Step-by-Step Alignment – 11th Grade “Constitutional Issues” & Project Citizen

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High School

For the state CBA your students will have to study a constitutional issue and develop a reasoned position on the issue. Through the Project Citizen program, your students will select an issue and present their position on how to correct the problem through public policy in both written, display and verbal methods. By focusing the student work on areas of constitutional questions at either the state or federal levels students can satisfy the Constitutional Issues CBA requirements.

(While the EALR focuses on the federal constitution, students can satisfy the CBA when addressing state constitutional issues if they can show understanding of the federal system as it relates to state sovereignty and national supremacy)
Step-by-Step Alignment – 11th Grade “Constitutional Issues” & Project Citizen

You will develop a reasoned position on a constitutional issue by:

Through Project Citizen, students will:

Supporting the reasons for the position with accurate evidence.

In the first stage of the project, students will determine the existence of a public policy problem at the state or federal level, supporting their hypothesis with evidence collected from a variety of sources. (See step I page 9)

Making a connection between the issue and a democratic ideal or constitutional principle.

Because at the high school level, analysis at a federal or state level is necessary to satisfy the CBA, students will engage in active democracy and constitutional analysis in their selection of a specific issue. (See step II page 16)

Evaluating multiple points of view.

During the second step of Project Citizen, students will analyze alternative solutions to the public policy issue. (See step II page 16 & 28)

When completing the third stage of the project, students collect information on the selected public policy issue. The information should represent a variety of viewpoints and sources. (See step III page 17)

Explaining how court cases and/or government policies affects the rights involved in the issue.

As students explore the problem and possible solutions, they will analyze how current public policies do not successfully address the community needs. Additionally students will have to determine if there are any constitutional violations with their suggested policy. (See Constitutional Opinion Form pg 30-31)

Analyzing how individual rights can be balanced with the common good.

The Project Citizen program operates on the premise that solutions to community problems can be solved through collective action and public policy implementation. Students involved in the program work to identify public policy problems in the community and balance the needs of the individual with the benefit of the common good. (See page 9 Class Discussion)

For the CBA, your position may be presented in a variety of forms, i.e. essay, letter, journal entry, newspaper article. In the Project Citizen you will not only present your ideas in written form, but be asked to analyze information from letters, journal entries and newspaper articles.

High School Student Checklist

CBA Student Checklist:

Commentary on how the Project Citizen program helps students meet the CBA Checklist:

Essential Question

PC Step I & II

The Project Citizen program begins with students analyzing community needs and identifying Public Policy Problems. (See page 9 Step I)

Key Concepts/Vocabulary

Students through the Project Citizen program are asked to be active members of a democracy and analyze potential solutions to community needs/problems in terms of constitutionality. (See page 30 Constitutional Opinion Form)



Throughout the Project Citizen process students’ research stakeholder viewpoints, as they pertain to policy issues and potential solutions. (See page 20-21 Information from Publications; page 22 Information from letters or interviews)

Students also are required to analyze different possible solutions to the problem, taking into account stakeholder concerns and input. (See page 28 Portfolio Group Two)

Reading for Information


Students will use a variety of reading strategies as they use primary sources and other authentic materials in the research stage of their Project Citizen project. (See page 14 Printed Sources Form)

Organization & Synthesis

PC Step IV

The Project Citizen process requires students to work in teams developing a portfolio on their selected issue. In this portfolio, the students synthesis all aspects of their learning and research in order to organize their investigation and prepare for their final presentation. (See pages 24-32 Step IV: Developing a Class Portfolio)

Group Forum

A major component of the Project Citizen program is student collaboration. Teachers often conduct multiple classroom discussions in order to allow students to share progress, ideas and concerns. Through regular documentation of student involvement in these discussions and relevant contribution, teachers can use these forums to satisfy the CBA.


PC Step VI

The final stage of the Project Citizen process is an individual student reflection paper on the learning experience. Students satisfy the state requirements by writing this paper according to the guidelines in the Project Citizen handbook and including two Constitutional references. (See page 35 Guidelines)


PC Step V

Upon completion of the research and creation of the portfolio, students participate in a project presentation to members of the school and community. During the presentation, students explain how they selected their issue, researched possible solutions and developed a public policy plan. Students also have an opportunity to individually answer questions relating to the project. (See page 33-34 Step V: Presenting Your Portfolio)

There are two critical elements of satisfying the high school CBA; in keeping with independent performance and analysis, all students must show evidence of individual competence. This can be completed through independent student grading of the group forums or through the grading of the individual reflection paper. The second critical component is the inclusion of relevant constitutional references and court cases or government policy. High school students satisfying the CBA through Project Citizen should be certain to include these references in both their Group Forum discussions and their reflection papers.


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