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Topic: Purpose and use of constitutions 

Civics

 Standard 4.  Understands the concept of a constitution, the various purposes that constitutions serve, and the conditions that contribute to the establishment and maintenance of constitutional government
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   Benchmark 1.Knows various uses of the term "constitution" (e.g., as a description of a form of government; as a document; as a higher law limiting the powers of government)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows that the term "constitution" can be used in various ways
     2.Knows that the term "constitution" can be used to describe a form of government
     3.Knows that the term "constitution" can mean a document
     4.Knows that the term "constitution" can be used to mean a higher law limiting the powers of government
   Benchmark 2.Understands how a government with a constitution but without effective ways to enforce it may still have unlimited power (e.g., former Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Iraq under Saddam Hussein)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows that some governments with constitutions still have unlimited power
     2.Knows that the government of the former Soviet Union still had unlimited power with a constitution
     3.Knows that the government of Nazi Germany still had unlimited power with a constitution
     4.Knows that the government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein still had unlimited power with a constitution
   Benchmark 3.Knows past and present examples of countries with constitutions that actually did limit the power of government (e.g., United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Botswana, Chile)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows past examples of countries with constitutions that actually did limit the power of government
     2.Knows present examples of countries with constitutions that actually do limit the power of government
     3.Knows that the United States is an example of a country with both a constitution and a government with limited power
     4.Knows that the United Kingdom is an example of a country with both a constitution and a government with limited power
     5.Knows that Germany is an example of a country with both a constitution and a government with limited power
     6.Knows that Japan is an example of a country with both a constitution and a government with limited power
     7.Knows that Botswana is an example of a country with both a constitution and a government with limited power
     8.Knows that Chile is an example of a country with both a constitution and a government with limited power
   Benchmark 4.Knows some basic uses of constitutions (e.g., to set forth the purposes of government, to describe the way a government is organized and how power is allocated, to define the relationship between a people and their government)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows that constitutions set forth the purpose of government
     2.Knows that constitutions describe the way a government is organized and how power is allocated
     3.Knows that constitutions define the relationship between a people and their government
   Benchmark 5.Knows how constitutions have been used to promote the interests of a particular group, class, religion, or political party (e.g., the People's Republic of China, Kenya, Mexico)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows how constitutions have been used to promote the interests of a particular group
     2.Knows how constitutions have been used to promote the interests of a particular class
     3.Knows how constitutions have been used to promote the interests of a particular religion
     4.Knows how constitutions have been used to promote the interests of a particular political party
     5.Knows how the constitution in the People’s Republic of China was used to promote the interests of particular people
     6.Knows how the constitution in Kenya was used to promote the interests of particular people
     7.Knows how the constitution in Mexico was used to promote the interest of particular people
   Benchmark 6.Knows how constitutions have been used to protect individual rights and promote the common good (e.g., First Amendment, Nineteenth Amendment in the United States Constitution)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows how constitutions have been used to protect individual rights
     2.Knows how constitutions have been used to promote the common good
     3.Understands the First Amendment of the United States Constitution
     4.Understands the Nineteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   Benchmark 1.Distinguishes between governments with a constitution and constitutional (limited) government
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Knows that a government with a constitution is not necessarily a constitutional government
   Benchmark 2.Understands how constitutions set forth the structure of government, give the government power, and establish the relationship between the people and their government
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Understands how constitutions set forth the structure of government
     2.Understands how constitutions give the government power
     3.Understands how constitutions establish the relationship between the people and their government
   Benchmark 3.Understands how constitutions may limit government's power in order to protect individual rights and promote the common good
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Understands how constitutions may limit a government’s power in order to protect individual rights
     2.Understands how constitutions may limit a government’s power in order to promote the common good
   Benchmark 4.Understands how constitutions, in the past as well as in the present, have been disregarded or used to promote the interests of a particular group, class, faction, or a government (e.g., slavery, exclusion of women from the body politic, prohibition of competing political parties)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Understands how constitutions have been disregarded in the past as well as in the present
     2.Understands how constitutions have been used to promote the interests of a particular group in the past as well as in the present
     3.Understands how constitutions have been used to promote the interests of a particular class in the past as well as in the present
     4.Understands how constitutions have been used to promote the interests of a particular faction in the past as well as in the present
     5.Understands how constitutions have been used to promote the interests of a particular government in the past as well as in the present
     6.Knows that slavery is an example of how constitutions have been disregarded
     7.Knows that the exclusion of women from politics is an example of how constitutions have been disregarded
     8.Knows that the prohibition of competing political parties is an example of how constitutions have been disregarded
   Benchmark 5.Understands how constitutions can be vehicles for change and for resolving social issues (e.g., use of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s; establishment of the Japanese Constitution after World War II, which provided women the right to vote)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Understands how constitutions can be vehicles for change
     2.Understands how constitutions can be vehicles for resolving social issues
     3.Knows that the Fourteenth Amendment was used in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s
     4.Knows that the establishment of the Japanese Constitution after World War II provided women the right to vote
   Benchmark 6.Understands how constitutions may be used to preserve core values and principles of a political system or society (e.g., prohibition of religious tests for public office, protection of private property by the United States Constitution)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Understands how constitutions may be used to preserve the core values and principles of a political system
     2.Understands how constitutions may be used to preserve the core values and principles of a society
     3.Knows that constitutions preserve core values and principles by prohibiting religious tests for public office
     5.Knows that the United States Constitution preserves core values and principles by protecting private property
 Standard 8.  Understands the central ideas of American constitutional government and how this form of government has shaped the character of American society
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   Benchmark 5.Understands the necessity for a written Constitution to set forth the organization of government and to grant and distribute its powers (e.g., among different branches of the national government, between the national government and the states, between the people and the government)
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Understands the necessity for a written Constitution to set for the organization of government
     2.Understands the necessity for a written Constitution to grant and distribute power
     3.Knows that the Constitution grants and distributes power among different branches of the national government
     4.Knows that the Constitution grants and distributes power between national and state governments
     5.Knows that the Constitution grants and distributes power between the people and the government
   Benchmark 6.Understands how various provisions of the Constitution and principles of the constitutional system help to insure an effective government that will not exceed its limits
    Knowledge/skill statements
     1.Understands how various provisions of the Constitution help to insure an effective government that will not exceed its limits
     2.Understands how the principles of the constitutional system help to insure an effective government that will not exceed its limits