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Home Civics Constitution Teaching Discussion and Essay Questions

Discussion and Essay Questions

Available to teachers only as part of the Teaching the ConstitutionTeacher Pass

Teaching the Constitution Teacher Pass includes:

  • Assignments & Activities
  • Reading Quizzes
  • Current Events & Pop Culture articles
  • Discussion & Essay Questions
  • Challenges & Opportunities
  • Related Readings in Literature & History

Sample of Discussion and Essay Questions

  1. Principles of Government
  2. The framers of the Constitution walked a type of tightrope in attempting to create a government that was strong, but not too strong. Did they succeed?
    • Are the powers of the federal government adequately limited?
      • Are those in power mindful of the fact that “the people” are the source of their power?
        • How do the people assert their will?
      • Other than in elections?
      • To what extent does public opinion shape government? To what extent does government (the president , Congress) shape public opinion?
    • Are the powers of government still adequately separated?
      • Is one branch more powerful than the others?
        • Is this more true for some types of issues than others? i.e., foreign versus domestic policy?
      • Does the balance of power between the branches shift?
        • Issue by issue? Year by year?
        • What sorts of factors influence the balance of power between the branches?
    • Have the separation of powers and system of checks and balances properly restrained the government?
    • Or have they produced gridlock?
      • If the executive was always a member of Congress’s majority party would government operate more effectively? Efficiently?
    • What evidence of federalism do you see around you? What responsibilities are left to the states?
      • Are the states up to the job?
      • Has the federal government encroached on these responsibilities?
        • For the better or worse?