Government,

President Lincoln is assassinated and a nation mourns just as its jubilation had begun. The end of the Civil War is not the end of political, economic and social battles. Reconstruction continues the debates over relationships between federal and state authority, master and slave, industrial and agrarian societies.

 

The world knows about Malala’s passionate defense of the right of girls to an education, but she is not the only young adult who is making a difference. Read The Washington Post and other media to learn about young people around the globe who are addressing issues and finding solutions to problems. Brainstorm ways you can make a difference.

Using public transportation as the hub and Washington Post articles, opinion pieces, photography and informational graphics as the fuel, students engage in decision making and debate about gas taxes and infrastructure funding, engineering and design, economics and personal finance.

All U.S. presidents have exercised executive privilege. George Washington refused to give documents to legislators, Dwight Eisenhower named it and Richard Nixon invoked it when asked to provide White House documents and secret tapes. We focus on the Watergate Story, 40 years after the resignation of the president, to examine executive privilege, the balance of power, the duty of federal employees and the responsibility of the press to inform, investigate and watch those in power.

As Grant sought to win the war, hundreds and thousands of lives would be sacrificed at places such as Cold Harbor, the Battle of the Crater and even in the D.C. area as Gen. Jubal Early approached the capital city. Using the work of Post staffers we examine how the Civil War’s casualties and those of today’s conflicts and wars can be understood in words and through informational graphics.

We focus on three areas in which governments deal with the legal and ethical obligations to provide education of good quality, without discrimination or exclusion: the rights of girls, children with physical disabilities, and undocumented students. We explore the issue through Washington Post articles, a guest commentary and an editorial; case studies, an e-Replica search and Think Like a Reporter activity.

Since President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation to create the Federal Reserve on December 23, 1913, its purpose has been to prevent a financial crisis and to preserve prosperity. Washington Post articles and commentary explain and explore the 100-year history of wise and dubious policies, the individuals who formed these policies and its day-to-day impact on economic conditions, employment and money in our banks and wallets.

Career opportunities for women in a traditionally male arena are considered through profiles. Student activities focus on areas over which the Federal Reserve has influence: the issuing of paper currency and establishing of interest rates. They are introduced to the American company that manufactures the paper on which all currency is printed. Activities also focus on interest rates and APR, making wise personal finance decisions, and designing commemorative paper currency.  

South Africa, rich in culture and the arts, presents a case study for independence, democracy and economic sanctions. Activities and articles help students to understand apartheid, its dismantling and the leadership of Nelson Mandela. 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, focuses attention on the role of federal and state governments, insurance companies, businesses and individuals in providing for health care, from preventive care to benefits of insurance coverage and the use of technology to enroll citizens. Students locate the facts, analyze the issues, study different stances, and use a variety of media to express their points of view.

Demanding equality for all, black Americans exercised First Amendment rights of speech, assembly and petition for a redress of grievances. The civil rights movement needed leaders, but grassroots efforts and demands of Americans brought about change.

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