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Lawmaking in the United States

Grade 2, Unit 4 Above Level

Lawmaking in the United States

From a republic that gave voting rights only to white men, these books trace how later Constitutional Amendments resulted in equal voting rights for all citizens.

At the end of the Civil War African American men were given the right to vote.

After years of effort women fi nally achieved that same right in 1920 with the approval of the 19th amendment. The 24th Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 1964, followed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Truly equal voting rights for all citizens came nearly two hundred years after the formation of the Union.

Before Reading
Building Background

Build background for the book by allowing students to observe the book’s art and predict what some of the topics covered will be. Make sure students are familiar with the key vocabulary and concepts. Encourage students to discuss and share what they may already know about national laws.

President, freedom, citizen, Congress, government

Comprehension Skill: Main Idea and Details
The topic tells what something is about. The main idea is the most important idea about the topic. Details tell more about the main idea. As you read, think about the topic of the book. Then, think about the main idea that the author is trying to make about the topic. Then, think about some details that tell more about the main idea.

During Reading
Think Critically
1. What was unfair about the original voting laws in the Constitution? (Only white men with property could vote; women and African-American men did not have the same rights.)
2. What are two reasons that the 19th Amendment was passed? (Most western states already allowed women to vote in statewide elections; women were beginning to work outside the home.)
3. How do we amend the Constitution? (Both the House and Senate have to pass the law, and then most of the states have to approve it.)
4. Why was the Voting Rights Act of 1965 important?
(It made voting rights fair and gave everyone the right to vote; the federal government could make sure states did not keep anyone from voting.)

After Reading

Write one paragraph about some reasons why people should vote in presidential elections. Write your paragraph on another sheet of paper.

Organize Information
Graphic Organizer: Main Idea and Details Chart
Have students use the Main Idea and Details chart to organize the book’s topic, main idea, and details.

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