Lesson Plan


Students explore the realities of federalism using various forms of technology.
Jennifer C.
Classroom teacher
Carson High School
Carson City, United States
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My Grades 10, 11, 12
My Subjects Social Studies

Students will be able to...

  • work in groups to create an action plan resolving a local, state, or national federalism issue
  • identify various types of federalism including: cooperative, competitive, and regulated/fiscal federalism
  • effectively use a variety of technology to collaborate and showcase finalized action plans
Social Studies
Grades 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Federalism: Group Scenario Research

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Select current local, state, regional, and/or national issues that require various government agency involvement at multiple levels. For example: airport security, starting a mine, education, health issues (ebola, norovirus outbreaks), disaster relief, transportation issues (gas tax, energy resources), water rights, etc. Create scenarios related to each issue and assign to different student groups to research.

Use Edmodo as your learning management system. Select student groups. Create Edmodo small groups within your class and assign each student to their assigned small group.

Create an Edmodo assignment for students to submit their links to the Google Document containing their collaborative work.

Student Instructions

Once in groups, students will need to practice finding and communicating with each other in their Edmodo small group.

Assign a group leader to create a collaborative Google Doc and adjust share settings so that all students can type their research into the same document together.

Group members must read the scenario and decide together what each group member will research to learn more about the topic. For example, if researching health issues one member might determine what constitutes and "epidemic", another might learn specifically about a health condition, another might examine vaccines.

Students are to do their own research and practice using the Google Research function under "tools" on the menu bar. Additionally, students can work with the research   tool to generate MLA citations. Each student is to prepare a 250 word research brief on a sub issue important to the topic. Students need to submit their work on their own page in the collaborative Google Document and practice cutting and pasting the share link into the Edmodo assignment to turn in their work.

2 Federalism: Group Article Discussion

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Ask students to search the internet for situations similar to their assigned scenario. For example: if the scenario  deals with endangered species on private land, students should look for other situations where this has happened across the country as a way of searching for agencies, processes, and organizations helpful in resolving their scenario. Each student is to locate three different news articles related to their scenario.

Use the Edmodo small group feature for students to hold online small group discussion. Each student is to post three articles to the small group, then reply to three other articles posted by their group members. Replies must highlight processes, agencies, and organizations for the group to consider in developing their action plan.

Create an Edmodo assignment for the discussion and have students post their article and reply links in the assignment box for easy grading.

As a follow up, have the group create a shared Google Doc with a table. Each group member must post the names of the agencies, processes, and organizations highlighted in their replies. The finished table will hold all information highlighted by the group as a whole and can be used as a resource for creating an action plan.

Student Instructions

Locate three articles related to your scenario for your group members to read and highlight an agency, process, or organization you want your group to examine further to creating an action plan. Post the articles in your Edmodo small group. Reply to three different articles posted by your group members using the Edmodo small group reply function.

Create a collaborative Google Doc and add a table to hold all organizations, processes, and agencies identified for further exploration by your group.

3 Federalism - Exploring Different Government Agencies and Private Organizations

Direct students to explore a federal and state or local government agency related to their scenario. Additionally, each student is to explore a non-governmental organization related to their scenario.

Students are to create a collaborative Google Doc with each student having their own page to compile their work.

The entry must contain:

Government Level

Government Agency

URL/live link

250 word description of agency and how the agency can help within the context of the scenario.

Create an Edmodo assignment so students can turn in their work.

Student Instructions

Each student must explore a federal and state or local government organization that can help resolve the scenario. Additionally, each student must locate a non-governmental resource that can help resolve the scenario.

All information must be typed into a collaborative Google Doc so all group members have access to all information.

Turn in the link to your document to the corresponding Edmodo assignment.

4 Federalism: Group Action Plan

Free, Paid
Free, Paid

Direct groups to work together to resolve their scenario by designing a practical action plan and showcase their learning on a customized Padlet wall.

Padlet wall must include:

  1. Did you know? This section will contain the most relevant information the public needs to know about the scenario. For example: a flooding scenario group might post information about the dangers of residual mold to notify homeowners. Pull this information from your research completed in step 1.
  2. Action plan: Provide step by step instructions on what a citizen, group of people, or governor/President should do in the situation. The action plan must contain assistance from at least one federal, state, and local levels of government plus a non-governmental agency. Links to each agency must be provided.
  3. Other resources: Include a section that provides information on other resources discovered by the group not included in the action plan. Add links to each resource.
  4. Federalism Analysis: Identify and explain all the different forms of federalism involved in the action plan/scenario. Include how different levels of government compete and or cooperate. Additionally, identify related grants and funding possibilities.
  5. Add interactives that educate those who visit your padlet wall. Select a picture that represents your scenario. Use Thinglink to create an interactive picture and highlight 6 elements in the picture to explain. Use appropriate government related key terms to demonstrate your learning.
Student Instructions

Work together to design your own collaborative Padlet wall as a place to showcase your action plan and scenario research.

Collaborate to select the best picture to represent your scenario and work as a group to learn how to use Thinglink and create an interactive picture. Insert the picture into your Padlet wall.

Submit the link to your group's Padlet wall to the corresponding Edmodo assignment.

Here's an example: