Lesson Plans

Back to lesson plans archive
March 1, 2013

What is sequestration? – Lesson Plan

Subject(s):

Economics, U.S.

Estimated Time:

One 45-minute class period

Grade Level:

10-12th

Objective:

Students Will:

  • Learn the definition of sequestration.
  • Learn about government budgets, spending and cuts.
  • Learn about the potential impact of Sequestration on communities across America.
  • Learn the difference between layoffs and furloughs.

Procedure:

  1. Begin a discussion about sequestration by proposing these warm up questions:
    • What is a budget?
      • An estimate of costs, revenues, and resources over a specified period, used to predict future financial conditions and goals. (Source: BusinessDictionary.com)
    • What is debt?
      • A duty or obligation to pay money, deliver goods, or provide service under an agreement. (Source: Business Dictionary.com)
    • How much money do you think the U.S. government has borrowed?
  2. Have students watch the first part of this PBS NewsHour Report on Sequestration: Despite Gloomy Urgings, No Signs of Give From Congress on Sequester
  3. Ask students what they think will happen.  Questions might include:
    • What is a layoff?
      • The act of suspending or dismissing an employee. (Source: Free Dictionary) What is a furlough? A temporary layoff or a reduction in work days with a corresponding reduction in take-home pay  (Source: Free Dictionary)
    • What are the differences between a layoff and a furlough?
      • A furlough is a temporary, defined period of unpaid time off, at the end of which the employee returns to work on a paid basis. On the other hand, a layoff is the removal of an employee from the workforce, without pay and without guarantees of returning to work. (Source: Lawyers.com)
  4. Students should use this writing prompt to assess their understanding of the issue:
    • What is sequestration?
      • It’s a series of automatic, across-the-board cuts to government agencies, totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The cuts would be split 50-50 between defense and domestic discretionary spending.
  • Tags:

  • The Materials You Need

    Tooltip of materials

    Common Core Standards

    Tooltip of standarts

    Relevant National Standards:
      Civics
    • Standard 8: Understands the central ideas of American constitutional government and how this form of government has shaped the character of American society
    • Benchmark 4: Understands the concept of popular sovereignty as a central idea of American constitutional government (e.g., the people as the ultimate source of the power to create, alter, or abolish governments)
    • Benchmark 7: Understands how the design of the institutions of government and the federal system works to channel and limit governmental power in order to serve the purposes of American constitutional government
    • Standard 20: Understands the roles of political parties, campaigns, elections, and associations and groups in American politics
    • Benchmark 1: Knows the origins and development of the two party system in the United States, and understands the role of third parties
    • Economics
    • Standard 5: Understands unemployment, income, and income distribution in a market economy
    • Standard 8: Understands basic concepts of United States fiscal policy and monetary policy
    • Common Core Standards
    • Common Core Literacy Grades 9-12
    • Key Ideas and Details
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.3 Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.
    • Craft and Structure
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.6 Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.
    • Intergration of Knowledge and Ideas
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.8 Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.
    • • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.9 Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
    • Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.10 By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 11–CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    Related Stories

    Tooltip of related stories

    More Lesson Plans

    Tooltip of more video block

    RSS Content

    Tooltip of RSS content 3