Forms of Government
Using the YouTube video "Flocabulary Forms of Government" students will be introduced to a catchy rap-style tune that explains in short detail several forms of government: anarchy, monarchy, dictatorship, oligarchy, and others. The style of music will appeal to the students and pique their interest as it isn't often they get exposed to current, popular music styles in school.
2 Direct Instruction
The teacher will lead students in a discussion on what they know about different forms of government. With each form of government presented, the teacher will give details to flesh out each so that students understand the differences between them.
3 Guided Practice
Use: Microsoft PowerPoint
Students will be broken down into three groups. Each group will be responsible for one particular style of governmental rule (or lack of): anarchy, dictatorship, and democracy. Each group will create a short (3-5 slide) PowerPoint presentation giving further information regarding each form of government. A literal definition (from a dictionary) as well as historical and present (if possible) examples of each form of government should be included. Students will then present their PowerPoint presentations to the rest of the class.
4 Independent Practice
Students will again separate into their three groups. Each group will start a community within the game Minecraft where they will practice their form of government. Each group will be given the same "seed" so that each world starts identically.
For the group practing anarchy, there will be no rules for them. They can chose to create buildings and homes if they wish, but they can also destroy each other's creations and do whatever. There are no rules governing how their world is ran.
With the group practicing dictatorship, the teacher will act as the dictator. The teacher will tell the students what types of buildings they can build, the exact dimensions, and what resources they are allowed to be built out of (for example, only sandstone). Students who do not follow the rules exactly will be placed in a "prison" style building within the Minecraft world for a teacher-determined amount of time. All rules will be put in place by the teacher.
The group practicing democracy will vote on their own rules. They are allowed to set their own laws if passed by a majority vote. The teacher will act as the President of this democracy and is only responsible for enforcing the laws that were passed by the students.
Each world will be projected in front of the classroom and explored by the teacher and students together. Each group will discuss their accomplishments as well as the problems they faced in creating the world. After all three groups' worlds have been shown, the teacher can elect to switch the groups and allow each to work on building a world with a different form of government than what they used before. Depending on class size or ability level, the lesson can be adjusted to include further forms of government (monarchy, oligarchy, etc) or less forms of government. If accessable, students may continue to build upon their worlds in their own time within the rules/laws (if any) that were established in the classroom.