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Civics and Economics: Units and Learning Goals

Page history last edited by Pete Scholtes 11 years, 7 months ago

Note: These learning goals may change during the school year, or during the teaching of a particular unit. The surest guide to what you'll need to know by the end of a unit is the terms list given at the beginning of a unit, the daily learning goal written on the board every day, the wiki page for each individual unit, and your study guide near the end of each unit.


(Before each goal, think: "By the end of this unit, I'll be able to...")

1st Quarter

Unit 1: American Values, Ideologies, and Political Parties (CH. 1, 2, 21 and 22)

__Describe American values.

__Analyze the preamble of the U.S. Constitution.

__Identify responsibilities of everyone in a republic and explain duties of citizenship.

__Define liberal, moderate, conservative, left-right spectrum.

__Analyze one's own political beliefs.

__Explain the origins of the two-party system.

__Analyze the influence of political parties on elections.

__Explain the role of interest groups, corporations, think tanks, the media, and public opinion on public policy.

__Evaluate various forms of political persuasion for validity, emotional appeals, ideology, bias, and prejudice.

__Describe election procedures, including the caucus system.

__Demonstrate voting skills, including registering to vote, evaluating candidates, and casting a ballot.


Unit 2:             Economics Fundamentals (Ch. 13, Ch. 15 sec. 1)

__Identify factors of production.

__Explain significance of scarcity in economics.

__Describe different allocation methods.

__Identify incentives and trade-offs for choices made by individuals, households, or governments.

__Use the PACED decision-making process (Problem, Alternative, Criteria, Evaluation, Decision) to do a benefit-cost analysis.

__Explain the Pig Principle.

__Define law of diminishing returns.

__Define opportunity cost.

__Draw production possibilities curve to explain choice, scarcity, and opportunity costs.

__Compare economics systems and their incentives: traditional, command (planned), market-based (capitalistic), and mixed.

__Draw the Circle of Economic Life: a circular flow diagram including households, firms, government, financial institutions, and international trade.

__Analyze how capital investment affects productivity and economic growth.

__Explain why people trade.

__Describe the functions and characteristics of money in an economy: as medium of exchange, measure of value, and store of value, with portability, durability, divisibility, and limited supply.



2nd Quarter

Unit 3:             Microeconomics (+ Elections Assignment) (Ch. 14)

__Define demand and value. Draw a demand curve.

__Define supply and cost. Draw a supply curve.

__Determine allocative efficiency.

__Use supply and demand curves to show how markets determine equilibrium price.

__Graph and explain how firms determine price and output through marginal cost analysis.

__Explain ways firms engage in price and nonprice competition.

__Explain the role of productivity, human capital, unions, demographics, and government policies in determining wage rates in labor markets.

__Describe how one market affects others.

__Define productivity and economies of scale. Distinguish fixed from variable costs.

__Define sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation.

__Describe the stock market.

__Define commodities (natural resources necessary to produce goods and services).

__Explain how world events and market speculation affect commodity and other prices.

__Demonstrate voting skills by locating your polling place, voting (if 18+), and voting in mock election at school.


Unit 4:           Market Failures and the Role of Government (Ch. 15, sec. 2-3; 16 sec. 1-2)

__Describe conditions of perfect competition.

__Describe the following market structures: polyopoly, oligopoly, and monopoly.

__Summarize the benefits of natural monopolies and why government regulates them.

__Explain why market failures are caused by a lack of these things: competition, resource mobility, or perfect information.

__Explain market failures having to do with: externalities, public goods, and poorly-defined or poorly-enforced property rights.

__Assess how these impact the environment.

__Describe the impact of income distribution on markets.

__Analyze the role of government in the economy, including enforcement of property rights, consumer and worker protections, ensuring competition, stabilizing the economy, providing public goods and services, regulating business, and redistributing income.

__Explain how the Federal Reserve's monetary policies (discount rates, reserve requirements, open market operations) affect output, employment, prices, and long-run inflation.

__Describe different types of financial institutions (banks, credit unions, investment firms, cooperatives) and explain their role in the economy.

__Use the Equation of exchange, MV=PQ, to show that given V (the velocity of money) is constant and Q (output) is at full employment, a percentage change in M (the money supply) will result in the same percentage change in P (the price level).

__Explain how fiscal policies (taxation, spending) affect price stability, employment, and growth. Define crowding-out.


Unit 5:             Purpose and History of U.S. Government (Ch. 4 and 5)

__Compare other nations' governments with America's.

__Identify sources of governmental authority.

__Explain foundational ideas of American government: popular sovereignty (consent of the governed), natural rights, social contract, representative democracy, federalism, and individual rights.

__Identify sources and influence of these ideas.

__Analyze the Declaration of Independence.

__Summarize the arguments over the organization and powers of the federal government between 1783 and 1800, including debates over the Articles of Confederation and Constitution.

__Describe the Great Compromise, Three-Fifths Compromise, Federalists, and Anti-Federalists.

__Define federalism.

__Explain the structure, purposes, and processes of the three levels of government (federal, state, local) and their branches (legislative, executive, judicial) as described in the Constitution.

__Explain the importance of an independent judiciary, judicial review, and the rule of law.

__Distinguish federal powers from those retained by the people and the states, and give examples of all three.

__Define implied powers, separation of powers, and checks and balances.


3rd Quarter

Unit 6:             The Bill of Rights (Ch. 6 and 7)

__Explain the influence of the Federalist-Anti-Federalist debate on the Bill of Rights.

__Identify principles of the Constitution that limit the power of the government, such as rule of law, individual rights, and consent of the governed.

__Analyze the Bill of Rights.

__Compare it with rights in the Minnesota Constitution.

__Explain scope and limits of rights protected by the First and Second Amendments, and how they've evolved through legislation and the courts.

__Explain the evolving scope and limits of the rights of the accused under the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments.

__Describe the evolving rights of due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.

__Analyze significant Supreme Court cases interpreting the Bill of Rights, including decisions relating to integration, busing, affirmative action, the rights of the accused, and reproductive rights.

__Explain how the U.S. Constitution can be changed.


Unit 7:             Freedom Movements (Ch. 23 and 26)

__Describe origins of rock and roll, punk, and hip hop.

__Describe how these movements tested American freedoms and challenged social rules.

__Describe legacy of the civil rights movement in other social movements.

__Define civil disobedience.

__Describe tension between individual rights and majority rule, diversity and unity.

__Explain how tribal sovereignty establishes a unique relationship between American Indian Nations and the U.S. government.

__Identify changes over time in federal American Indian policy toward sovereignty, land ownership, citizenship, education, and religious freedom.

__Examine a public policy issue by defining the problem, developing alternative courses of action, evaluating the consequences of each alternative, selecting a course of action, and designing a plan to implement the action and resolve the problem.

__Analyze a question by retrieving evidence from various sources, and use the evidence to support your argument.


Unit 8:             Federal, State, and local Governments (Ch. 11 and 12)

__Define federalism, and give examples of the powers granted and denied to states and the national government under the Constitution.

__Explain powers of the State of Minnesota as defined in its Constitution, and its relationship with federal government.

__Define the following civic tools: initiative, referendum, and recall.

__Explain the powers and operations of local (county, city, school board, township) government in Minnesota.

__Compare budgets of the federal, Minnesota, and local governments, describing sources of revenue and categories of spending for each.

__Plan an imaginary city by creating a budget and land-use map, describing revenue sources, services, and city government structure.


4th Quarter

Unit 9:             American Legal System (Ch. 18, 19, and 20)

__Describe the purposes of laws.

__Analyze the structures, functions, and processes of the judicial branch as described in the U.S. Constitution.

__Compare the role of judges on the state and federal level with other elected officials.

__Analyze the responsibility of courts at different levels, and relationships between those levels.

__Describe the types (civil, criminal, juvenile) and sources (case, statutory, administrative, executive) of laws and rules.

__Simulate the judicial decision-making process in interpreting law at the state and federal level.

__Describe the legal meaning of citizenship in the United States.

__Describe U.S. immigration policies and processes.

__Analyze significant U.S. Supreme Court cases, and evaluate the impact of at least two high court decisions on the United States economy.


Unit 10:           Macroeconomics and U.S. Foreign Policy (Ch. 16, sec. 3; Ch. 24 and 25)

__Draw the Circle of Economic Life: a circular flow diagram including households, firms, government, financial institutions, product markets, and international trade.

__Describe factors that can lead to changes in short-run total spending (by households, businesses, governments and foreigners) and changes in short-run output.

__Explain why economists disagree due to differing time periods, assumptions, theories, and values.

__Explain economic growth using a production possibility curve.

__Define the four phases of the business cycle: peak, contraction (recession, depression).

trough, expansion (recovery, inflation).

__Analyze macroeconomic indicators, including Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Gross Domestic Product per capita, Real Gross Domestic Product, unemployment rates, real versus nominal inflation on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and the stock market.

__Identify macroeconomic goals: full employment, price stability, growth.

__Compare causes and types of unemployment, including: cyclical, structural, frictional, seasonal unemployment, as well as underemployment, discouraged job-seekers, outsourcing, and off-shoring.

__Explain aggregate supply and demand, and how they affect output, employment, and the price level.

__Analyze fiscal policies (taxation, spending) and their affect on price stability, employment, growth, budget deficits, and the national debt. Explain why government spending is different from household spending.

__Define different types of taxes: direct, indirect, progressive, regressive, proportional.

__Explain how the Federal Reserve's monetary policies (discount rates, reserve requirements, open market operations) affect output, employment, prices, and long-run inflation.

__Explain the impact of inflation on world economies, and the problems that occur when government institutes wage and price controls.

__Explain fiscal and monetary policies from both conservative and liberal perspectives, using Keynesian and Classical economic theories.

__Explain how demand and supply of currencies determines exchange rates and affects trade.

__Apply the principles of absolute and comparative advantage to explain the increase in world production due to specialization and trade.

__Identify groups that benefit and lose with free-trade treaties, trading blocs, and trade barriers. Explain growing divergence of income between high-income and low-income nations.

__Decide where in the world you would build a factory, taking into account stability, growth, and education levels.

__Describe how businesses, interest groups, think tanks, the media, and public opinion influence U.S. foreign policy.

__Analyze the effects of U.S foreign policy on other nations, including trade, military, human rights, environmental, and diplomatic policy.

__Explain the role of human rights and international law in world affairs.

__Identify the United Nations, World Court, Arab League, African Union, European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organization of American States, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization.


Unit 11:           Personal Finance (Ch. 17)

__Explain importance of establishing long-term and short-term financial goals.

__Analyze career choices, education, skills, and economic conditions affecting earnings potential. Compare career options, including entrepreneurial activities using available resources (Internet, guest speaker, job shadowing).

__Create a one-year financial plan, budgeting expenses and planning asset-building to meet those goals, with a credit plan for purchasing a major item. Determine ways to track the success of that plan.

__Describe the "three C's" of credit (character, capacity and collateral) and explain how these attributes can affect the ability to borrow, rent, get a job, and achieve other financial goals.

__Explain factors that affect credit worthiness: credit score and credit report, debt management (credit counseling, debt consolidation, bankruptcy), credit protection laws, identity protection (identity theft, phishing, scams).

__Evaluate costs and benefits of different kinds of credit. Examine interest rates, fees and penalties, rewards on various loans (home, car, education, personal loans) and credit cards.

__Explain pricing, sales, advertising, and other marketing strategies used to sell products.

__Identify reasons for saving and investing (education, emergency, down payment, retirement). Explain Rule of 72, time value of money, 70/20/10 rule, compound interest, simple interest.

__Compare methods of saving and investing (certificates of deposit, interest-bearing savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, pension plans, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, annuities) using criteria such as risk, return, liquidity, and time horizon.

__ Apply risk management strategies such as diversification to investment and insurance. Evaluate insurance as a risk management strategy to protect against financial loss

(auto, health, life, homeowners, renters, disability, liability).


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