State Class Homework

Note: Students attending a class in a state other than their own need to do the homework for the state where they are attending, not the state where they live. For example, if a student is from Idaho but is attending the Washington class, they need to do the homework for Washington.

Note: Students attending a class in Nebraska should complete the homework packets found here. DO NOT complete the homework below if you are signing up for a Nebraska class.


Four Day Class

First-time students

Download a complete 4 Day First Time Students Homework Packet.

Note: Students attending a class in a state other than their own need to do the homework for the state where they are attending, not the state where they live. For example, if a student is from Idaho but is attending the Washington class, they need to do the homework for Washington.

Note: Students attending a class in Nebraska should complete the homework packets found here. DO NOT complete the homework below if you are signing up for a Nebraska class.


1

Read Tim Echols’ book, Real Citizenship.

You can purchase a paper-back copy of the book online during the registration process or at the TeenPact Online Store. Call the TeenPact office for more information.

Tip: Try breaking it up into 4 or 5 sections and setting aside an hour each day for a week.


2

Send a letter to your state representative and state senator, thanking them for serving and telling them about one issue/idea you think is important in your state.

  • We recommend that you spell-check and grammar-check your letter.
  • Remember to be respectful and to address them with their proper titles.
  • Mail them (no emails please) at least 2 weeks before the class to ensure they arrive in time.
  • Bring one copy of each letter to turn in.
  • Remember to pray for your senator and representative by name.
  • Purpose: to experience how easy it is to communicate to your governmental leaders and to participate in the process of making your opinions known.

Tip: Try asking questions about their personal beliefs on specific issues or why they wanted to become involved with the political arena.

Tip: Remember to write your state senator and state representative, not federal.


3

Define the terms and thoroughly answer the questions on the Pre Class Vocabulary List.

  • Bring one copy of your work to turn in. All students, first-time and alumni, will be responsible for this information on the first quiz.
  • Purpose: to be prepared for in-class discussions.

Tip: Check multiple dictionaries to better understand any terms that you’re confused about. Think about how you have understood the term or heard it used and how that may differ from the dictionary.

Tip: Use complete sentences when defining each term.


4

Write a one-page bill on an issue important to you and relevant to your state. Please choose a serious topic for the first bill; you may write a second bill with a funny topic if you choose. (Our Sample Bill shows a format to use.)

  • Bring three copies of your bill: one copy to turn in, one for the committee, and one to keep for your own use during the class.
  • Include at least three sections in your bill: a purpose, a section explaining the bill’s goal and plan of action, and a section listing when the bill will become law. Check the Sample Bill to make sure that your format is correct.
  • Please choose topics that are appropriate for the age and environment of the class.
  • Purpose: to be presented before the TeenPact Legislature.

Tip: Think outside the box about issues that will spark conversation between you and your peers. Be respectful and age appropriate.


5

Complete the State Political Fact Sheet using resources on the Internet and in your local library.

  • You may have to use several sources to get this information:Type http://www.state.xx.us (insert your state’s abbreviation in place of xx) to log onto your state’s official web site. (Project Vote Smart also has information on your elected officials).
  • If you are completing the homework before January 1 it is possible that some government seats may have changed because of recent elections. It is better to wait and complete the Fact Sheet after you are sure that all elections are over and the current officials are serving in their respective roles.
  • Bring two copies of your Fact Sheet: one copy to turn in and one to keep as a reference during the class. You will be responsible for this information on the first quiz.
  • Purpose: to be informed regarding the current leaders and political trends in your state.

Tip: Remember to complete the fact sheet according to your STATE government information, not federal.

Tip: Don’t be intimidated– all this project takes is a little patience! Make sure that all of your information is up to date.


6

Memorize 1 Timothy 2:1-3 and Romans 13:1-2 using a Bible translation of your own choice.

  • Be prepared to write them from memory when you come to class.
  • Purpose: to begin the process of developing a biblical worldview on government and citizenship.

Tip: Find creative ways to memorize these verses. Start early and practice often.


7

Read or watch your governor’s most recent State of the State Address.

  • You can usually find the speech on your governor’s web site under “Press Releases” or “Speeches.” In some cases you may have to call the governor’s office and ask how to get a copy. If your governor was recently elected or hasn’t given an address yet, use the last Address available.
  • Create a list of the issues (at least 3 or more) addressed by the governor in his or her speech.
  • Bring two copies of this list: one copy to turn in and one to keep as a reference during the class.
  • Purpose: to know the current issues in your state, as defined by your current governor.

Tip: Keep these questions in mind while you read – How does this affect your state? What does this tell you about your governor’s priorities? What key issues didn’t they address?


8

Complete the Bill Analysis Worksheet.

  • Find and browse the list of legislation from your STATE legislature’s web site and print a bill of interest to you.
  • Analyze this bill using the worksheet given. (Bill Analysis)
  • Bring a copy of your bill analysis to turn in.
  • Purpose: to develop critical thinking skills regarding current issues and legislation.
    *Worksheet compiled from David Barton’s article “Analyzing Legislation”.

Tip: Thoroughly answer every question on the worksheet. If a question is not relevant to the bill that you chose, explain why it does not apply.


9

Constitutional Analysis

Read the first 5 Articles of the United States Constitution, as well as the first 10 Amendments (the Bill of Rights). Choose three of the first Ten Amendments and write a paragraph answering the following questions about each:

  • What right(s) does this secure?
  • How does this amendment provide checks and balances for federal government?
  • How would you interpret the purpose of this amendment?
  • Bring a copy of your constitutional analysis to turn in.
  • Purpose: to better understand the Constitution.

Tip: Have a dictionary on hand to look up words or terms that you don’t understand.

Please make sure that you show your parents your homework before turning it in. Student assignments not completed will impact a student’s final score in the class.

Alumni students

Download a complete 4 Day Alumni Students Homework Packet.

Note: Students attending a class in a state other than their own need to do the homework for the state where they are attending, not the state where they live. For example, if a student is from Idaho but is attending the Washington class, they need to do the homework for Washington.

Note: Students attending a class in Nebraska should complete the homework packets found here. DO NOT complete the homework below if you are signing up for a Nebraska class.


PART 1: General Preparation


1

Send a letter to your state representative and state senator, thanking them for serving and telling them about one issue/idea you think is important in your state.

  • We recommend that you spell-check and grammar-check your letter.
  • Remember to be respectful and to address them with their proper titles.
  • Mail them (no emails please) at least 2 weeks before the class to ensure they arrive in time.
  • Bring one copy of each letter to turn in.
  • Remember to pray for your senator and representative by name.
  • Purpose: to experience how easy it is to communicate to your governmental leaders and to participate in the process of making your opinions known.

Tip: Try asking questions about their personal beliefs on specific issues or why they wanted to become involved with the political arena.
Tip: Remember to write your STATE senator and STATE representative, not federal.


2

Review the vocabulary and questions from the Pre Class Vocabulary List

  • All students, first-timers and alumni, will be responsible for this information on the first quiz. Alumni are not required to turn in the vocabulary and definitions.
  • Purpose: to be prepared for in-class discussions

3

Write a one-page bill on an issue important to you and relevant to your state. Please choose a serious topic for the first bill; you may write a second bill with a funny topic if you choose. (Our Sample Bill shows a format to use.)

  • Bring three copies of your bill: one copy to turn in, one for the committee, and one to keep for your own use during the class.
  • Include at least three sections in your bill: a purpose, a section explaining the bill’s goal and plan of action, and a section listing when the bill will become law. Check the Sample Bill to make sure that your format is correct.
  • Please choose topics that are appropriate for the age and environment of the class.
  • Purpose: to be presented before the TeenPact Legislature.

Tip: Think outside the box about issues that will spark conversation between you and your peers. Be respectful and age appropriate.


4

Complete the State Political Fact Sheet using resources on the Internet and in your local library.

  • You may have to use several sources to get this information:Type http://www.state.xx.us (insert your state’s abbreviation in place of xx) to log onto your state’s official web site. (Project Vote Smart also has information on your elected officials).
  • If you are completing the homework before January 1 it is possible that some government seats may have changed because of recent elections. It is better to wait and complete the Fact Sheet after you are sure that all elections are over and the current officials are serving in their respective roles.
  • Bring two copies of your Fact Sheet: one copy to turn in and one to keep as a reference during the class. You will be responsible for this information on the first quiz.
  • Purpose: to be informed regarding the current leaders and political trends in your state.

Tip: Remember to complete the fact sheet according to your STATE government information, not federal.

Tip: Don’t be intimidated– all this project takes is a little patience! Make sure that all of your information is up to date.


5

Read or watch your governor’s most recent State of the State Address.

  • You can usually find the speech on your governor’s web site under “Press Releases” or “Speeches”. In some cases you may have to call the governor’s office and ask how to get a copy. If your governor was recently elected or hasn’t given an address yet, use the last Address available.
  • Create a list of the issues addressed (at least 3 or more) by the governor in his or her speech.
  • Bring two copies of this list: one copy to turn in and one to keep as a reference during the class.
  • Purpose: to know the current issues in your state, as defined by your current governor.

Tip: Keep these questions in mind while you read – How does this affect your state? What does this tell you about your governors priorities? What key issues didn’t they address?


6

Constitutional Analysis

Read the first 5 Articles of the United States Constitution, as well as the first 10 Amendments (the Bill of Rights). Consider as you read:

  • What right(s) does this secure?
  • How does this amendment provide checks and balances for federal government?
  • How would you interpret the purpose of this amendment?
  • All students, first-timers and alumni, will be responsible for this information. Alumni are not required to turn in any work from this assignment.
  • Purpose: to better understand the Constitution.

Tip: Have a dictionary on hand to look up words or terms that you don’t understand.


PART 2: Alumni Track Preparation


7

Research the history of United States’ military intervention in the foreign disputes and conflicts listed below and how United States’ interventionism has impacted the modern world.

  • Rwandan Genocide – 1994
  • Iraq war – 2003-2011/present
  • Bay of Pigs – 1961
  • Spread of ISIS in Syria and Iraq – 2013-Present
  • US Involvement in Iran-Iraq War – 1982-1990

Why is this important?

Escalating conflict around the globe has placed the United States in the difficult position of deciding when, how and where to be involved in foreign wars and revolts. Humanitarian and military crises continue to draw worldwide attention as extremists continue to escalate conflict on innocent lives. As wars and conflicts rage in the Middle East, Africa and Russia and tensions remain high in many other countries, the role of the United States in policing these matters has come to the forefront of the national debate on foreign policy.

History provides many examples of circumstances that could seemingly justify United States intervention in international conflicts. In places like Darfur and Rwanda, could the ethnic cleansing and genocide that occurred have been prevented by more decisive action by the United States? In the Iraq war, preemptive action was used as justification for invasion. In essence, we must stop them before they attack us! In circumstances like the Bay of Pigs or the United States involvement during the Iran-Iraq war, political and economic interests were primary reasons for intervention. But what really is the role of government in such situations? Should we intervene only when attacked? Or perhaps preemptively when our national security is directly threatened? Or does our status as a major world power imply a greater responsibility in the preservation of order, democracy, life and security worldwide?

As citizens we must be informed as to what we believe on these topics and why we believe it so we can do our part to help our country remain strong and effective. As renowned journalist Jim Lehrer once said, “If we don’t have an informed electorate we don’t have a democracy.”

  • Using the questions below as a guide (you don’t have to answer all of them), examine the balance between non-interventionism and interventionism in United States’ foreign policy decisions, and how the government should approach the use of each in a volatile world.
  • Write two essays (500 words each minimum), one defending non-interventionism as the higher value, and one defending interventionism as the higher value. Use examples from the conflicts listed above.
  • Bring two copies of each essay, one to turn in and one to discuss during the class.
  • Purpose: to understand and discuss the role the United States plays in addressing global conflict.

Questions to consider:

  1. Should the United States intervene in international disputes that don’t affect national security?
  2. Should the United States play a role in promoting and ensuring democracy across the world?
  3. As a world superpower, is the United States obligated to use its influence to police international injustice? Why/why not?
  4. How has the Bush Doctrine changed the way that the United States approaches foreign policy? What have been the implications of that?
  5. Should the United States put the interests of other nations and people on the same level as the interests of their own population?
  6. Should military action be used to protect national economic or political interests when national security is not being directly threatened?
  7. Is preventative war, as prescribed within the scope of the Bush Doctrine, a justified way to approach foreign policy?
  8. Should the United States play a role in arming or assisting a non allied nation or organization involved in a civil war for political power?
  9. Is it the United States’ responsibility to act unilaterally to stop or prevent genocide in foreign nations?

Tip: Don’t forget to start early on this assignment! Remember to use credible sources, not just Wikipedia.

Please make sure that you show your parents your homework before turning it in. Student assignments not completed will impact a student’s final score in the class.

Political Communication Workshop

All students

Download a complete Political Communication Workshop Packet.


1

Research and write a resolution advocating change on a current US public policy issue. (Our Sample Resolution shows a format to use.)

  • The resolution should contain a purpose, a statement defining why you feel that the change is necessary, and a statement declaring what change you would defend.
  • You will be asked to propose and defend your resolution for at least 2 minutes, so please research the issue and prepare to discuss the questions that might be asked.
  • Bring two copies of your resolution, one to turn in and one to refer to during the class.
  • Potential topic ideas:
    • US interventionism
    • Universal healthcare
    • Flat tax policy
    • Death penalty
    • Social security reform
    • School vouchers
    • Cuban embargo
    • Homeland security
  • Purpose: to be informed about current events and to understand why or why not the United States should advocate its current policy.

Tip: Choose an issue that will spark conversation between you and your peers. Remember to keep all topics age appropriate.

Please make sure that you show your parents your homework before turning it in. This assignment will receive in-class critique but will not receive an official grade.

One Day Class

First-time students

Download a complete 1 Day First Time Students Homework Packet.

This homework is intended to enhance students’ ability to engage in the One Day class, however it will not be graded.


1

Memorize 1 Timothy 2:1-3 using a Bible translation of your own choice.

  • Be sure to bring your Bible to class!
  • Purpose: to develop a biblical worldview of citizenship.

Tip: Find creative ways to memorize these verses– ie. using 3×5 cards as flash cards.


2

Write a one-page bill on an issue (serious or funny!) that is worthy of debate. (Our Sample Bill shows a format to use.)

  • Bring two copies of your bill: one to turn in and one to keep for your own use during the class.
  • Please choose topics that are respectful and are appropriate for the age and environment of the class.
  • Purpose: to be presented before the TeenPact Legislature.

Tip: Parents, it’s all right for you to assist your child with this process. Help them write about the topic of their choice, something that an 8-12 year old would find interesting to talk about. Have fun with it!


OPTIONAL: The following assignments will give students a better understanding of the One Day class, however are not required.


3

Read chapters 2, 6 & 13 of Tim Echols’ book, Real Citizenship.

Tip: Parents: Try reading this out loud to your children or have them read it out loud to you. Make it interesting by helping them understand what the author is talking about.

Tip: Use complete sentences when defining each term.


4

With your parent’s help, write an encouraging letter to both your state senator and state representative and let them know you are praying for them.

  • Tell them that you will be coming to the Capitol – maybe they would like to meet you after the class ends at 4 p.m.!
  • Mail the letters at least 2 weeks before the class to ensure that they arrive in time.
  • Need to know where to send the letters? Go to Project Vote Smart and search for your legislators.
  • Purpose: to experience how easy it is to communicate with your leaders.

Tip: Be respectful and don’t forget to address them with their proper titles.

Tip: Thank them for serving your state in this capacity, and tell them about one issue or idea that you think is important to your state.

Note to Parents: All student bills will be heard during “first reads” in the mock legislature and assigned to committees for further discussion. Due to time constraints, we are not always able to further debate all bills in the general assembly. Thank you for your understanding.

Alumni students

Download a complete 1 Day Returning Students Homework Packet.

This homework is intended to enhance students’ ability to engage in the One Day class, however it will not be graded.


1

Memorize 1 Timothy 2:1-3 using a Bible translation of your own choice.

  • Be sure to bring your Bible to class!
  • Purpose: to develop a biblical worldview of citizenship.

Tip: Find creative ways to memorize these verses– ie. using 3×5 cards as flash cards.


2

Write a one-page bill on an issue (serious or funny!) that is worthy of debate. (Our Sample Bill shows a format to use.)

  • Bring two copies of your bill: one to turn in and one to keep for your own use during the class.
  • Please choose topics that are respectful and are appropriate for the age and environment of the class.
  • Purpose: to be presented before the TeenPact Legislature.

Tip: Parents, it’s all right for you to assist your child with this process. Help them write about the topic of their choice, something that an 8-12 year old would find interesting to talk about. Have fun with it!


3

PART ONE: Read the following definitions and discuss what they mean with your parent.

  • LOBBYIST: A person who helps legislators understand a bill, and tries to persuade them to vote for or against that bill. Lobbyists might also be called advocates.
  • CORPORATE LOBBYIST: A lobbyist who works for one company or organization and their specific cause.
  • CONTRACT LOBBYIST: A lobbyist who works for several companies or organizations and their causes at the same time.
  • CITIZEN LOBBYIST: An unpaid volunteer who cares about an issue and talks with their legislator about its importance.

PART TWO: Look up the following words and write a short definition.

  1. Honesty: _________________________________________________________
  2. Influence: ________________________________________________________
  3. Persuade: _________________________________________________________
  • Purpose: to learn about who can influence our legislators and thus affect our laws.

Tip: Talk with your parents about what it means to influence someone. Try to think of an example when you have influenced another person!


OPTIONAL: The following assignments will give students a better understanding of the One Day class, however are not required.


4

With your parent’s help, write an encouraging letter to both your state senator and state representative and let them know you are praying for them.

  • Tell them that you will be coming to the Capitol – maybe they would like to meet you after the class ends at 4 p.m.!
  • Mail the letters at least 2 weeks before the class to ensure that they arrive in time.
  • Need to know where to send the letters? Go to Project Vote Smart and search for your legislators.
  • Purpose: to experience how easy it is to communicate with your leaders.

Tip: Be respectful and don’t forget to address them with their proper titles.

Tip: Thank them for serving your state in this capacity, and tell them about one issue or idea that you think is important to your state.

Note to Parents: All student bills will be heard during “first reads” in the mock legislature and assigned to committees for further discussion. Due to time constraints, we are not always able to further debate all bills in the general assembly. Thank you for your understanding.

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