Topic 1. Foundations of the United States Political System

How do you define democracy?

Is the United States a democratic country?

How have the events of 2020 and 2021 impacted your thinking and the thinking of students in schools about our country's political system?

Take a few moments to explore the winning videos from the 2021 "Democracy Challenge" Student Video Contest (sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Citizen Education Fund):

Image preview of a YouTube video
Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-ajyf

Image preview of a YouTube video
Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-GIk

The students' videos focus on the United States today. Viewing the development of our government and our democracy historically, it was the political systems of ancient Greece and Rome, revolutionary thinking about individual rights by Enlightenment philosophers, the struggles for power between nobles and kings in medieval England that led to the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights, and governmental practices of First American tribes in North America that contributed to the governmental philosophies and practices that emerged from the American Revolution.

The media literacy activities in this section explore modern-day social media policies and democratic principles, peoples’ right to Internet access and control, women as revolutionary technology innovators, media coverage of England’s royal family, and how Native Americans are portrayed in films and television.

You can read more about the definition of democracy and its place as a system of government in different countries in the world in the Introduction to this topic in our companion eBook, Building Democracy for All.

Media Literacy Activities Choice Board

Screenshot of media literacy choice board for topic 1 Foundations of the U.S. Political System: Media Literacy Activities Choice Board (view)
(make your own copy of this choice board to remix/share/use)

Media Literacy Activities