Why do we have homework?
It is safe to say that all TeenPact students have their own…shall we say, style?…when it comes to conquering the pre-class homework. Some download the packet with glee as soon as they are registered in September, others find themselves scrambling to wrap it up early in the morning…in the car..on the ride to the Capitol.
Whatever your approach, the fact of the matter is that the pre-class homework is an important part of the Four Day Class for several reasons. The first is that by completing the assignments in conjunction with the work done on-site, students can earn a third of a Carnegie Unit in high school credit for civics/government. This unit satisfies the high school graduation requirement in most states.
Second, by preparing for the class ahead of time, students will arrive at the Capitol with prior knowledge about how their government works. This allows the class curriculum to jump right into teaching and hands-on experiences instead of having to spend a lot of time going over the most basic preliminaries.
Because this is an integral part of the TeenPact experience, we wanted to share a few insider tips about the homework that will help you get the most out of your pre-class experience. All homework can be found at teenpact.com/homework. There are slightly different assignments for First Time and Alumni students, so be sure to download the proper packet.
- READ REAL CITIZENSHIP—This book was authored by our founder, Mr. Tim Echols, and jumps right to the heart of the program and curriculum. The book focuses heavily on the capacity of young people and what it means to be an involved citizen, even if you’re too young to vote. Try breaking the reading up into multiple sections so that you aren’t trying to complete it all at once.
- WRITE LETTERS TO YOUR CONGRESSMEN–The purpose of writing to your congressmen is to express gratitude for their service and share your views on a particular issue in your state. This not only builds a relationship with your legislators but also gives you a voice in their office. A personal note goes a long way. Be sure to proofread your letter and make sure it looks professional and respectful.
- PRE-CLASS VOCABULARY LIST–This list has all the important terms that you will need to know when coming to class. Use complete sentences and consult different dictionaries if you are having trouble understanding a term.
- STATE POLITICAL FACT SHEET–Like the pre-class vocabulary list, this worksheet will give you a basic understanding of who runs your state government. A lot of this information will pop back up on quizzes throughout the Four Day Class, so memorize as much of it as you can!
- MEMORIZE 1 TIMOTHY 1:2-3 AND ROMANS 13:1-2–You can use a Bible translation of your choosing when working on this assignment. Find creative ways to memorize! Just be ready to write them out by hand.
- READ OR WATCH THE GOVERNOR’S STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS–The best way to complete this assignment is by listening to the speech. However, you can also access a transcript of the address on your state’s webpage. While you watch/read, keep a running list of issues that the governor addresses. The list doesn’t need to be exhaustive, just bullet points of the overarching principles.
- BILL ANALYSIS WORKSHEET–This worksheet is to be completed while studying a bill of your choosing from your state. While it might be easy to pick the shortest bill you can find for this assignment, instead challenge yourself by analyzing an issue that is important to you or that you would like to understand more about.
- CONSTITUTIONAL ANALYSIS–Understanding the Constitution of the United States is critical to understanding how the government works and what it means to be an American. Take time as you read and fill out the worksheets to truly grasp the what first five articles and Bill of Rights is saying. Keep a dictionary on hand while you do this to look up any terms you aren’t familiar with.
- CAMPAIGN PREPARATION–This part of the homework is optional, however is strongly encouraged as you prepare for class elections–especially if you are considering running for class senator or governor. Read more about class elections here.
Check back here next week for a run down and tips about the 2016 Alumni Track and homework!
Our office is committed to helping you have the best TeenPact experience possible. If you have questions about the homework or trouble with any of the assignments, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 888.343.1776.
Registration for the 2016 season is open and filling up! To learn more about your state classes, or to register, go to teenpact.com/stateclasses.