1. To begin, each member of the group will be given an "Expectations and Self Evaluation" handout.(See attached file at the bottom of the page.) Go over the expectations for class conduct with your group. If something isn't clear, ask the teacher. Once you understand the expectations, it's time to get to work!

  2. You will each be given a "Government Fact Sheet."(See attached file at the bottom of the page.) Each member should then familiarize themselves with the different types of government throughout history. There are many different forms of government, but for the purpose of your research you will be looking at the governments listed on the table below.

    A brief definition of each form of government is given. It is essential that you understand each of these terms. Click on the government type to bring up a page with resources to further your understanding. It is from this research that you will be filling out your "Government Fact Sheet," answering these questions for each form of government:

    Who is in charge in this form of government?
    How does this form of government work?
    Who does this form of government seem to favor?
    What are some examples of this form of government?


     Brief Description


    1: absence of government 2: a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority 


    Government in which one person possesses unlimited power

     Constitutional  Monarchy

    System of government in which a monarch shares power with a constitutionally organized government.



    1: government by the people ; especially : rule of the majority 2: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections


    a system of government in which the ruler has unlimited power


    1: a form of government in which absolute power is concentrated in a dictator or a small clique 2: a government organization or group in which absolute power is so concentrate


    1 : undivided rule or absolute sovereignty by a single person2 : a nation or state having a monarchical government3 : a government having a hereditary chief of state with life tenure and powers varying from nominal to absolute


    1: government by the few2: a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes ; also : a group exercising such control


    1 : government by the wealthy2 : a controlling class of the wealthy


    A government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law


    Government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided

    Answering the questions on your "Fact Sheet" and sharing is critical before moving on to the next step. 

  3. Each member of the group will receive a "Social Class Fact Sheet" (See attached file at the bottom of the page). They will then assume the role of a member from one of the six different social classes, as defined by SparknotesMaking sure you understand what each of the social classes are is very important. To ensure you understand the terms, click on the name of each social class for more resources you can use to research its meaning. It is from this research that you will fill out your "Social Class Fact Sheet," answering the following:

    • What makes a person a member of this class?
    • What are some examples of a person in this class?
    • What is the level of education of a person in this class?

    Among your group, decide who will be each of the foll

    1. Upper classThe upper class, which makes up about one percent of the U.S. population, generally consists of those with vast inherited wealth (sometimes called “old money”). Members of the upper class may also have a recognizable family name, such as Rockefeller, DuPont, or Kennedy. Some members of the upper class work, but their salaries are not their primary sources of income. Most members of this strata have attended college, most likely at some of the most prestigious educational institutions in the country.
      The Kennedy family is a prime example of an upper-class family. Joseph P. Kennedy made his fortune during the 1920s and passed it down to succeeding generations.
    2. New moneyThe category called new money is a relatively new rung on the social ladder and makes up about 15 percent of the population. New money includes people whose wealth has been around only for a generation or two. Also referred to as the nouveaux riches(French for “newly rich”), they have earned their money rather than inheriting it. Unlike the members of the upper class, they do not have a family associated with old money.
      Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, and other celebrities, athletes, and business people fit into this category.
      The nouveaux riches merit their own category because they make so much money that they lead very different lives from those in subsequent SES groupings. The newly rich simply do not have the day-to-day financial concerns that often plague the rest of society.

    3. Middle classThe next rung on the ladder is the middle class, which includes about 34 percent of the population. The members of the middle class earn their money by working at what could be called professional jobs. They probably have college educations, or at least have attended college. These people are managers, doctors, lawyers, professors, and teachers. They rarely wear uniforms, although some might wear distinctive clothing, such as a physician’s white coat. They are often referred to as the white-collar class, referring to the tendency of many middle-class men to wear suits with a white shirt to work.
    4. Working classThe working class makes up about 30 percent of the population. Its members may have gone to college, but more have had vocational or technical training. The members of the working class have a variety of jobs, including the following:
        • Electrician
        • Carpenter
        • Factory worker
        • Truck driver
        • Police officer
        This category is also called the blue-collar class in recognition of the likelihood that many of these individuals wear uniforms to work rather than suits. People in the working class are more likely to be members of unions than are people in the middle class. While there are differences between the working class and the middle class in terms of their values, behaviors, and even their voting records, their standards of living are often similar, but not identical.
    5. Working poorAnother new rung on the socioeconomic ladder is the working poor. Estimating how many Americans are in this category is difficult because the line separating them from those who are at or below the poverty level (see next section) is not solid. Estimates say that approximately 20 percent of the population could be classified in either the working-poor or poverty-level categories.
      People in the working-poor category have a low educational level, are not highly skilled, and work at minimum-wage jobs. They often work two or more part-time jobs and receive no health insurance or other benefits. These individuals are vulnerable to falling below the poverty line. They have very little or no job security, and their jobs are easily outsourced to countries where labor is cheaper.
      Every economy needs a group of workers that it can hire during an economic upswing and lay off when the economy weakens. The members of the working poor are such people; they are the “last hired, first fired.”
    6. Poverty levelPeople at the poverty level lack the means to meet their basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. The poverty level, set by the federal government in the mid 1960s, is an estimate of the minimum income a family of four needs to survive. The poverty level is currently about $18,000 per year—a figure that has come under fire for being woefully inadequate, mainly because poor people, particularly those in urban areas with high costs of living, need more money to survive.

  4. Now that you've done your research and you understand all the terms, examine the various forms of government from your social class's point of view. Your goal is to determine which form of government your social class would most prefer to live under, as well as which forms your social group would find "acceptable" and "unacceptable." From your research, you should understand what life is like for members of your social class, allowing you to determine which form of government would benefit them the most.

    Some questions to ask might be: Does my social class benefit under this form of government? Are we harmed by this form of government? Are the thoughts and concerns of my social class 
    taken into consideration in this form of government?

      • Take advantage of the physical resources the library has to offer to help you with your examinations, such as:
        • Encyclopedias
        • Dictionaries
        • Country Profile Books

  5. Meet as a group to share your findings.

  6. As a group, work to come to a consensus as to what form of government would be acceptable to most social classes.

  7. With your group, create a poster illustrating the benefits of the government you picked. Be creative! What will you include to make your stance clear to your audience?

  8. Present your findings to the class. Make sure to back up your opinion with information from your research and group discussions. You will display your poster and field questions from the teacher and the class. Remember, you're going to be presenting this to the President, so make it good!

  9.  Finally, return to your "Expectations and Self Evaluation" handout. Evaluate how well you feel you did during the WebQuest. Congratulations, you're all done!
Jeremy Wickham,
Apr 1, 2009, 1:36 PM
Jeremy Wickham,
Apr 1, 2009, 11:55 AM
Jeremy Wickham,
Apr 1, 2009, 12:31 PM