Monday, October 19, 2009

Ch 4 - The Constitution

Ch 4 - The United States Constitution
Essential Question: How and why did the framers distribute power in the Constitution?


PREVIEW
Examine the outline of the Constitution as seen in your textbook chapter 4. Then answer these questions on a separate piece of paper and turn in:

1. What observations can you make about the way the framers organized the Constitution?
2. Which branch of government did the framers give the greatest number of specific (expressed) powers to? What might be some reasons for that?
3. What inferences can you make about how the framers intended to distribute power within the federal government?

Terms
Read the definitions in the book and then rewrite the definitions in your own words. Make sure you capture the essence of the texts definitions in your definition.

due process republican government
checks and balances federalism
independent judiciary strict construction
loose construction judicial review

Sections 4.2 and 4.3
Read Sections 4.2 and 4.3. Then do the following:

1. Create a diagram (table) that explains the purpose of each of the three main parts of the Constitution. Then list an example from the Constitution that illustrates the purpose of each part.

Below is an example of the elements that need to be included.

Constitution (this is the tables name)
Preamble Articles Amendments

Purpose: Purpose: Purpose:

Example: Example: Example:

2. Explain the difference between enumerated and implied powers and describe how the Constitution establishes both.
3. Discuss why each branch of government has a different set of responsibilities and powers. List at least two powers of each branch.
4. Create a simple flowchart that illustrates the most common method of amending the Constitution.

What new information did this section address with regard to our Essential Question: How and why did the framers distribute power in the Constitution?


Section 4.4
1. After reading this section of your textbook, create a table that includes the following things. 5 principles found with-in the content of the constitution and list the principles in the left column. Complete the second and third columns by creating a simple illustration to represent that principal, and then a brief explanation of your symbol in your own words.

Below is an example of the elements that need to be included.

Guiding Principles of the Constitution (this is the tables name)
Principle Symbol or illustration Brief Explanation Example from the Constitution


2. Again after reading Section 4.4, you now need to identify at least one place in the Constitution that illustrates each principle. This information gets listed in the fourth column of your table. Give the exact location in the Constitution as well as the exact text that exemplifies each principle.

What new information did this section address with regard to our Essential Question: How and why did the framers distribute power in the Constitution?


Section 4.5
Read Section 4.5 and then do the following:
1. Explain the difference between strict and loose construction of the Constitution.
2. On a piece of paper that you can turn in, complete a write-up of the three landmark cases discussed in the section.
• Enter the case’s name and the year it was decided.
• List two or three main facts of the case.
• Write a brief summary of the Supreme Court’s decision. (4 or 5 sentences)
• Describe the significance of the decision in terms of its effects on the government and on the interpretation of the Constitution.


What new information did this section address with regard to our Essential Question: How and why did the framers distribute power in the Constitution?


Higher Order Thinking

The framers developed the U.S. Constitution more than 200 years ago with the hope that it would remain relevant and effective for future generations. One way they sought to accomplish that was through the provisions of Article V, which spell out how the Constitution can be changed.

In recent years, Congress has fielded many proposals for changes to the Constitution, including the following:
• Requiring the federal government to balance the national budget
• Restricting the amount of money that can be spent during national electoral campaigns
• Abolishing the Electoral College and having the president and vice president elected by popular vote
• Lowering the age restriction for public offices such as senator and representative
• Repealing the Twenty-second Amendment, which sets presidential term limits
• Guaranteeing all citizens access to quality health care
If you had the opportunity to change the Constitution in one way in order to improve it, what would you propose? In a short paragraph, explain your proposal and discuss why you think the Constitution will be a stronger, better document with this change.

Summative Assignment
Write a one-paragraph essay addressing our Essential Question: How and why did the framers distribute power in the Constitution?

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