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Civic Education: Resource Hub: Why Bother to Vote?

Resource hub for faculty participating in the Teagle Foundation American Civic Life Infusion Initiative

Module Objectives

Module Focus:

Tensions between Federal and State Governments and how your vote can make the difference.

I noticed that most of my students felt apathetic toward the topic of government, but when we first began to talk about it, they revealed that their idea of government is, in fact, their experience of politics. They are tired of politicians and so believe government is useless. In order to get them on board, I found I had to take them all the way back to the necessity of government at the founding of the country and then walk them up to the point of the importance of their participating in voting.

This unit will cover 5 weeks of instruction.

  • Use pre-reading strategies to facilitate understanding of texts.
  • Read actively and critically, and effectively use textual annotation.
  • Identify and deconstruct abstract ideas found in complex academic texts.
  • Formulate and explain valid inferences based on information from texts.
  • Write and evaluate arguments for validity and credibility.
  • Synthesize ideas and information from multiple sources and varying points of view.
  • Write well-organized, unified, coherent essays with a clear, purposeful thesis statement.
  • Support ideas with adequate and varied evidence.
  • Tailor language to address a specific audience.
  • Detect and correct major grammatical and mechanical errors.

Essential Questions:

  • How and why was Congress formed with a House of Representatives and a Senate?
  • What are the benefits and tensions caused by having separate state governments as well as a federal government?
  • Why is it important that every American stay involved in the process of government, as described in the Constitution of the United States, in order to protect Americans from corruption and tyranny?


Unit Created by Nancy Murray

Please contact Jamie Witman, Online Learning Librarian, for help locating resources for your unit.

The library also offers instruction sessions that are fully customizable for online and face-to-face instruction:

Week 1 Resources (Days 1 & 2)

Day 2 Homework - Step 1: Watch "Who Rules?"

Week 2 Resources (Days 3 & 4)

Day 3 Lab - Pre-Reading: Founding documents of the United States

Week 3 Resources (Days 5 & 6)

Day 5 - Watch video of Hamilton Cast performing "My Shot"

Day 5 - Homework: Read and Annotate "Our Government - The Constitution" from the White House

Day 6 - Lab: Read the following article:

Week 4 Resources (7 & 8)

Day 7 Lab - Step 1: Watch "History of Women's Movement"

Day 7 Lab - Step 2: Review "History of Voting" Handout

Day 8 Class - Step 1: Examine the chart on Checks and Balances


Day 8 Lab - Step 3: Review History of Marijuana on the Ballot Box

Week 5 Resources (Days 9 & 10)

Day 9 Lab - Step 2: Identify Congressional district, Senators, and Representatives

Day 10 Class & Lab - Step 1: Identify a bill that interests or concerns you which is currently in some stage of the process of becoming a law

Day 10 Class & Lab - Step 2: Learn more about the bill

  • Click on the bill and identify who sponsored the law and what its status is.
  • Learn what you can about it.  There are tabs on the top of the website that help you break it down. They are labeled (review them before starting to write):             
  • Identify where the bill is in the process. For example:  passed the House and on the way to Senate; Introduced (1st step), etc.

Library Resources

Check each week's box for library databases, help, and more.

For help with MLA Citations see our library guide:

Students can request a Research Assistance Program Appointment with a Librarian or ask the Librarian at the desk any time for help with research or citations!

More Databases: