High school is an important time for students to learn about the workings of the United States government. Doing projects to learn more about government can help teens prepare to become voting adult members of their communities. There are many ways for teens to learn more about the Constitution, judicial system and the other branches of government.
Mock trials can be a good project for high school students who want to learn more about the workings of the judicial system. Some student volunteers can serve as jurors, another as a judge, others as attorneys and defendants. Read about the jury selection process and how a case moves through the court system before beginning. Choose a real or mock case, and help the students to move the case through their system.
To help learn the struggles of the founding fathers, high school students can work together to create a class constitution. First, read the U.S. Constitution and research some background information about how the document came to be. Choose a president and vice president from among the class. The rest of the class can be members of Congress. Students work to create laws and rules, which must be approved by Congress. The president can veto a law, but the veto can then be overturned by a two-thirds majority.
Allowing a class to debate as a project is a good way for students to express ideas and study today's government issues. Issues such as immigration, ethics in government and education are all of interest to teens. Choose a topic of interest and allow students to do research on both sides of an issue.
Role in Government
A wonderful way for high school students to understand the role of government is to participate. Students can attend city council and school board meetings to become informed on local issues, and can even work to solve an issue they feel strongly about. Teens can propose improvements to parks, help others in need in their community or provide a student voice in school affairs.