STUDENT ACTIVITIES (continued)
- A group of four students could present
a debate to the entire class; the debate topic would
be Resolved, PACs have the right to donate as much
money as they wish to candidates for political office.
This debate would more than likely focus on the
issue of free speech (money = speech). (If you wish
a format for this debate, please contact Maryann
Wolfe at Oakland Technical High School, 879-3050)
- Have a group of three students interview their
congressperson or senator (or their legislative
assistants located locally) to explore the impact
of the need to seek campaign contributions on candidates
and officeholders lives; it would also be important
to seek out articles on this as well so have another
group of three students perform this task. Have
these two groups report back to the entire class;
the format could be a role-play where three of the
students interview three others who take on the
role of the congressperson or senator.
- Have the entire class read articles related to
issues that are important but unresolved by our
politicians because of the influence of interest
groups ("Democlerosis," The New Democrat,
June/July 1994, pp. 7-12 and "Going To Extremes,
Losing The Center," National Journal,
June 18,1994, pp. 1394-1398. Have a class discussion
centered on why the United States does not have
national health care insurance for all its population.
- Assign to the entire class a set of pro and con
readings on whether or not campaign contributions
impact legislators decisions (excerpts from Politics
and Money by Elizabeth Drew, 1982 and "The
Campaign Reform Failure by Robert Samuelson, 1983).
Have a class discussion based on these two articles.
Then have two groups of students (3 in each group)
do research (use the Internet) to find recent articles
opposing and supporting the notion that interest
group campaign contributions impact legislative
decisions. A few examples are included here in case
you want to make this a whole-class reading assignment:
"The Capital's Indian War," Newsweek,
December 22, 1997, p. 71, Lobbies with wolves,"
U.S. News & World Report, November
10, 1997, p. 59, "How The Little Guy Gets Crunched,"
Donald Barlett and James Steele., Time,
February 7, 2000, "Health Care: Prescription
Drugs", June 4, 2001,"New Friends: The
American Medical Association, Democrats and the
Patients' Bill of Rights," The Center for Responsive
Politics, June 18, 2001 http://www.opensecrets.org/alerts/v6/alertv6_22.asp
OUSD Curriculum Unit
Democracy and Campaign Financing in the United States
Grade Level: 12th
Lesson Plan Author: