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How Can the American Government Better Fulfill Its Purposes?


Purpose of the Lesson

In this lesson, you will be asked to tally and analyze the responses to the questionnaires you have gathered. You will then be asked to evaluate, take, and defend positions on how well you think the American government is fulfilling its responsibilities as set forth in the Preamble. Finally, you will be asked to propose actions that the government should undertake to remedy what you consider to be shortcomings in the fulfillment of its purposes.








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Comparing responses

Bring your completed questionnaires to class and tally the responses to the questions. Then take the following steps.
  1. Identify the questions on which there was general agreement.
  2. Identify the questions on which there was no general agreement.
  3. Work as a class to
    • list explanations for why there was general agreement on some questions, and
    • list explanations for why there was no general agreement on other questions.



Taking a position


Working alone or with a small group, write a brief statement explaining how well you think the American government is fulfilling its purposes as set forth in the Preamble. Be prepared to present and defend your essay in class and to evaluate the other presentations.


Proposing remedies

If you have identified any shortcomings in how well the American government is fulfilling its purposes, select one and write a brief essay proposing what you think the government should do to better fulfill the purpose. Be prepared to present and discuss your statement with your class.


Concluding activity

View results to learn how other Americans throughout the nation answered the questionnaire. Compare your class’s results with the national results. Why might they be different? Why might they be the same?