State of the Union

Teacher Page


Teacher Page
The focus of this web quest is to have students critically think about current issues that face America. These issues can include both domestic and foreign affairs. Students should become knowledgeable on the challenges that face our country. After learning about the major issues, students should begin thinking about progressive and innovative ways to help alleviate these controversial issues. Hopefully, students begin to see that it will take a combined effort within us all to eliminate the injustices in America and abroad. This web quests main goal is to provide motivation to students to become knowledgeable and contributing citizens of the world.

PA State Standards:
5.1. Principles and Documents of Government 5.1.12. GRADE 12
A. Evaluate the major arguments advanced for the necessity of government.

B. Analyze the sources, purposes and functions of law.

C. Evaluate the importance of the principles and ideals of civic life.

E. Evaluate the principles and ideals that shape the United States and compare them to documents of government.

M. Evaluate and analyze the importance of significant political speeches and writings in civic life

5.2 Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship 5.2.12. GRADE 12

A. Evaluate an individuals civic rights, responsibilities and duties in various governments.

B. Evaluate citizens’ participation in government and civic life.

C. Interpret the causes of conflict in society and analyze techniques to resolve those conflicts.

E. Analyze how participation in civic and political life leads to the attainment of individual and public goals.

F. Evaluate how individual rights may conflict with or support the common good.

G. Evaluate what makes a competent and responsible citizen.

1.2. Reading Critically in All Content Areas

A. Read and understand essential content of informational texts and documents in all academic areas.

· Differentiate fact from opinion across a variety of texts by using complete and accurate information, coherent arguments and points of view.

· Distinguish between essential and nonessential information across a variety of sources, identifying the use of proper references or authorities and propaganda techniques where present.

· Use teacher and student established criteria for making decisions and drawing conclusions.

1.6. Speaking and Listening

A. Speak using skills appropriate to formal speech situations.

· Use a variety of sentence structures to add interest to a presentation.

· Pace the presentation according to audience and purpose.

· Adjust stress, volume and inflection to provide emphasis to ideas or to influence the audience.

Technology productivity tools
  • Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.
  • Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works.
Technology research tools
  • Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.
  • Students use technology tools to process data and report results.
  • Students evaluate and select new information resources and technological innovations based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
Technology problem-solving and decision-making tools
  • Students use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions.
  • Students employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world.

I would recommend using this web quest as a culminating assessment for a senior level government class. This way, students will be able to draw upon their previous knowledge base, and then apply the information they have learned.
  • Students will be able to write a 3 page report detailing a specific issue in America.
  • Students will be able to interview a local community member to provide a personal opinion
  • Students will be able deliver an informing and persuading speech.
  • Students will be able to think critically about a particular issue by listing arguments for and against their topic.
  • Students will be able to research domestic and international issues as they relate to America.

Research minded approach
Informational and Persuading writing approaches
Computer skills
Time Required: 8-9 Class Periods 3 to 4 days for students to research and write their 3 page paper. 3 to 4 days to write and practice their State of the Union Speech. 2 days for presentations.
Technology needed: Classroom Computer lab, Access to the Internet, printer

Pictures and web links were taken from external websites. I would like to thank the creators of those websites for creating such useful web pages. They have truly enhanced the learning of my students.

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