“The truth is that all men having power must be mistrusted.” James Madison
SEL Connection: Students can tell you all about how adults use power. Students know what it is like to be reprimanded when they break rules or be constantly reminded that there are punishments that will follow certain actions. Students experience parents, teachers and principals wielding power every day and also experience bullies making power plays in and out of the classroom.
(1) Claim: Here Founding Father James Madison warns us that we need to watch out for anyone who has power. There is something about power that is inherently dangerous and can’t be trusted.
(2) Counterclaim: But what about people who use power for the good of other people? A well-meaning parent doesn’t set a curfew for the sole purpose of taking away their child’s freedom. They do it to keep their child safe.
(3) Essential Question: Is giving up power the right thing to do?
Try this 3-Step Think Aloud in class! Download our Discussion Prompt Procedures and Student Graphics Organizer.
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