About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the U.S. Political Culture, Opinion and Behavior chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
|Monday||American political culture|
|Definition of political culture, characteristics of political culture in the U.S.; Overview of how public opinion is formed, its impact on the political process|
|Tuesday|| Measurement of public opinion|
Americans' view of the political system
|Overview of opinion polling, its drawbacks, influence on the political system;|
Beliefs about liberty, democracy, equality, individual responsibility and civic duties
|Wednesday||Political socialization||Factors that influence how Americans develop their political values and belief systems|
U.S. political participation
| Why people don't vote, rational choice theory, paradox of participation voting;|
What impacts voter turnout in America, how it compares to other democratic nations
|Friday||Other forms of political participation||Alternative means of participating in the political process, such as contacting government leaders|
1. What is American Political Culture?
The American political culture is a system of shared political traditions, customs, beliefs and values. This lesson discusses the characteristics of America's political culture and the factors that help shape it.
2. What is Public Opinion?
Public opinion is an expression of the general population's thoughts on a particular political issue. This lesson discusses the concept of public opinion and explores influences on public opinion.
3. The Measurement of Public Opinion
Public opinion is an expression of the general population's thoughts on a particular political issue. This lesson discusses the measurement of public opinion, including the development and use of opinion polling.
4. Frames of Reference: How America Views the Political System
Americans use a unique frame of reference to perceive and evaluate our political system. This lesson explores five common beliefs Americans hold about the American political system.
5. What is Political Socialization?
Political socialization is the process by which people form their ideas about politics. This lesson explains political socialization and discusses the means through which Americans form their political values.
6. Voting: Costs and Benefits
In a country as large as the United States, it's highly unlikely that one person's vote will decide the outcome of a presidential election. Does this mean the costs of voting outweigh the benefits? This lesson explores this question.
7. Political Participation in the United States: Influences & Voter Turnout
Despite an increase in the number of eligible voters, political participation in the United States seems to be on the decline. This lesson discusses influences on political participation and voter turnout.
8. Alternative Forms of Political Participation: Role & Types
Americans participate in government by voting, but they also participate in many other ways. This lesson discusses the role alternative forms of political participation play in our political involvement.
9. What Is the Patriot Act? - Definition, Summary, Pros & Cons
Learn about the U.S. Patriot Act in this lesson. Review a summary of the Patriot Act and the key components of the law. Examine the pros and cons of the act to gain a thorough understanding of the law.
10. Gerrymandering: Definition, History, Types & Examples
Gerrymandering is the process of drawing congressional districts in a way that favors one political party or interest group. In this lesson, we'll consider examples of gerrymandering, some typical strategies, and gerrymandering's effect on elections.
11. Types of Ideologies Along The Political Spectrum
There are several different ideologies represented along the political spectrum. Political ideologies range from the extreme left-wing to the extreme right-wing. This lesson explains five political ideologies.
12. What are Political Cartoons? - History & Analysis
Political cartoons have a rich history that is as interesting as the cartoons are visually entertaining. In this lesson, you'll learn how political cartoons have shaped our past and continue to shape our society today, and how to analyze their messages.
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Other chapters within the American Government Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course
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- Federalism in the United States Lesson Plans
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