Lesson PlansBack to lesson plans archive January 21, 2014
Paper football and government fundamentals – Lesson Plan
By Katie Gould, PBS NewsHour Extra Teacher Resource Producer
Use this lesson plan to help students understand the difference between the types of governments they might encounter while studying world history.
World history, civics and government
Middle school and high school
- 8.5”x 11” sheet of paper for each student
- Scissors (optional)
- Directions on how to make a paper football
- Government fundamentals vocabulary
Warm Up Activity
Demonstrate to students how to make a paper football with this handy guide.
Have students push their desks together. The two desks should face each other so that the paper football can slide across the desks to each player. Some desks may be different heights, but do your best to pair similar height desks together.
Now, you will need to explain the rules of paper football to your students:
Basically, the object of the game is to score touchdowns. To get a touchdown, you must flick the ball with you finger (you play on a straight edged table) and have the ball stop, with part of it sticking over the table, as seen here. That is 6 points. Players take turns, one flick each back and forth until someone scores. If the ball goes off the table, you kick off. Hold the ball in your hand, resting on the palm, and toss it on the table by hitting your fingers on the underside of the table.
After a touchdown, you can kick a field goal. Whoever is kicking hold the ball vertical between his finger and the table, and with his kicking hand, he flicks the ball with his finger. The other person is holding a field goal with his finger arranged in a position, look here if the ball sails between the two posts, it’s good for 1 point. See it in air here
Once the kids understand, let them try for a few minutes, going around and helping those who are confused. Once kids have the basics down, tell them that these set of rules are called “Empire Rules”. Although they are each their own small territory, they must obey the rules of the empire.
Next, tell kids that they are now going to be playing by some different rules:
- city-state: every pair comes up with their own rules. Rules may be based on specific preferences of the pair and will most likely reflect something about them.
- oligarchy: choose a few groups to come up with the next set of rules that everyone will have to play by.
- democracy: everyone will vote on the rules.
- monarchy: select one student to be king or queen and they are responsible for making the rules.
Now call out one type of government, and the kids have to play by those rules. Go around to students to check to make sure they know why they are playing the way they are playing. For example, “Why are you playing by your own rules?” “Because we are playing city-state rules.” Make sure to cycle through all of the types of governments giving students time to process what they are doing and why.
The Materials You Need
Tooltip of materials
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Tooltip of RSS content 3
Local sheriff shares concerns over federal immigration laws
Dozens of cities throughout the United States have been deemed “sanctuary cities,” where local governments resist cooperating with federal immigration officials, including handing over undocumented immigrants who have may committed very minor offenses. Continue readingGovernment & Civicsimmigrationlaw enforcementsanctuary citySocial Studies
Community comes together to help homeless students and families
In order to address the homelessness problem facing students, a school district in Kansas City, Kansas, with over 1,000 homeless students, partnered with Avenue of Life, a nonprofit organization that brings students out of homelessness by supporting the entire family. Continue readingGovernment & CivicshomelesshomelessnesspovertySocial Studies
Student volunteers use technology to monitor human rights abuses
In places where violent conflict makes it difficult for human rights investigators to observe, social media platforms now make it possible to document abuses.Government & Civicshuman rightssocial mediaSocial Studies
Lesson plan: What public libraries can teach us about immigration
In this PBS NewsHour Extra lesson, students will explore what immigration looks like at grassroots levels across the country. Students will research if their community has programs that welcome immigrants and explore options for creating similar civic activities. Continue readingcivic engagementGovernment & CivicsimmigrationlibrarySocial StudiesSRLstudent reporting labs
House Speaker Paul Ryan on immigration ban, Russia
In an interview with PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan said he is getting along well with President Donald Trump, although he disagrees with some of the President’s recent statements. Continue readingDonald TrumpGovernment & Civicsimmigration banPaul RyanRussiaSocial Studies