Individuals Influence Public Policy

In this lesson, students are presented with a controversial school policy and given two viewpoints on the issue. They are then divided into groups, and asked to provide reasons for and against the policy. After deciding whether the policy should be changed or not, the students are asked to reflect on why policies might change and what factors influence policy decisions.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 5

Introducing Policy Analysis

Students examine case studies of real-life problems and issues being addressed through public policy and evaluate whether or not policies are effective. Students learn about the specific roles that public policy plays in addressing social problems and issues.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Local Politics: The Need for Compromise

This lesson examines the process of local decision making and its need for citizen input and compromise. Students simulate a local city/county council session and advise the council on public policy. Students are asked to consider the viewpoints of different citizen groups in order to reach a compromise that will benefit the entire community. This lesson can be used with a unit on local politics and can be adapted to reflect issues of compromise in your school or community.

  • Resource Type: Simulation
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Equity in Public Education Funding

This lesson will explore the question of equity in funding public education for K-12 students. It will provide a historical context for public education in America: how equality of education has been understood and the ways in which states have been permitted to fund it. In addition, it will introduce the idea of public policy—what it is and how to assess its costs and benefits.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Policymaking in the Three Branches of Government

This lesson introduces students to executive, legislative, and judicial policymaking and to policy evaluation. First, students discuss how policy can be made by each of the branches. Then they read about and discuss how the Chicago City Council passed a controversial ordinance to suppress gang activity and how each branch of government was involved in the policy. Finally, students are introduced to a policy-analysis rubric. Lesson 5 in Civic Action Project.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Public Demonstrations: Should our democracy have the power to prohibit unauthorized public demonstrations?

This lesson provides students with background information and arguments for and against allowing the government to prohibit unauthorized public demonstrations. Students are encouraged to deliberate the issue and come to their own conclusions based on evidence and reason.

  • Resource Type: ESL Appropriate, ESL Materials, Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Expanding Legalized Gambling to Fully Fund Education in Illinois

This lesson will explore whether expanding legalized gambling is a good way to fund public education for K-12 students in Illinois. In addition, it will introduce the idea of public policy—what it is and how to assess its costs and benefits.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Illinois Youth Summit Curriculum – 2008

E Pluribus Unum is designed to help students explore, discuss, and take a position on the Illinois Youth Summit issues. The curriculum features models for deliberating issues. It introduces public policy–-how government responds to problems and gets things done—and offers ways for you to assess a policy’s effect and effectiveness.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11

Illinois Youth Summit Curriculum – 2009

Promoting the General Welfare is designed to help students explore, discuss, and take a position on the Illinois Youth Summit issues. The curriculum features models for deliberating issues. It introduces public policy–-how government responds to problems and gets things done—and offers ways for you to assess a policy’s effect and effectiveness.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Illinois Youth Summit Curriculum – 2011

The 2011 Illinois Youth Summit Resource Guide is designed to help students explore, discuss, and take a position on the Illinois Youth Summit issues. The curriculum features models for deliberating issues. It introduces public policy–how government responds to problems and gets things done—and offers ways for you to assess a policy’s effect and effectiveness.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12