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NYCDOE: Passport to Social Studies – Grade 12 Participation in Government Unit 1 Guide

This Passport to Social Studies teacher’s guide is the first unit of the Participation in Government course, titled: Foundations of American Democracy. This curriculum was developed by a team of NYCDOE staff and teachers, in collaboration with scholars of history and social studies education. Students immerse themselves in the topic by discussing historical questions, reading and analyzing a rich collection of diverse primary and secondary sources, examining artifacts, and interpreting images, such as paintings, photographs, and maps.

In this unit, Foundations of American Democracy, students examine the values that formed and guided the development of American democracy. Students seek to answer the Essential Question: How has American democracy evolved? By investigating the role of constitutional law, the development of separation of powers, the challenges that federalism poses for national and state governments, and the evolution of the Constitution over time. At the conclusion of this unit students engage in a structured civil discourse debating the extent to which the United States is a democracy and write a reflection paper analyzing their understanding of democracy and how it has developed over the course of the unit.

Throughout the unit, students continue to strengthen social scientific and historical thinking skills from grades prior to cultivate and strengthen their ability to think critically and apply concepts to novel situations, and interpret, select, and cite accurate evidence, and use disciplinary vocabulary to develop their analysis.

This guide includes multiple components:

  • Overview
  • Day-by-Day Planner
  • Model Lesson
  • Unit Assessment (and rubric)
  • Historical Thinking Tools and Analysis Strategies
  • Key Standards
  • Connections to the 9-12 Civics for All Curriculum, Part One and Part Two

To evaluate student mastery of content knowledge, cognitive processes, and critical thinking skills, this unit includes opportunities for formative assessments and a performance-based unit assessment. Please note that the NYCDOE 9-12: Passport to Social Studies materials also include a separate student Text Set for each unit.

Quality Review Indicators 1.1 CurriculumDanielson Framework for Teaching 1a: Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and PedagogyDanielson Framework for Teaching 1b: Demonstrating Knowledge of StudentsDanielson Framework for Teaching 1c: Setting Instructional OutcomesDanielson Framework for Teaching 1d: Demonstrating Knowledge of ResourcesDanielson Framework for Teaching 1e: Designing Coherent InstructionDanielson Framework for Teaching 1f: Designing Student Assessments
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