This week in middle school we continued our Civics unit and the cultivation of our micronations. As a class we learned about the differences between limited and unlimited government types and worked together to identify examples of each. We studied ancient Athenian law to learn about the roots of our democracy and its influence on the founding of our country and our constitution. After identifying the similarities between Athenian democracy and modern democracies, students constructed a list of terms and structures that they would like to use in their micronations. This list included guidelines for a constitutional document and Bill of Rights, separation of power, requirements for citizenship, term limits, and voting rights.
As a class, we also learned about the concept of rule of law and how it protects the rights of citizens. Together we made educated guesses about the six major factors of rule of law based on our understanding of democracy. Students then worked in small groups to rehearse and perform skits related to one specific factor. Students performed their skits on Friday, complete with costumes and props and together we identified examples of causality when a specific factor of rule of law does not function properly to support citizens.
Their Genius Hour projects continue to progress as we move into the last few weeks of this awesome problem based learning exercise. We are wrapping up our last writing task for our informational writing unit. Each student wrote a multi-paragraph biography about a person related to their Genius Hour project. We engaged in peer-conferences and students have revised their essay in preparation for a teacher conference. Next week students will complete their final drafts and we will post their last blog entry on KidBlog.