I used this lesson with my GATE middle school kids, but it could certainly be extended to higher grades. It's current and relevant, yet it ties in well with what they are most likely learning in the regular Social Studies classroom.
This lesson mixes philosophy, social studies, speaking and listening skills, and more. You and your students will be engaged in pondering these important questions. It's the kind of big question you stay awake thinking about!
Big Question: Is Democracy the best of bad options?
This PowerPoint guides students to:
- review the major forms of government, including democracy
- compare Greek democracy to USA democracy
- learn about important Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
- use primary source quotes from those philosophers to identify the major problems they found in democracy
- analyze 7 other primary source quotes from world leaders of various time periods regarding their views of democracy
- get in groups to create a video in interview form that will answer the following questions:
Is democracy the best form of government?
Would another form of government be better?
If something is wrong with democracy, how can we fix it?
What would it take for a democracy to really work well?
Do the benefits of democracy outweigh the flaws?
Is democracy the best of bad options?
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