Course Outlines: First Semester

COURSE OUTLINES

First Quarter - Weeks 1-4

Week 1.1: Basic Ideas about Government

  1. Readings and Resources:
    1. We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution. Pages 14-126.
    2. CNN Student News. http://www.cnn.com/studentnews
    3. Reading About the World, Volume 1. http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/world_civ/worldcivreader/world_civ_reader_1/contents_vol_1.html
  2. Discussion Questions and Short Writing Assignments: Short writing answers should include specific observations from the text [evidence] and personal reflection or explanation that demonstrates a grasp of the specific concept. 
    1. What would life be like in a state of nature?
    2. Why do we need government?
    3. What is republican government?
    4. What is constitutional government?
    5. How can we organize government to prevent the abuse of power?
  3. Quiz: U.S. Citizenship Pre-Test.
  4.  Portfolio Project: Annotating Primary Sources. Code of Hammurabi and The Law (Exodus).
  5. Instructions: Provide three detailed annotations with specific observations (quotes) and reflection (explanation in your own words). Be prepared to use your annotations in a seminar discussion on October 5th, 2015.

Week 1.2: Foundations of Law, Justice, and Government: Historical Examples

  1. Readings and Resources:
    1. CNN Student News. http://www.cnn.com/studentnews
    2. Reading About the World, Volume 1. http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/world_civ/worldcivreader/world_civ_reader_1/contents_vol_1.html
  2. Discussion Questions and Short Writing Assignments: Short writing answers should include specific observations from the text [evidence] and personal reflection or explanation that demonstrates a grasp of the specific concept. 
    1. Describe the egalitarian concept of justice put forward in the Code of Hammurabi? How are some less equal than others?
    2. How does The Law (Exodus) compare and contrast with the Code of Hammurabi?
    3. Explain Confucius’s concept of filial piety. Describe Confucius’s version of the Golden Rule.
    4. What are Plato’s criticisms of democracy? Do you agree with his ideal description of a republic?
    5. Compare and Contrast Marcus Aurelius and Kautilya concerning good governance. In their view, is a leader’s reputation more important than his or her character? Explain.
    6. How are the examples from Early Christianity (The Beatitudes, The Golden Rule, and The Sermon on the Mount) different than other commandments about justice?
  3. Quiz: Foundations Quiz on Readings About The World – October 12, 2015. (50 points.)
  4. Portfolio Project: 12 Powerful Words: Building an Outline on Foundations of Government. Building Block Exercise. 100 points. Due October 14, 2015. Follow the procedure below.
    1. Introduction to 12 Powerful Words (Larry Bell). Definition activity (10 points)
    2. Select a word and organize a base template of how you would construct (support) an argument or position. (20 points)
    3. Select a word that will guide your Outline regarding the historical selections on government from Readings About the World, Volume 1. Craft your basic structure that will guide your Literature Review.
    4. Build your Argument: Fill in your Outline with specific examples (observations) and explanations (reflections) for each aspect of your Outline. (50 points).

Week 1.3: The History of British Government and the Early American Colonies

  1. Readings and Resources:
    1. We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution. Unit 2.
    2. CNN Student News. http://www.cnn.com/studentnews
    3. Selected letters from John Adams, Thomas Paine, and Benjamin Franklin
    4. Selected Scenes from the HBO John Adams Mini-Series based on the book by historian David McCullough.
  2.  Discussion Questions and Short Writing Assignments: Short writing answers should include specific observations from the text [evidence] and personal reflection or explanation that demonstrates a grasp of the specific concept. 
    1. What were the British Origins of Constitutionalism?
    2. How Did Representative Government Begin in England?
    3. What Basic Ideas about Rights and Constitutional Government Did Colonial Americans Have?
    4. Why Did The American Colonists Want to Free Themselves from Britain?
  3.  Quiz: Historical Document Quiz: October 12, 2015.
  4.  Portfolio Project: In Class Essay on October 18, 2015. Compare and Contrast three letters by Adams, Paine, and Franklin. How do these letters support and connect to themes presented this week?

Week 1.4: The Declaration of Independence – An American Ideal of Government and Practical Application of Law.

  1. Readings and Resources:
    1. We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution. (“Declaration of Independence” is found in Reference Section in the back of the book.)
    2. CNN Student News. http://www.cnn.com/studentnews
    3. Selected Scenes from the HBO John Adams Mini-Series based on the book by historian David McCullough.
  2. Discussion Questions and Short Writing Assignments: Short writing answers should include specific observations from the text [evidence] and personal reflection or explanation that demonstrates a grasp of the specific concept. 
    1. What Fundamental Ideas about Government Did the Founders Put in the Declaration of Independence?
    2. What are the specific violations of rights the Founders address in the Declaration of Independence?
    3. How did the States first organize a national government to conduct the war and govern the new country?
    4. What Basic Ideas about Government were in the State Constitutions?
    5. What are the earliest examples of government in Missouri?
  3. Quiz: October 20th: Declaration of Independence Scavenger Hunt (24 points).
  4. Portfolio Project: Mid-Term Test. October 22-23. (100 points). Analyze the Declaration of Independence. (Follow the specific instructions on the Assignment Sheet – Mid-Term.)