As a starting point, your group needs to get some common background information of the national debt. This includes basic terminology and a first impression of the key issues.
Make sure you can describe what each of the terms below means. Don't simply memorize the definitions, but make sure you can explain what things mean in your own words. Use the links below the words to find their meaning.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Any other words you think you need to define?
- Citizen's Guide to the Federal Budget
- from the U.S. Government Printing Office
- Questions Answered on the Budget
- from the Budget Analyst
- Let's Define Five Terms
- from Steve Conover, Sr.
- Gross Gross Domestic Product
- by Lincoln Anderson
- WWWebster Dictionary
- this general-purpose reference can give more meanings of a word
Use what you learned from defining the terms above to begin to answer some of the questions below. Additional links are provided, but the main thing is to begin to see the issues involved and to get a sense of what the heated debate is all about. Later you can develop your expertise, use this as a chance to get a feel for the background issues.
|Who?||- Who is responsible for creating this debt?
- Who thinks it's a problem?
- Who doesn't think it's a problem?
|What?||- What do the terms mean?
- What do some people think might happen because of the debt?
|Where?||- Where did the debt come from?
- Where did the money go?
|When?||- When did this debt get started?
- When do people think it will end?
|Why?||- Why might the debt be a problem?
- Why might the debt not be a problem?
|How?||- How do some people want to balance the budget?
- How did we get a surplus?
|Others?||- What other questions do you have?|
- Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government for Kids
- from The U.S. Government Printing Office
- Deficit and Denial
- from the Concord Coalition
- from Gene Simmons, Founder, National Debt Awareness Campaign
- Myths vs. Realities for the United States National Debt
- Debt is the wrong enemy. Growth is our neglected ally. and
- We'll Never Have to Pay It Back
- from Steve Conover, Sr.
- Federal Budget: Detailed Numbers from TruthAndPolitics.org
After this "Background for Everyone" phase of the WebQuest, you should have a pretty good idea of the main issuesd involved. You can now decide to finish this activity by doing the QuickQuest or carry on to complete the full WebQuest by dividing up your team into specific Roles that have different perspectives on the topic.
Created May, 1996. Last revised February, 2005
Created by Tom March, tom at ozline dot com
Applications Design Team/Wired Learning