Lesson 3

How Well Is the American Government Serving Its Purposes?

Purpose of the Lesson

In Lesson 2, you studied the purposes of the American government as they were set forth by the Founders in the Preamble to the Constitution. This lesson calls for you to survey adults in your community to find out to what degree they think the American government is fulfilling those purposes.

lesson3_congressHow well is the American government serving
its purposes as they are set forth in the Preamble
to the Constitution?

Acting individually or in small groups, use copies of the questionnaire printed from the pdf version of these lessons to survey at least three adults in your community regarding the degree to which they think the American government is fulfilling the purposes set forth in the Preamble to the Constitution. You can also ask adults to complete the questionnaire online at www.civiced.org/9-11-and-the-constitution-questionnaire. Be prepared to report your findings to your class.

Practice using the questionnaire

To prepare for using the questionnaire with adults, take turns using it with each other and record the responses for comparison with the responses from adults.

Introducing yourself

Introduce yourself and inform the person you are speaking to that as part of a class assignment, you are interviewing adults to see to what degree they think the U.S. government is achieving the purposes of government set forth in the Preamble to the Constitution. To remind them of those purposes, have them briefly read the Preamble included at the beginning of the questionnaire.

Inform the person that you are going to ask questions on the meaning of specific phrases of the Preamble and each of the purposes it sets forth. Record their answers.

Online questionnaire

As an alternative, you may wish to ask adults in your community to complete the questionnaire online. To do so, ask them to visit this website and follow the directions on the page: www.civiced.org/9-11-and-the-constitution-questionnaire. Ask them to print out the results and return them to you.


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