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Political Sociology Teacher Resources
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Art can express acts of injustice and move society to action. Upper graders analyze contemporary art relating to specific moments in history. They discuss propaganda, anarchy, sociology, and violence as activism. After researching and discussing singular violent acts in the name of social justice, they create a piece that responds to current events.
What do statements made by presidential candidates reveal about what they want the public to believe about them? What can be deduced about American culture and values based on these statements? Do these values change over time? How do political messages reflect these changes? Class members access three Mini Pages and examine comments made by candidates in 1979, 1988, and 1995. They then craft their own campaign commercial. Included in the packet are detailed directions for the various activities, worksheets, and links to all required sources.
Music tells fascinating stories when it comes to wartime protest. Researchers analyze some familiar tunes to determine what they reveal about the political and social climate of Vietnam War-era America. They also discuss ways music operates as a protest tool. Kids will enjoy the linked PowerPoint, which features Lady Gaga as a discussion starter to get scholars thinking about what current music trends reveal about modern society. The presentation also discusses strategies for song analysis, and you may consider having learners take notes. They analyze a protest song (linked) together using a graphic organizer and then choose one of their own from one of the linked resources, preparing a presentation to explain its significance to the class. Use the rubric for easier assessment!
Students read and analyze an article about political corruption in Louisianna. They conduct library and Internet research on their own state political figures to discover if they have been involved in illegal activities. Students role-play as investigative reporters examining the careers of those politicians mentioned in the article.
High schoolers explore African American history by researching the Jim Crow laws. In this Civil Rights lesson, students define the Jim Crow laws, the reasons they were put into place, and how they were ultimately defeated. High schoolers write a paper about the volatile era between 1870 and 1960 and paint an image that reflects a political message about the unjust laws.
Sixth graders brainstorm the reasons why people would want to leave their homeland to live in the United States. In groups, they research the political representation of the Board in New Haven, Connecticut. They also write a paper on how politics can influence population growth by examining the limits placed on Chinese who wanted to emigrate to the US. To end the lesson, they interview a member of the Board about minorities.
Students define human rights and describe how it applies to politics, economics and cultural rights. As a class, they watch a video how the Constitution was made and discuss its purpose. In groups, they present information to the class on how each amendment is important to civil rights. To end the lesson, they research specific questions on their own and write a paper.
Students view examples of political advertisements during the years of 1952 through 1964. After viewing, they discuss how the Cold War and the threat of Communism affected the development of the United States. They compare the Cold War to the war on Terrorism being fought today.
Students examine the suggestion that the subjective experience of everyday life and sense of identity has changed in America in recent years. For this post-modernism and mass culture lesson, students engage in 4 multi-step exercises that challenge them to understand the aspects of American culture today.
High schoolers read U.S. News & World Report article that explores political implications and benefits of incumbency. Students examine House districts and redistricting process in their state since 2000 census, and analyze relative strength of Democratic and Republican parties in their state since 1980.
High schoolers learn about citizens who were actively involved in the civil rights movement, and the strategies they used to overcome the Jim Crow laws that were so prevalent in the 1960s. They investigate the voting amendments of the US Constitution, and apply these ammendments during a hands-on simulation. Video and Internet resources are also used in this most-impressive high school history lesson plan.