Concept Formation Learning Plan

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1 2007WM Concept Formation Learning Plan Social Contract Racquel Parra [Pick the date] [Type the abstract of the document here. The abstract is typically a short summary of the contents of the document. Type the abstract of the document here. The abstract is typically a short summary of the contents of the document.]

2 Table of Contents Context... 3 Overview... 3 Rationale... 3 Grade Level... 3 Time... 3 Objectives... 4 Information... 4 Skills... 4 Assessment... 4 Content and Instructional Strategies... 4 The Concept Definition: Social Contract... 4 Preparation... 5 Hook... 5 Data Retrieval Chart and Example Analysis... 5 Defining and Labeling the Concept... 5 Classifying... 6 Wrap-Up... 6 Materials... 7 Differentiation... 7 Adaptations... 7 Pre-Reflection... 7 Sources... 8 Data Retrieval Chart (Part 1)... 9 Data Retrieval Chart (Part 2) Concept Formation Assessment

3 Context This lesson can be taught as part of Unit II: The Constitution. The teacher briefly touched on the foundations of social contract theory in a lecture in which the students learned the four dominant theories on the origins of the state, and in an assignment in which they matched philosophers such as Locke and Hobbes with their ideas, but this lesson will serve to expand their understanding of the concept. This lesson can also be taught with different examples during a later unit on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights. Overview Social contract is a concept that is critical to understanding how states have come to be, particularly our State. Social contract theory is one of four major theories on the origins of the state; the others are the force, evolutionary, and divine right theories. Philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke in England, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, have explored social contract theory. According to Hobbesian social contract theory, early humans lived in a state of nature, in which no authority existed to protect one person or their property from another person s force. Individuals had to rely on their own physical strength and intelligence for safety. Social contract theory says that humans overcame this by agreeing to create a state, to which they would surrender some power in exchange for protection. The Declaration of Independence used this theory to justify revolution, asserting that King George III had violated the contract. This theory promoted other concepts at the foundation of our government: popular sovereignty, limited government, and individual rights. Rationale Concept formation strategies are used to help students firmly grasp important concepts central to a deeper understanding of the content area. Social contract theory is a pillar of democracy, which is the chief theme of government courses throughout the nation, yet many students lack the ability to accurately define either concept. By using the concept formation strategy to learn the critical attributes of social contracts, the students will have the opportunity to formulate their own definitions and thus gain a clearer understanding of what a social contract really is, and apply their knowledge to other examples of them throughout the course, particularly in Unit VI on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights. Grade Level This lesson is designed for Standard and Honors sections of a 12 th grade Virginia and United States Government course. Time This lesson should take about 60 minutes of class time. 3

4 Objectives Information Given examples of social contract and focus questions to facilitate their understanding of the similarities between the examples, students will be able to identify the three critical attributes of the concept social contract. (GOVT. 4c Given diverse examples and non-examples of social contracts and focus questions to facilitate their understanding of the differences between the examples, students will demonstrate their understanding that social contracts have existed across time and space by creating a list of at least 4 differences between the descriptions provided. (NCSS 2, NCSS 3) Skills Given a mixed list of examples and non-examples of social contracts, students will be able to distinguish between them with 80% accuracy. Given a mixed list of examples and non-examples of social contracts, students will be able to modify the three non-examples of social contracts so that they represent the three critical attributes of the concept with 100% accuracy. Assessment In class, have the students complete the Assessment Worksheet. On this worksheet, the students will be asked to distinguish between examples and non-examples of social contracts and modify the non-examples so that they fit the critical attributes of as defined in the lesson. The assignment will be part of their notebook, which is turned in for a grade at the end of each unit. The unit test will include a few of questions meant to evaluate the students understanding of the lesson. Content and Instructional Strategies The Concept Definition: Social Contract Critical Attributes: o Individuals agree to surrender some of their liberties o Individuals receive protections from a group o There are consequences for violation of the agreement 4

5 Definition: The condition in which individuals agree to surrender some of their liberties in exchange for protection from a group, and in which there are consequences for violation of the agreement. Preparation Create heterogeneous cooperative learning pairs. Make sure the desks are set up in pairs. As the students enter the room, tell them who their partner is, and have them sit with them. Hook (10 minutes) Show a clip from the movie The Lord of the Flies, or the television show Survivor. The clip will depict the problems of living in a state of nature, and the quickly realized need to form a government to protect them. The clip should show that, in exchange for certain benefits, individuals must relinquish some powers. Following the clip, tell the students to spend three minutes discussing with their partners the following questions(have these written on the board or on an overhead): o How did the individuals in the clip respond to the absence of government? o What are the pros and cons of their response? o What are the consequences of violating the agreement? Next, bring the class back together and call on at least two pairs to respond to each question. Explain that today, students are going to investigate a concept central to understanding government, but that they will not learn the label for the concept until they have examined some examples and identified the qualities that all of the examples have in common. As you explain this, pass out the Data Retrieval Chart. Data Retrieval Chart and Example Analysis (15 minutes) Work through the first example as a class. Ask a volunteer to read the example aloud and then call on students to answer each question. If the students appear to understand the process, tell them they have about minutes to work with their partners to complete the remainder of the chart. Circulate to check students progress, answering any questions the students have, and tell students when half of the allotted time is remaining. Defining and Labeling the Concept (10 minutes) Once the students have completed the data retrieval chart, tell the students to take two minutes to identify the differences between the examples with their partner. Then, call on each pair to contribute a difference to a class list, which you will make on a transparency. 5

6 o Differences may include: time, place, type of liberties surrendered, type of protections guaranteed, type of consequences for violations of the agreements, type of agreement (implicit or explicit). Tell the students they have two minutes to come up with the similarities among the examples, and then call on several pairs to contribute a similarity to a class list, which you will make on the same transparency as above. There will likely be fewer similarities noted than differences. The similarities should be the critical attributes deduced from the focus questions. o Similarities should include: agreements bind people together, individuals surrender power, individuals receive protections (benefits) from a group, there are consequences for violations of the agreements. Tell the students that now that they know the critical attributes of the concept, they need to (individually) create their own definition for it. If they seem to have trouble beginning, you can suggest they start with The condition in which Give them two minutes, and then ask a few students to share their definitions with the class. o Sample definition: The condition in which individuals agree to surrender some of their liberties in exchange for protection from a group, and in which there are consequences for violation of the agreement. Ask the students if they have any suggestion for what the concept label is. If a student offers an acceptable answer that is not the conventional label, tell him or her that their idea is great, but that the most widely used label is social contract. Classifying (10 minutes) Tell the students that you are going to hand out an assessment worksheet with a list of examples and non-examples of social contracts. Let them know they have 10 minutes to work individually to determine into which category each description falls. If they believe a description does not fit the critical attributes of a social contract, they must make changes to the description so that it does illustrate an example of a social contract. Wrap-Up (15 minutes) Go over the assessment worksheet with the students and discuss how examples two and three represent the Divine Right and Force Theories, respectively. Explain to them that the Declaration of Independence was created in response to the Founding Fathers perception that King George III had violated the social contract. Ask them to take 3-4 minutes to discuss with their partners any modern-day examples of violations of our social contract, either on the part of the government, or on the part of the people. In particular, have them discuss whether it is okay to break a law if that law violates the social contract Bring the class back together to discuss the examples they have come up with. Be sure to discuss Martin Luther King, Jr. s Letter From Birmingham Jail. 6

7 Materials Overhead projector Marker for use on transparencies Transparency of the hook activity Transparency of Data Retrieval Chart 90 Copies of the Data Retrieval Chart (one for each student in each of 4 classes) 90 Copies of Assessment Worksheet (one for each student in each of 4 classes) Pencils Differentiation Because this is a cooperative learning activity and the students will be placed in heterogeneous pairs, students should not experience difficulty completing the assignment. If the class appears to struggle with the assignment while working in pairs, I could guide the students in completing the lesson as a class. If only one or two pairs have trouble, each pair could be placed with another pair that is completing the work with ease. This will allow the successful students teach the struggling students while at the same time reinforcing their own understandings. Cooperative learning will be used often in my classroom. Adaptations None of my students has an IEP, but four students have Section 504 Plans for ADHD. This lesson is highly structured and has minimal transition time, which should help students with this disorder. These students may need to be informed about the lesson and major points before hand. If this will be beneficial, I will send the Data Retrieval Chart home with them the class before. During the lesson, I will tell the class how long they have for each task before they begin, and for longer tasks (i.e. the Data Retrieval Chart), I will also let the students know when they have about half the allotted time remaining. Each student with ADHD will be working with a peer without ADHD, so additional time should not be necessary. Pre-Reflection I think the biggest challenges I will encounter with implementing this lesson will be maintaining order and keeping all of the students on task. Many of the students tend to drift off in class, but I hope that the heavily structured nature of this lesson will counter this. I also believe that the graphic organizer and fast-pace of the lesson will help the students focus their ideas and their attention. In addition, I am interested to see how the students work together in assigned pairs, since the classes tend to segregate themselves by gender and/or ethnicity. I hope that the students 7

8 will experience several cooperative learning activities and become more comfortable and desegregated before I teach this lesson in the spring. I am particularly interested in how one student will perform in pairs because he is very introverted and always works by himself in activities meant for work with a partner. I plan to approach him before the lesson to find out whom he would feel most comfortable working with because it is important that he acquire the social skills necessary to interact with others, although I recognize the need to ease him into social situations. Sources Divine Right of Kings: Iraqi Constitution: and Socrates Argument: Theories on the Origins of the State (Divine Right, Force, and Social Contract Theories): McClenaghan, William A. American Government. Needham, MA: Prentice Hall, Video Clip: 8

9 Data Retrieval Chart (Part 1) Name: Date: Example Following September 11, 2001, Congress passed the PATRIOT Act. Fearful of the threat of terrorism, citizens gave up privacy rights. The Act allows the FBI to search telephone, , and financial records without a court order, and to detain suspects of terrorism without clear evidence. If voters are dissatisfied, they can vote for candidates who pledge to vote to repeal the Act. Does an agreement bind people together? What protections does the individual receive? What liberties does the individual surrender? What are the consequences for a violation of the agreement? In Crito, Socrates argues why he must stay in prison and accept the death penalty, rather than escape to another Greek city. He explains that he has acquired an overwhelming obligation to obey the laws because they have made his entire way of life, and even the fact of his very existence, possible. They made it possible for his mother and father to marry, and therefore to have legitimate children, including himself. Athens laws required that his father care for and educate him. Socrates' life in Athens is dependent upon the Laws. This relationship between citizens and the laws of the city are not forced. Citizens can choose whether to stay or leave. By staying, one agrees to abide by the laws and accept the punishments of violating them. In football, players on one team agree to abide by the rules of the game, and in exchange, players on the other team agree to do the same. If a player commits a conductor safety-related violation, such as hitting a player that is already out of 9

10 bounds, the referee can call a personal foul giving the other team 15 yards and an automatic first down. The player may also be expelled from the game. This rule attempts to protect all players from unnecessary injuries, and to ensure fairness. In 2005, more than 63% of eligible Iraqis voted to accept a new constitution. The constitution guarantees certain freedoms (for example, of religion), free education, and equality under the law. In exchange for these and other benefits and liberties, Iraqi citizens agree to pay required taxes and abide by the other tenets expressed in the constitution. If a citizen or the state fails to uphold their end of the bargain, each can seek a redress of their grievances. 10

11 Data Retrieval Chart (Part 2) List at least FOUR Differences between the examples: 1) 2) 3) 4) List at least FOUR Similarities among the examples: 1) 2) 3) 4) List FOUR Critical attributes of the concept: 1) 2) 3) 4) My definition of the concept: Concept label: 11

12 Concept Formation Assessment Directions: On your own, examine the examples below and use your definition of a Social Contract to decide whether they illustrate Social Contracts. If they do not, then change the non-examples so they reflect the four critical attributes of the concept. Write your answers in the space provided. 1) Our government requires individuals and businesses to pay taxes on their property, purchases, and income. In exchange, we expect the government to provide us with a variety of services, such as education, protection, and postal service. If we do not pay our taxes, the government can fine us and/or put us in jail. If the government fails to provide us with these things, we can vote our politicians out of office. 1) Monarchs in medieval and early modern Europe, like those in Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, claimed that their power was the result of God s will. Because they believed God chose them, they asserted that they were only accountable to Him, and they only needed to answer to Him for their actions. The people were bound to obey their ruler just as they obeyed God, and to oppose one s ruler was to commit both treason and sin. 2) In ancient times, it was common for one person or a small group to claim control over an area and force all individuals within that area to submit to that person s or that group s rule. 3) The Constitution of Malaysia grants the non-malay and other non-indigenous peoples of the country with citizenship in exchange for these people granting special privileges to the Bumiputra (sons of the soil). The Constitution guarantees to the Bumiputra reservations of land, permission to monopolize certain industries, and quotas for the following: scholarships, civil service positions, public education, and trade licenses. Due to problems with the agreement, it has been reevaluated in recent years. 12

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