1)Civics (Standards text are taken from Center for Civic Education: http://www.civiced.org) Note: Although the Standards mentioned above is US-centric. This courseware will attempt to create a baseline for creating regional variants.
Students will learn about government and how it creates laws, values and principles of Democracy, and how their participation in the democratic process affects their quality of life.
Project Brainstorm (estimated number of lessons 6):
(Note: A lot of the things in this section would require "role" playing in the classroom).
"The Bill in Capitol Hill"
Students will be divided into the different branches of government (in the US there are three: Executive, Legislative and Judicial). The teacher can be the President (executive). A group of students will research "bills" that will be implemented for a week in the classroom (example: Every student should give each other a high five when they see each other in the hallway) and these will documented in an Etoys book: What problems do the bill solve? Who will be affected when it becomes a law?, etc.). The students will then device a game that will take a "bill" to Capitol Hill and eventually to the President's desk to be signed/vetoed into law. This can be done in a simple game where an object a that looks like a bill can be scripted to advance in each branch of government given a majority number of votes from participants of the Legislative (Senate and House of Representatives) branch. The Judicial system will study the different conflicts that may arise and figure out how to interpret the new law (Example: What happens when the other person has dirty hands and refuse to high five another kid?) and document this in a book.
1) Divide the students into two groups. One group will design mazes with different things that the other group will strive to get. Let them know that the group that designs the maze set the rules of the game (this group will make it so that it will be IMPOSSIBLE to win this game and get the items from the maze). After several tries they lose. Explore with the players of the maze how do they feel not getting the things on the maze? How does it feel not being able to participate in making up the rules of the game? How does this equate to freedom and democracy? What are their responsibilities and rights in order to make the game a bit more enjoyable for everyone?
2) Students will create a storybook on what does freedom mean to them.