Marcyopolis: A Lesson in Government
Marcy Elementary fourth grade's civics and government unit culminated with a Zoom visit from Congressman Anthony Brindisi. Congressman Brinidisi took time just before he was to speak on the House floor to tell students about his career path and his role as a congressman. The students also shared the laws they created as part of the unit with the Congressman.
That section of the unit included the students running for positions on the “Marcyopolis” Town Board and drafting proposed legislation. The Town Board met virtually and the classes voted on the laws. The laws included the Ride Your Bike Law to help with air pollution, the Quiet Work Time Law to allow for 30 minutes of silent work time, and the Extra Math Fact Practice Time Law.
They were able to put their legislation to work in a mock trial where the students assumed roles in the judiciary. The unit was designed, with the help of Attorney Nate Getman, to give students background knowledge about the three branches of government and gain practical experience with that knowledge. To enhance their understanding, representatives from all three branches of government spoke to the classes, including Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol, New York State Senator Joseph Griffo, New York State Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, and Attorney Nate Getman. The students learned about each of the speakers’ positions, their work with the other branches of government, and how their work has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to all the speakers for their time and expertise.
When asked about the Government Unit, Nina Arcuri, a fourth grader in Miss Sutliff’s class said, “I liked the Mock Trial the most because I was the Prosecutor and I got to have a lot of lines. Something I learned that I didn’t know before was that the Prosecutor is called the People and also how the Town Board works.”
It was a unit that the students will never forget!
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