I have been teaching Functional Skills Social Studies. It's a class for Special Education that teaches students Government, the Constitution and the state Constitution. This week we had a unit on persuasive writing. I have been kiping all of my lesson plans off of Icivics.org. It's a wonderful site that has lessonplans, powerpoints, worksheets and projects for just about anything you would want to teach about government except for maybe the vocabulary.
Their persuasive writing unit is pretty good and I realized I would need to come up with something that they could use to put the new found knowledge to work. I was keeping my eye out for an article, new piece of legislation or something controversial that they could use to write an agumentative essay to send off as a letter.
As I was perusing facebook I clicked on a link on an article about the bill, involving the National Defense Authorization Act. I was astounded by it and I knew my students would be too.
I put a couple or three articals on the projector screen for them to read, I played one of the few news videos available about the subject.
These are not the exact articles and videos I found for them I actually found more newsworthy links and videos, but can't seem to find them now....I did it on a different computer or I would check the history.
I never saw a bunch of kids that are not too interested in government so quietly and and intently watching a news video. They were horrified.
I got all kind of wild comments from the kids like. Obama is ruining our country. We're doomed! We will never be free. We don't have much time! We need to tell everybody. Should we tell our parents? Will they believe us?
Needless too say, I had to calm them down a little to continue the lesson, but we made our bubble chart to craft our arguments, added some supporting facts and then made an outline. We barely had time to write letters, but they diligently and quietly worked hard to finish their letters by the end of the block.
I will send them off after I make a copy of them so I can grade them. I promised them I would do it.