Indicator 126.96.36.199: Explain the meaning and importance of the democratic values and principles fundamental to the government in the United States.
Explanation for Teacher: The people who came to the New World brought with them some fundamental ideas and beliefs about government. These ideas were set forth in written documents such as the English Bill of Rights and included beliefs such as limited government, sovereignty of the people and representative government. Ideas such as these formed the basis for early American political documents, such as the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
Sample Student Activity: Have students research how and why Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, including evidence of the sources he used for ideas found in the Declaration of Independence.
Indicator 188.8.131.52: Explain the importance of civic participation as a citizen of Maryland and the United States.
Explanation for Teacher: Historical examples in which individuals and groups brought about civic improvement could include the Committees of Correspondence, the struggle for women's rights, and the movements to abolish slavery. An analysis of these examples shows that when citizens want their views to be considered, they become active participants in the political process. In addition to voting there is a wide range of participatory opportunities available to people including contacting public officials, joining advocacy groups and political parties, taking part in demonstrations, and going to political meetings. This indicator does not need to be in the context of history.
Sample Student Activity: Have students research one historical example in which an individual or group brought about civic improvement (e.g. Thomas Paine, Rosa Parks), list the strategies used to bring about the change, and decide if any of these strategies might be useful in solving a problem at their school or in their community.