Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Living In A Different America

We are trying to get students to think about the similarities and differences between the various forms of government.  If we can accomplish this, then maybe they'll have a better understanding of the governments themselves.

So, what did we ask?

How would America be different if it were a dictatorship?

How would America be different if it were an oligarchy?

How would America be different if it were a direct democracy?

Students were allowed to use their charts from yesterday (see below) if they desired.

It's interesting because I remember hearing (during the Bush administration) that President Bush was a dictator.  People had their reasons for throwing this accusation around, of course.

And I've heard it said more recently that President Obama is a dictator.  ...And people have their reasons for throwing this accusation around.

I'm not going to get into all the ins and outs of why people say this - but I believe it boils down to this: the president of The United States wields tremendous power.

That said, America is not a dictatorship.  A while back we had a guest speaker come in who was unjustly imprisoned by a dictator.  (Charge?  Writing for a newspaper.  Sentence?  Three years in prison, including being tortured...  If I remember correctly, he wrote for the Sports section...)

We were talking then about how people throw around the term dictator, and he just shook his head.  He came in and talked to the class about the differences between his home country and our country.  There are many.

After the students finished writing their bellwork answers, (they also had to explain limited and unlimited governments, as well as rule of law), he had them write a story or draw a picture showing how America would be different if it were a dictatorship.  We're interested to see how they turn out.

If you want extra credit for reading and discussing the blog, write one thing that might be different about America if it was a dictatorship.  Then, have the adult you read and discussed the blog with sign the paper.

Turn it in tomorrow.

Here's the chart again, if you want some help:

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