or with the laws made by Congress Give examples of the use of federalism to limit power.

4 Lesson Six: How does the Constitution protect the basic rights of all Americans? Explain why some rights, such as voting rights and equal protection of the law, are important to an individual in a democratic society. Identify how due process of law protects the accused. Describe the due process protections in the Bill of Rights. Identify, interpret, and synthesize information from primary and secondary sources to analyze a social studies question/topic/situation/problem being studied. Civil War Amendments The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution passed after the Civil War; these amendments were intended to give former slaves the rights of citizens. due process The requirement that procedures used by the government in gathering information and making decisions be reasonable and fair Nineteenth Amendment Added to the Constitution in 1920, it gave women the right to vote Fourteenth Amendment It states that no person shall have his or her life, liberty, or property taken away by state or local governments without due process of law; this amendment protects your right to be treated fairly by your state and local governments. It also defines a citizen as anyone born or naturalized in the United States. It was one of the Civil War Amendments. equal protection clause The part of the Fourteenth Amendment that has been used to prevent states from being unfair to citizens because of their race or gender; it prohibits laws that unreasonably and unfairly favor some groups over others. Fifth Amendment It states that no person shall have his or her life, liberty, or property taken away by the federal government without due process of law; this amendment protects your right to be treated fairly by the federal government. Twenty-Sixth Amendment It gave citizens 18 years of age or older the right to vote in all elections. Civil Rights Movement In the U.S.A. during the 1950s and 1960s, people worked together to demand that the federal government protect the rights of African Americans and other minorities. People worked together to change unfair laws. They gave speeches, marched in the streets, and participated in boycotts. What are the benefits of expression of freedom? Suppose a small group of people in an audience get angry with a speaker and try to stop the person from speaking. What rights should the police protect? Do you think there should be prayer in the public schools? Are there times when disabled people are discriminated against? Explain. Is it constitutional for a group of people to stage a protest on the front lawn of your home without your permission? Is it constitutional for someone to place a sign on their own property saying, All

5 politicians are crooks? Do you think there are times when your school principal can limit your freedom of expression? Explain. Do you think schools should have the right to require students to wear uniforms? Is requiring a student to wear a uniform a violation of their freedom of expression? Do you think the government should regulate the internet? Why or why not? Lesson Seven: What is the role of the United States in the world today? Describe responsibilities associated with certain basic rights of citizens, such as humanitarianism and diplomacy, and why these responsibilities are important. Describe the significance of the principles of the U.S. Constitution. humanitarian To have compassion and show concern for the pain and suffering of others United Nations An international organization created in 1945 to maintain peace and security for its members diplomacy The practice of managing relations between nations without use of warfare As citizens of a democracy, do we have responsibilities to other nations of the world? Lesson Eight: What are some important responsibilities of citizens? Describe responsibilities associated with certain basic rights of citizens such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press, and why these responsibilities are important. Explain why some rights, such as First Amendment rights, are important to an individual in a democratic society. naturalized citizen Someone who is born elsewhere but who passes a citizenship test on the Constitution and the history of the United States of America and becomes an American citizen citizen A person that is a member of a nation resident alien A person who is not a citizen, but who lives legally in the U.S.A. Resident aliens enjoy most of the rights of citizens. They have the same right to due process of law as citizens

6 What responsibilities go along with the rights of citizens? Do you think every citizen should be required to participate in his/her government? How? Why do so many young people not fulfill their responsibility to vote? What are the most important responsibilities of citizens? What can citizens do to change a law they think is unfair? Aside from your social studies class, are schools doing enough to educate voters? What more could be done? If you had a brother or sister between the ages of 18-25, how would you convince them to become voters? Some candidates choose negative campaigning. What are your feelings about negative campaigning? Explain. Do political parties have responsibilities to the voters? What are those responsibilities? What should candidate do to encourage citizens to vote? Some people have suggested that, in the future, citizens would be allowed to vote from their home computers. What are your opinions about this idea? Do you think the current voting age is appropriate? Should citizens be allowed to vote if they have served time in prison for a serious crime? Explain. Some people have said that the electoral college is outdated. Should our constitution be amended to allow our president to be elected by popular vote? Lesson Nine: How can citizens promote the common good? Describe ways people can participate in the political process including voting, petitioning elected officials, and volunteering. Analyze the usefulness of various sources of information used to make political decisions. How does a responsible citizen promote the common good?

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