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POLITICS AND RELIGION: Targeting Faith When It Counts
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students


In this lesson, students will discuss the role of religion in politics in light of the upcoming 2004 election. After investigating how the Democrat and Republican parties use religion as part of their political platform, students will examine different religious voting blocks -- in particular Catholic, Muslim and Hispanic -- and how religion informs election day decisions.

Grade Level:
Grades 9-12

Time Allotment:
Four, 50 minute class sessions

Subject Matter:
Social Studies, Civics

Learning Objectives



Students will be able to:

  • Develop their research skills.
  • Better understand the U.S. presidential election process.
  • Engage in teamwork with classmates.
  • Discuss and debate current issues in American politics and religion.
  • Gain better knowledge of the current election and the issues driving it.

Standards:

MCREL SOCIAL STUDIES, Level 4, Standard 3
http://www.mcrel.org/compendium/
Benchmark.asp?SubjectID=5&StandardID=31

Understands how the rise of religious groups and movements influenced political issues in contemporary American society (e.g., the position of major religious groups on such issues as abortion, gay rights, women in the clergy, and educational issues; the causes and significance of religious evangelism and its effect on American political and religious culture in the 1980s; how Supreme Court decisions since 1968 have affected the meaning and practice of religious freedom).

MCREL CIVICS, Level 4, Standard 1
http://www.mcrel.org/compendium/
Benchmark.asp?SubjectID=14&StandardID=11

Knows how the racial, religious, socioeconomic, regional, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of American society has influenced American politics through time.

MCREL CIVICS, Level 4, Standard 3
http://www.mcrel.org/compendium/
Benchmark.asp?SubjectID=14&StandardID=19

Understands the influence that public opinion has on public policy and the behavior of public officials.

NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR CIVICS AND GOVERNMENT, 9-12 Standards, Standard II
http://www.civiced.org/912erica.htm#12
The role of organized groups in political life -- Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on the contemporary role of organized groups in American social and political life.
Diversity in American society -- Students should be able to evaluate, take and defend positions on issues regarding diversity in American life.
Associations and groups -- Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions about the contemporary roles of associations and groups in American politics.

This lesson was prepared by: Michael Flaherty