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***COMMUNICATOR UPDATE: October 2002***

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  • Cindy Koeppel
    COMMUNICATOR UPDATE: October 2002 Welcome to The Dirksen Congressional Center s Communicator - a web-based e-newsletter providing educators with news and
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 17, 2002
      COMMUNICATOR UPDATE: October 2002

      Welcome to The Dirksen Congressional Center's "Communicator" - a
      web-based e-newsletter providing educators with news and ideas to
      enhance civic education and improve the understanding of Congress --


      <<<Professional Development Opportunity>>>

      Do you have a lesson plan idea? The Dirksen Center currently offers a
      library of lesson plans posted on CongressLink --
      http://www.congresslink.org/LessonPlanIntro.htm -- and is seeking new
      lessons to publish and expand its library. The Dirksen Center will pay
      between $100 and $350 to teachers who submit approved lesson plans using
      CongressLink resources and features and who follow a few guidelines.

      Example: Suppose we want to post a lesson plan that teaches about
      federalism or a type of government in which the power is divided between
      the national government and other governmental units using CongressLink
      resources and features. The learning objectives or skills could
      include: (1) students will consider how the national government should
      relate to the states, (2) students will explore the role played by
      different branches of government in shaping that relationship, and (3)
      students will understand the political implications of changes in the
      federal structure.

      While the Constitution addresses only the relationship between the
      federal government and the states, the American people are under
      multiple jurisdictions. Students could make conscious value judgments
      based on clearly defined criteria about these multiple jurisdictions.

      As an example, take a look at this CongressLink lesson plan - "Checks
      and Balances: The Line Item Veto" --
      http://www.congresslink.org/lessonplans/lineitem.html. In this lesson,
      students cite evidence from primary sources, constructing a position on
      the Line-Item Veto Amendment. While writing a persuasive letter to
      their Congress Member, demonstrating their knowledge, understanding, and
      mastery of the concepts of checks and balances, students will refer to
      facts and frequently asked questions such as "Do any forms of government
      in Federalism use the line-item veto?" --

      If you are interested in creating a lesson that teaches about federalism
      or have other lesson plan ideas, contact Frank Mackaman at:


      It is a citizen's responsibility in a democratic society to vote in
      elections. Large numbers of Americans were denied this right for many
      years. If you are looking for resources that will help your students
      track the expansion of voting rights in America, you will want to visit
      The Dirksen Center's Web suite --

      The Constitution -- http://www.congresslink.org/resourc.html --
      specifies responsibility for setting residency requirements and other
      qualifications for voting to the states. In the late 18th century, for
      example, some states limited the right to vote to white male property
      owners - poor white men, women, and slaves were excluded.

      Amending the Constitution would be one way to change suffrage
      requirements. How does one go about doing that? A CongressLink lesson
      plan - "Amending the Constitution" --
      http://www.congresslink.org/lessonplans/amends.html -- will give you
      good ideas.

      In the late 19th century, such leaders as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth
      Cady Stanton started the long campaign for women's suffrage which
      culminated in the 19th Amendment (1920). Find "Charters of Freedom" on
      AboutGovernment at: http://www.aboutgovernment.org/electionsvoting.htm.

      The Women's Suffrage Movement highlighted a time in America when women
      spoke up and demanded the right to vote. Test your knowledge about the
      suffrage movement era from 1848 to 1928 by taking one of three different
      online multiple-choice quizzes. Find "Suffrage Movement and the
      Amendments" at:

      The Civil Rights Act of 1964 completed another chapter in the struggle
      to guarantee the right to vote to all citizens. For a summary, see "A
      Case History: The 1964 Civil Rights Action - Historical Pressure for
      Legislative Action at:

      Senator Robert Byrd, the unofficial historian of the Senate, described
      the tactics used in the unsuccessful filibuster against the Civil Rights
      Act of 1964, an effort to restrict the right to vote for minorities --

      The Voting Rights Act of 1965 took further steps. Read a brief overview
      of the circumstances leading to the passage of the act, including links
      to historical documents found in Everett Dirksen's Papers at:

      <<<Featured Project>>>

      The right to vote is the right to determine who governs. In Everett
      Dirksen's day, voter registration requirements made it difficult, if not
      impossible, for some people to vote. Our featured project this month is
      Everett Dirksen's "The Problem of Voting Rights VFI-65/3/15-1" --
      http://www.dirksencenter.org/recordings/videoembed-5b.htm. This video
      segment features Dirksen discussing the importance of ensuring the right
      to vote. QuickTime is required to view the video segment. If you do
      not have QuickTime installed, open the appropriate self-extracting
      installer file from the link provided --
      http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download -- and follow that program's
      instructions. Download time could take approximately 5-10 minutes for
      the video segment, depending on the speed of individual computers.

      <<<Voting Venture: Have a Voice, Have a Say, Choose an Answer>>>

      1. Which obstacle to voting was outlawed by constitutional amendment?

      A) Poll taxes
      B) Literacy taxes
      C) Residency requirements
      D) Good character tests
      E) Grandfather clauses
      F) Candidates who are not worth voting for anyway

      2. The United States has slowly expanded the _____ (another term for
      "vote") to include African Americans, women, Native Americans, and
      adults under age 21.

      A) Referendum
      B) Split ticket
      C) Suffrage or franchise
      D) Open elections

      Possible Essay Question:

      In the 1820s, America is often referred to as an age of mass democracy.
      Why? Is universal manhood suffrage better than having property
      qualifications for voters? State your best case for property
      qualifications. Have you considered other qualifications such as age,
      literacy, citizenship, and residency? Do you believe that everyone
      should have the right to vote (e.g., convicts, drug dealers)? Why?

      Answers to September's issue of "Fun, Facts, and Trivia" link here:

      Hope you are enjoying the fall weather! Encourage your colleagues to
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