Tag Archives: government

Separation of Powers Activity Using The Cranium Board Game


I’m pretty sure that, like many of you, I was gamifying stuff before it was a “thing”.  If I got bored teaching the same thing in the same way year after year, I couldn’t imagine what my poor students were … Continue reading

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The Day My Students Embarrassed Me (Constitutional Convention Lesson Attached)

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They’re all going to laugh at you! The day my students embarrassed me is also the day I became a better educator (and friend, and father, and husband… and I’m not kidding). Bear with me and my ego for just … Continue reading

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Revisiting Federalist X

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When I first came to the United States from Costa Rica in 1980 I was intimidated by everything I saw.  Especially here in Texas, everything seemed bigger and better than what I had experienced in San Jose.  It was, to … Continue reading

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Federalism: A Tug of War

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This is from a handout I pass to my students in class during our federalism unit.  Because gay marriage is such a “hot” topic here in Texas, I decided to combine federalism with this partifular topic.  Students are always asked … Continue reading

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Let Your Students Constructively Stuggle: How Weak Teachers Create Intellectually Slavish Students

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Guiding students to answer their own questions: Plato’s Meno Introduction Plato’s curriculum could be summarized as “Education as Constructive Frustration”. On the surface many of Plato’s dialogs seem either frustratingly heavy or seemingly simplistic. Plato, at any rate, was a … Continue reading

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The Hobbes Game – FUN FUN FUN Game for Social Studies Classes

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How did man “get along” before government?  What came first, government or man?  Will we every know?! In much the same way that “atom smashers” collide atoms so they can see how the subatomic particles interact with each other (to … Continue reading

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An Educator’s 4th of July Thoughts

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Two perpetual elements of American society, that are also richly analogous, are baseball and education.  Baseball is a game of individuals, but those individual players must win as a team.  The game is played as a competition not only against … Continue reading

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The Incomplete Constitution

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The Constitution is the greatest protector of rights ever penned by man’s hands. Simply by being a written Constitution, the document professes to be a touch-stone of liberty. Like a rulebook, if you want to know if someone is cheating … Continue reading

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Education as Serious Play

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“For serious things cannot be understood without laughable things, nor opposites at all without opposites, if a man is really to have intelligence of either; but he can not carry out both in action, if he is to have any … Continue reading

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The Constitution as a Machine Poster Lesson

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I’m a fan of the Bill of Rights Institute. One of the many reasons is that a few of my old professors from the University of Dallas will pop in from time to time to talk about the U.S. Constitution. … Continue reading

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