Students learn how citizens can influence the government. They find out that citizens can play a role in each of the three branches and learn how to target the right governmental official with their concerns.
The student will ...
ANTICIPATE by reviewing basic concepts with the A/B/C active participation activity (see Active Participation Guide).
DISTRIBUTE one “The Fourth Branch—YOU!” packet to each student.
GUIDE students through the chart on the first page with the class. We suggest going down the chart row by row, eliciting answers from the class for each question.
DISCUSSthe diagram at the top of the “Focus Your Citizen Power” page with students.
HELP students use what they’ve learned to create the bar graphs at the bottom of that page.
REVIEW the directions for the “Who Ya Gonna Call” exercise with students.
HELP students as needed as they complete the “Who Ya Gonna Call” exercise.
REVIEW the answers with the class.
CLOSE by asking students to think of one issue they personally think would be important to contact their senators or representatives about. Ask volunteers to share. Then poll the class to find out which method of communication the students would feel most comfortable using: email, letter, or phone call (note that the website in the follow up activity also includes Twitter information, so you could include this option in your pol.).
FOLLOW UP (optional) by giving students the name, address, phone number, and email address of their senators or Congressional representative OR by having them research this information themselves at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml. Ask them to contact that person about the issue they thought of and report back to the class about the response they receive.