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        9-12

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        P.S. Illinois: Strength Through Education Lesson Plan

        College costs are rising exponentially, and students often amass large debt pursuing their dreams. Paul Simon helped make education affordable by backing legislation that directly impacts the American education system and every student it serves. Simon was an advocate for equal access to training and education, and he was responsible for the National Literacy Act, the School-to-Work Act and the Direct Student Loan Program. Discover the possibilities for a successful future thanks to Paul Simon's efforts in P.S. Illinois: Strength Through Education.

        Lesson Summary

        Objective:

        This lesson helps students recognize and make connections among social systems they encounter, including political, economic, educational, and social institutions. Students will explore what happens when institutions have conflicting principles. Students will read informational texts and express ideas.

        Grade Levels:

        • 9-12

        Suggested Time:

        • 2-3 class periods

        Multimedia Resources:

        P.S. Illinois: Strength Through Education video

        P.S. Illinois: More Money for Students PDF document

        Before the Lesson:

        Review the resources ahead of time to prepare for the lesson.

        • Watch P.S. Illinois: Strength Through Education video

        • Read P.S. Illinois: More Money for Students PDF document

        • Print and make copies of the PDF document

        • Print and make copies of the discussion questions. An alternative is to display the document on screen using classroom technology.

        • Consider how to prepare students to discuss the subject matter. Develop additional discussion questions as necessary to connect the subject matter to topics the class has already studied.

        The Lesson:

        Part I – 

        • View P.S. Illinois: Strength Through Education video and read P.S. Illinois: More Money for Students PDF document. This can be done in the classroom or assigned as homework the night before. 

        • Break the class into small groups to answer discussion questions. 

        • Review the answers with the class.

        Part II – 

        Ask students to create a short presentation (3-5 minutes in length)* in response to the video, essay and class discussion. In their responses, students should consider the following:

        • How do current student loan forgiveness plans impact education and career choices? Are you more willing to work in a public service setting in exchange for student loan forgiveness? 
        • Are you in favor of increasing the amount of grant funding available to college students?
        • What benefits you more as a college student? Tax credits or student loans?
        • Are you in favor of increasing the amount of grant funding available to college students?

        * Presentations may be created utilizing PowerPoint, Animoto, Prezi or another preferred method. In larger classes, students may be divided into groups of two or three to ensure all presentations can be completed in one class period.

        Culminating Activity:

        Students will deliver their presentations to the class to demonstrate an understanding of the subject matter.

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