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Making Civics Real: A Workshop for Teachers

Public Policy and the Federal Budget

Leslie Martin's ninth-graders at West Forsyth High School in North Carolina create, present, revise, and defend a federal budget, and then reflect on what they have learned. After assuming the roles of the President and his or her advisors to create a federal budget, students are introduced to the actual 2001 federal budget, and in a whole-class discussion, discuss some key concepts involved in creating it. Next, students return to cooperative learning groups, revise their budgets based on what they learned, present their revised budgets, and simulate a Congressional hearing. This lesson highlights the integration of teacher-directed instruction with small-group work.

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Test Your Knowledge (Before Watching)

Public Policy and the Federal Budget — Quiz

Take this quiz to test your knowledge about the topics discussed in this workshop.

The estimated Federal government income/revenue for 2002 was $2,192 billion. Social insurance payroll taxes and income taxes combined accounted for how much of this total?

Total U.S. government spending at the combined state, local and Federal levels was what percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1999? GDP refers to spending for goods and services of virtually all types in an economy. And how did the U.S. rank in government spending as a percentage of GDP compared to England, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, and Japan in 1999?

  • U.S. government spending was 10 percent of the GDP and the U.S. ranked second

    Source: A Citizen’s Guide to the Federal Budget for 2001

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Making Civics Real: A Workshop for Teachers


Produced by State of the Art, Inc., in collaboration with the National Council for the Social Studies and the Center for Civic Education. 2003.
  • Closed Captioning
  • ISBN: 1-57680-679-0