Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills 3. Interpreting Primary Sources: Vote! Instructions 4

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2 Introduction Dear Educator, Thank you for choosing Teaching with Primary Sources: Vote! These easy to incorporate activities will inspire inquiry-based learning that will teach your students how to analyze and interpret primary sources, and bring the museum experience to your classroom! This activity includes images and documents intended to inspire civic education and participation, while focusing on young voters. As educators, we at the ITC understand that you may need to adapt these lessons to fit the constructs of your classroom and the needs of your students. Please feel free to copy the handouts included for personal and educational purposes, or create your own, provided you credit the Institute of Texan Cultures. We hope that you will visit us at the Institute of Texan Cultures, and continue to use our classroom resources to promote your students learning experiences. If you have any questions before your visit, please do not hesitate to contact us. Best, The Institute of Texan Cultures Education and Interpretation Table of Contents Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills 3 Interpreting Primary Sources: Vote! Instructions 4 Interpreting Primary Sources: Vote! Reproducible Worksheet 5 Document Based Question: United States Voter Turnout Instructions 7 Document Based Question: United States Voter Turnout Reproducible Worksheets 8 References 11 Institute of Texan Cultures Teaching with Primary Sources: Vote! 2

3 Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Included in this curriculum are lessons that meet the following Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Lessons may be adapted and/or used by additional grade levels to meet other TEKS not listed United States Government (One-Half Credit), Beginning with School Year (c) Knowledge and skills. (2) History. The student understands the roles played by individuals, political parties, interest groups, and the media in the U.S. political system, past and present. The student is expected to:(a) give examples of the processes used by individuals, political parties, interest groups, or the media to affect public policy; and(b) analyze the impact of political changes brought about by individuals, political parties, interest groups, or the media, past and present. (14) Citizenship. The student understands the difference between personal and civic responsibilities. The student is expected to:(a) explain the difference between personal and civic responsibilities;(b) evaluate whether and/or when the obligation of citizenship requires that personal desires and interests be subordinated to the public good;(c) understand the responsibilities, duties, and obligations of citizenship such as being well informed about civic affairs, serving in the military, voting, serving on a jury, observing the laws, paying taxes, and serving the public good; and(d) understand the voter registration process and the criteria for voting in elections. (20) Social studies skills. The student applies critical-thinking skills to organize and use information acquired from a variety of valid sources, including electronic technology. The student is expected to:(a) analyze information by sequencing, categorizing, identifying cause-and-effect relationships, comparing, contrasting, finding the main idea, summarizing, making generalizations and predictions, and drawing inferences and conclusions;(b) create a product on a contemporary government issue or topic using critical methods of inquiry;(c) analyze and defend a point of view on a current political issue;(d) analyze and evaluate the validity of information, arguments, and counterarguments from primary and secondary sources for bias, propaganda, point of view, and frame of reference;(e) evaluate government data using charts, tables, graphs, and maps; and(f) use appropriate mathematical skills to interpret social studies information such as maps and graphs. (21) Social studies skills. The student communicates in written, oral, and visual forms. The student is expected to:(a) use social studies terminology correctly;(b) use standard grammar, spelling, sentence structure, and punctuation;(c) transfer information from one medium to another, including written to visual and statistical to written or visual, using computer software as appropriate; and(d) create written, oral, and visual presentations of social studies information. (22) Social studies skills. The student uses problem-solving and decision-making skills, working independently and with others, in a variety of settings. The student is expected to:(a) use a problem-solving process to identify a problem, gather information, list and consider options, consider advantages and disadvantages, choose and implement a solution, and evaluate the effectiveness of the solution; and(b) use a decision-making process to identify a situation that requires a decision, gather information, identify options, predict consequences, and take action to implement a decision. Institute of Texan Cultures Teaching with Primary Sources: Vote! 3

4 Interpreting Primary Sources Estimated Time: 30 minutes Materials: Copies of reproducible Interpreting Primary Sources: Vote!, pages Instructions: 1. Review with students the difference between a primary and a secondary source. 2. Explain to the students that you will be analyzing primary sources that relate to the role of voting rights and voter turnout. 3. Give each student a copy of the reproducible Interpreting Primary Sources handout. 4. Instruct students to read the first primary source and its corresponding background information silently. They may choose to underline important names, dates or concepts from the document. 5. After students have finished reading the first document, as a class, complete the first row of the analysis chart. You may help students to describe the document and identify the audience and purpose. 6. Next, ask students to read the remaining documents, complete the analysis chart and answer the remaining questions on their own. 7. Remind students that reading and understanding primary sources is an important skill to help historians understand the feelings and motivations of people from the past. Note: This assignment may be completed individually, or with a partner. Institute of Texan Cultures Teaching with Primary Sources: Vote! 4

5 NAME: DATE: PERIOD Interpreting Primary Sources Vote! Directions: Read each document and its background information, and then complete the questions that follow. Background Information: Political participation is defined as involvement in activities meant to influence public policy and leadership. In the United States, voting is the most common form of political participation. Despite constitutional protection of voting rights, American voter turnout is consistently low in comparison with that of other democratic nations. Documents: Document A: I think (students) would vote if they could see how it affects them, or maybe if someone paid them, Warlow said. Some young Americans feel like their demographic, the college student group, isn t taken seriously. How can we make a difference if we ve never shown our power to affect change in the past? The fact is, not voting is a declaration of indifference about your future and the future of your country. If we want our opinions to matter, then the first stop to being heard is voting. According to textbooks, it s the only influence we have on politics, Warlow said. When asked what might prompt students to vote, Ward Albro, professor of Introduction to American Politics and Texas Politics and Society responded, I wish I knew. Your Vote Matters, editorial from The Paisano (Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio), 2008 Document B: There are times when numbers are important, and then he d be talking about voting..he said, The vote of the gambler is just as strong as the preacher s vote. You get out there and get ahold of those. That was his philosophy we need numbers to vote. Not necessarily what we call quality people, you need a vote. From the oral history of Dorothy Robinson, African American educator in Palestine, Texas (1994) Document C: General Election Voter Registration and Turnout, Texas Percentage of Voting Percent of Turnout topercent of Turnout to Age Population (VAP) Registered Registered Voters VAP Institute of Texan Cultures Teaching with Primary Sources: Vote! 5

6 Analyzing the Documents: 1. After reading each document and its background information, complete the following chart. Document Date Description Audience Purpose 1. Your Vote Matters 2. Oral History of Dorothy Robinson 3. General Election Voter Registration and Turnout, Texas Making Inferences: 4. Given the information provided in the documents, how would you describe the voter registration and turnout in the United States? 5. What can be inferred about the importance of voter participation in the United States? Making Generalizations: 6. Complete the following statement: Although, voter registration and turnout. Institute of Texan Cultures Teaching with Primary Sources: Vote! 6

7 Document-Based Question: United States Voter Turnout Estimated Time: 45 minutes 1 hour (plus time outside of class to complete) Materials: Copies of reproducible Document-Based Questions and Accompanying Documents: Tradition and Technology, pages Instructions: 1. Explain to students that a Document-Based Question (DBQ) is different from a standard essay question because it requires students to analyze historical information from a variety of sources such as photographs, maps, primary sources, etc. Like a standard essay, it does require students to have a clear thesis and argument. 2. Instruct students to write a minimum of five paragraphs responding to the following prompt: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Despite constitutional protection, voter turnout in the United States remains low. 3. Remind students of the following strategies to help them organize and produce a successful DBQ: a. Read the question or prompt three times to ensure that you understand exactly what your task is. b. State the prompt in your own words. c. Circle or underline the main words, including instructions, dates and historical eras. d. Briefly list facts about the historical time that you already know. How would you answer this question if you had no documents to examine? e. Read each document and underline important words or phrases. Make notes in the margins about what you observe in each document. Consider the chart that you completed in the Interpreting Primary Sources Activity and make notes about the source including date, description, audience and purpose. f. Based on what you have already learned, and what you found in the documents, write a thesis statement that clearly answers the question. g. Write your thesis or introductory paragraph to include 3 sentences: 1. An introductory sentence that defines the time and topic that you are writing about 2. Your thesis statement 3. A final sentence stating three topics you plan to write about that will help you prove your thesis h. Write three body paragraphs based on the topics listed in the introductory paragraph. Remember to use outside information from your brainstorming and support it with references to the documents provided. Example: In his letter to Henry Lee, Washington argues that (Document C). i. Complete each body paragraph with a concluding sentence that relates back to the thesis, and then begin the next paragraph with a transitional sentence. j. In your conclusion paragraph, write 2 sentences: 1. Restate your thesis. 2. Summarize the facts that you used to prove your thesis. Institute of Texan Cultures Teaching with Primary Sources: Vote! 7

8 NAME: DATE: PERIOD Document-Based Question United States Voter Turnout Directions: Write a five-paragraph DBQ-style essay responding to the following prompt. Include interpretations of the documents attached and your knowledge of the historical period. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Despite constitutional protection, voter turnout in the United States remains low. When writing, use these helpful hints: a. Read the question or prompt three times to ensure that you understand exactly what your task is. b. State the prompt in your own words. c. Circle or underline the main words, including instructions, dates and historical eras. d. Briefly list facts about the historical time that you already know. How would you answer this question if you had no documents to examine? e. Read each document and underline important words or phrases. Make notes in the margins about what you observe in each document. Consider the chart that you completed in the Interpreting Primary Sources Activity and make notes about the source including date, description, audience and purpose. f. Based on what you have already learned, and what you found in the documents, write a thesis statement that clearly answers the question. g. Write your thesis or introductory paragraph to include 3 sentences: 1. An introductory sentence that defines the time and topic that you are writing about 2. Your thesis statement 3. A final sentence stating three topics you plan to write about that will help you prove your thesis h. Write three body paragraphs based on the topics listed in the introductory paragraph. Remember to use outside information from your brainstorming and support it with references to the documents provided. Example: In his letter to Henry Lee, Washington argues that (Document C). i. Complete each body paragraph with a concluding sentence that relates back to the thesis, and then begin the next paragraph with a transitional sentence. j. In your conclusion paragraph, write 2 sentences: 3. Restate your thesis. 4. Summarize the facts that you used to prove your thesis. *Documents begin on next page. Institute of Texan Cultures Teaching with Primary Sources: Vote! 8

9 Document A: I think (students) would vote if they could see how it affects them, or maybe if someone paid them, Warlow said. Some young Americans feel like their demographic, the college student group, isn t taken seriously. How can we make a difference if we ve never shown our power to affect change in the past? The fact is, not voting is a declaration of indifference about your future and the future of your country. If we want our opinions to matter, then the first stop to being heard is voting. According to textbooks, it s the only influence we have on politics, Warlow said. When asked what might prompt students to vote, Ward Albro, professor of Introduction to American Politics and Texas Politics and Society responded, I wish I knew. Your Vote Matters, editorial from The Paisano (Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio), 2008 Document B: There are times when numbers are important, and then he d be talking about voting..he said, The vote of the gambler is just as strong as the preacher s vote. You get out there and get ahold of those. That was his philosophy we need numbers to vote. Not necessarily what we call quality people, you need a vote. From the oral history of Dorothy Robinson, African American educator in Palestine, Texas (1994) Documents C: Document D: General Election Voter Registration and Turnout, Texas Average Voter Turnout Across Nations, Since Percentage of Voting Age Population (VAP) Registered Percent of Turnout to Registered Voters Percent of Turnout to VAP Percent of Turnout to Registered Voters Document E: Sources: Texas Secretary of State Website, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance Reasons for Not Voting 11% 3% Illness or Disability 14% Out of Town 1% 3% Forgot to Vote 8% Not Interested 5% Too Busy 4% Transportation Problems 13% Did not like the Candidates or Campaign Issues Registration Problems 16% Bad Weather Conditions 3% Inconvenient Polling Place 19% Other Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, November 2012 Institute of Texan Cultures Teaching with Primary Sources: Vote! 9

10 Document F: Amendment 15. Right to Vote (1870) Passed by Congress February 26, Ratified February 3, Section 1 The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Section 2 The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. From the U.S. Constitution, amend. 15, sec. 1-2 Document G: Amendment 19. Woman Suffrage (1920) Passed by Congress June 4, Ratified August 18, Clause 1 The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Clause 2 The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. From the U.S. Constitution, amend. 19, cl. 1-2 Document H: Amendment 24. Abolition of Poll Taxes (1964) Passed by Congress August 27, Ratified January 23, Section 1 The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice- President, for electors for President or Vice-President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax. Section 2 The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. From the U.S. Constitution, amend. 24, sec. 1-2 Document I: Amendment 24. Abolition of Poll Taxes (1964) Passed by Congress August 27, Ratified January 23, Section 1 The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice- President, for electors for President or Vice-President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax. Section 2 The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. From the U.S. Constitution, amend. 24, sec. 1-2 Document J: Amendment Year-Old Vote (1971) Passed by Congress March 23, Ratified July 1, Note: Amendment 14, Section 2, of the Constitution was modified by Section 1 of the Twenty-sixth Amendment. Section 1 The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied of abridged by the United States or by any state on account of age. Section 2 The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. From the U.S. Constitution, amend. 26, sec. 1-2 Institute of Texan Cultures Teaching with Primary Sources: Vote! 10

11 References International Institute For Democracy and Electoral Assistance. "Voter Turnout Since 1945: A Global Report." International IDEA. Edited by Rafael Lopez Pintor, & Maria Gratschew (accessed March 13, 2014). State of Texas. Turnout and Voter Registration Figures (1970-current). Texas Secretary of State: Nandita Berry. (accessed March 13, 2014). Your Vote Matters. The Paisano. (accessed March 13, 2014). U.S. Department of Commerce. Reasons for Not Voting, By Selected Characteristics. U.S. Census Bureau. (accessed March 13, 2014). Institute of Texan Cultures Teaching with Primary Sources: Vote! 11

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