1. Have students work in small groups to create a Venn diagram
Give each group a sheet of butcher paper and marker.
b) Students will brainstorm to list: National Powers,
Shared Powers, and State Powers on the Venn diagram.
For each section
of the diagram students will brainstorm and list all of the
powers that they can think of. They should also include at
least one specific example for each category. For example:
the Iraq War could be an example listed in the National Power
c) Have a class discussion where the groups share their Venn
d) Have the class discuss the pros and cons of a Federal
system of government.
List the students’ responses on the board.
Have students debate the following question by having
them voice their
opinion through a continuum:
The national government is too big and has too much control
over the states.
Students who agree should go to one side of the room- those
who disagree will go to the other side of the room and
those who are undecided go to the middle. Ask students
their opinions. The objective is to try and sway those
students in the middle to join their side.
Hand out the article; “The Plain English Guide
to the Clean Air Act” and tell students they are
going to look at an example of a law that is enacted
by both the Federal and State governments.
Students should do the following task as they read:
a) Create a “T” chart with two headings:
National Government and State Government.
b) As you read, write the specific duty described in
the article below the appropriate heading.
c) Below the chart write four questions that would
most likely appear on a permit.
Have a class discussion where students share the information on their charts.
1. Discuss: Why does the national government have the power to set the air quality
standards in all of the states? What powers do the states have in setting their
own air quality standards?
2. What are the pros and cons of having the national government determining the
regulations for states? For example, air and water quality and educational standards
(No Child Left Behind Act).