Participation in Government Course Syllabus 

    Instructor: Mr. Meli

    Email: dmeli@akronk12.org

    Website: https://www.akronk12.org/meli


    Course Description

    This course challenges students to become active participants in government, through the analysis of their rights, responsibilities and duties as citizens. Coursework will include the analysis of controversial public policy issues, voting rights, the media, etc.  Both in-class discussions and community-based projects are required.


    Course Rationale

    Participation in government can happen at many levels, from serving as a political leader to facilitating neighborhood watch meetings. To identify what your role will be in our world, a deeper understanding of how our government works (i.e. observing town meetings, city court, etc.) and how our community-based organizations work (i.e. MADD, Hearts and Hands, etc.) is integral to understanding where you best fit. Whether you are unhappy with potholes in Akron that go unfixed, or the decision to invade Iraq – all of these issues require YOUR voice. DO NOT BE A BYSTANDER.



    Attendance: Attendance is mandatory. In order for you to succeed in this class, you need to be present every day and participate to the best of your ability. NOTE: If you are absent you must check in with me the day you return. Please check in before homeroom OR beginning of 9th period to see what assignments you missed.


    Homework/Projects: Assignments are due at the beginning of class, unless otherwise stated. Please communicate with me, should you have a problem with an assignment, the due date, etc. COMMUNICATION IS KEY.


    Participation: An integral part of any course is class participation, and I will do my best to foster good conversation.  Your contributions to this dialogue are critical.  Speak in class. Debate!  Don’t be afraid to share your opinions, but also learn to recognize the value of listening to others.  A number of in-class assignments will be given as part of your participation grade, further underscoring the importance of attendance.






    ·    1-2 subject three ring notebook with pockets/dividers, 2 inch rings

    ·     Writing utensils & a highlighter will come in handy

    ·    Grading/Evaluation


    MP#1= 40% Cumulative Grade

    ·    Projects, Test & Quizzes: 40%

    ·    HW/ /Participation: 40%

    Government Observation (MP#1): - 20%

    MP#2= 40% Cumulative Grade

    ·    Projects, Test & Quizzes : 40%

    ·    HW/ /Participation: 40%

    ·    Government Observation (MP#2): - 20%

    Final Exam= 20% Cumulative Grade

    ·    Service Learning: 20%

    ·    Test: 80%

    It is imperative to understand that the two making periods make up the bulk of the academic grade. If a student does poorly in one of these two marking periods or both it becomes increasingly challenging to make up the points.  The best way to successfully complete the course it to pass the first making period with a strong grade and not rely on needing a high grade on the final to pass


    Course Overview and Projects

    Basic questions: How is our government structured?  How does our government work? How can YOU play a role in our government?

    Unit 1: Philosophical Foundation

    ·    Media Assignment

    ·    Text Work

    ·    Assessment

    Unit 2: Citizenship & Foundations

    ·    Media Assignment

    ·    Text Work

    ·    Assessment

    Unit 3: Citizenship & Responsibilities

    ·    Media Assignment

    ·    Text Work

    ·    Assessment

    Unit 4: Participation & the Electoral Process

    ·    Media Assignment

    ·    Text Work

    ·    Assessment

    Unit 5: Medial and the Political Process

    ·    Media Assignment

    ·    Text Work

    ·    Assessment

    Unit 6: Observations: Each is worth 20% of the quarter grade.  One must be completed for each marking period

    ·    Judicial

    ·    Legislative

    Unit 7: Public Policy/ Current Events

    ·    Public Policy research

    ·    Current issues on Policy Presentation


    ·    Exam (80%)

    ·    Community Service Project (20%)





                                                                    Government Observation                                                              

    You are required to attend (1) of the following activities/meetings by the end of MP #1 and another by the end of MP #2. You will need to turn in a completed and signed ACTIVITY SHEET (side bookshelf) AND a typed report on your experience[1]: If you are attending an activity during school hours Field Trip permission Slips must be completed three days prior to activity. NO EXCEPTIONS.


    ·    Court session (Town, Village, County, State, and/or Federal)

    ·    Board of Education meeting

    ·    County Legislature session, Town, and/or Village Board meeting

    ·    Shadow a lawyer or public official

    Semester I       End of MP#1 DUE: 10/18/19 End of MP #2 DUE: 12/13/19

    If the observation is not completed on time the student will be penalized 10% and be immediately placed in academic detention until complete.


    Service Learning – End of MP#2 10 hrs.

    You are required to conduct 10 hours of service learning by semester end. You will need to document the dates of service, numbers of hours, connection to curriculum, description of work and provide a reflection paper both summarizing and critiquing the experience.1

    Semester I       End of MP #2 DUE: 1/3/20


    [1] Locations, dates and times, as well as reporting requirements will be discussed in class. See bulletin board AND side book shelf for relevant opportunities and reporting materials.