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Rudnicki ED478 Project Based Learning Unit Plan

Government (10th Grade) Lesson Plan: Creating A Fair Budget Objective: Students will work together in small groups of four, with an equal mixture of liberals and conservatives to make a balanced budget. They will appraise (evaluate) the programs, summarize (comprehension) the pros and cons of keeping or cutting such a program, and cut one billion dollars in programs from the budget. Goal: C.12.8 Locate, organize, analyze, and use information from various sources to understand an issue of public concern, take a position, and communicate the position Materials Needed: Table of Possible Budget Cuts Poster Paper, Paper, and Writing Supplies Previous Notes Previous Individual Assignments Budget Criteria Sheets Introduction - 5 minutes Students will be asked to summarize the differences between liberal and conservative views. What programs would each group favor? Ask students if they think it would be easy to reach an agreement. Why or why not? Explain that they will be reaching an agreement with their classmates in order to produce a budget and present it to the class. Steps for Instruction - 35 minutes 1. Divide the class into pre-determined groups. Groups should have a range of abilities, so that low achieving students are able to work with high achieving students. Groups will be made of four. This group size ensures an even number of conservatives and liberals, but is small enough that a compromise can be reached. 2. Hand out the budget criteria sheets and as a class read through the directions. Answer any questions. 3. Have students begin work. Monitor their behavior. With such a heated topic, make sure that students are progressing and not just arguing with each other. 4. Spend 3-5 minutes with each group discussing where they have progressed and how they should continue. Strategies for Students Depending on class needs, students may be allowed to work within their groups while completing the chart. Closure - 5 minutes Have students briefly discuss the progress they have made. Are they close to reaching a compromise? What may be preventing them from doing so and what are ways of solving these conflicts? Allow for suggestions from other classmates.

Assessment Students will be formally assessed on their group presentation that they will present in two days. Students posters will be assessed for the identification (knowledge), and summaries (comprehension) of cut programs. Their oral presentation and written budgets will be assessed on the appraisal (evaluation) of programs. Students will be informally assessed on their group participation and group conferences with the teacher.


C.12.5 Analyze different theories of how governmental powers might be used to help promote or hinder liberty, equality, and justice, and develop a reasoned conclusion C.12.8 Locate, organize, analyze, and use information from various sources to understand an issue of public concern, take a position, and communicate the position C.12.6 Identify and analyze significant political benefits, problems, and solutions to problems related to federalism and the separation of powers Objectives: Describe that tension exists among state, federal, and local governments and citizens over who should take responsibility for particular programs and problems Recognize that citizens and elected officials decide what work government should do (public policy), and that funding priorities are set accordingly Summarize the history of liberal and conservative ideologies Compare contemporary liberal and conservative thinking Compare personal liberal and conservative values Realize that determining public policy and setting funding priorities are subject to much debate and require compromise in order for government to function Develop reading, writing, listening, and oral presentation skills

Day 1

Lesson Introduction to Unit Tell students that their current unit will focus on how states create budgets. As individuals and as a class, produce KWL charts that focus on how states create budgets and decide to allocate funds. Why might there be conflict when creating budgets. Explain to students that their final assessment will be to create a budget. How Does the Government Make Money? Students will examine the United States will examine graphs and charts to determine how much revenue the United States federal government makes and where this revenue comes from. How Does the U.S. Government Currently Spend Its Revenue? Using more pie charts, graphs, and the internet students will examine the programs that the federal government supports and explain what theses programs do.

Assessment Students will summarize (comprehension) what they already know about state budgets through a KWL chart.

Students will list (knowledge) the sources and amount of federal revenue in worksheet form. Students will list (comprehension) the top 15 largest federally funded programs in the United States. In a sentence or two, students will summarize (comprehension) what these programs do. In a one-page paper,

Meeting Community Needs


As a class, discuss how these programs affect students will describe the students community. Why are they (comprehension) their important or unimportant? community and appraise (analyze) what types of programs are most needed to meet community needs. Budget Cut Considerations In small group discussions Students read a letter from Congresswoman with members researching Wright that details the six federal programs like federal programs, that are under consideration for budget cuts. students will be assessed Students will be assigned a role to research on their summaries one of these six programs. They will (comprehension). understand what the program does and why it is valuable to the community. Budget Cut Considerations (Cont.) Students will summarize Students will meet in groups of 6, each (comprehension) in a table member representing a different category how the federal that is being considered for budget cuts. government contributes to Students will then explain their categories to each category. They will each other. then appraise (analyze) the effectiveness of these groups. Initial Cuts Students will appraise Students will be given the Table of Possible (analyze) the worth of Budget Cuts. From this table Students will federal programs and work independently to cut 1 billion dollars make cuts. They will from the budget and explain why. explain (comprehension) their reasoning for making these cuts. What Happens When Governments Make Students will add to their Cuts? tables, identifying Students will participate in teach-led (knowledge) who would discussion, examining who takes on the take on the expense of the expense of government programs when the students cut programs. federal government has stopped funding them. Liberalism vs. Conservatism Students will be assessed Students will discuss their budgets and why on their ability to identify they made cuts. A discussion on liberalism (comprehension) the vs. conservatism will explain the differences tenets of within the classroom. liberalism/conservatism within a chart. Creating a Fair Budget Students will be assessed Students will be assigned into new groups of on their recorded cuts. four. These groups will be made up of an They will appraise



even mix of liberals and conservatives and a (analyze) the programs range of abilities. They will then spend the and summarize next two days agreeing on a balanced budget. (comprehension) the pros and cons of keeping or cutting such a program. Creating a Fair Budget In addition to being Students will spend the day finishing their assessed on their written budget and compromises. They will prepare budgets, behavior will be a poster that highlights the programs they informally assessed. have cut. Presentation of Budgets Students posters will be Students will present their budgets to the assessed for the class, explaining their cuts and reasons for identification (knowledge) making them. of cut programs. Their oral presentation will be assessed on the appraisal (evaluation) of programs, a will their written budgets.