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Cause and Effect - Social Studies (Grade 8)

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Cause and Effect - Social Studies

A citizen is a person who is a full member of the U.S. Citizens owe loyalty or allegiance to their country. They can take an active part in helping to improve their community and the U.S. system of government. Some ways in which citizens can help govern their community are by:

- Nominating candidates to run for public office
- Voting for candidates who are nominated
- Holding public office at the local, state or national level
- Directing or organizing community affairs

Responsibilities of Citizens

Citizens of the U.S. have the opportunity and the responsibility to participate in their government. This process of self-government insures that power will always remain where it belongs - with the people.

The most important right citizens have is the right to vote. By voting, the people have a voice in the government. The people decide who will represent them in the government. Officials can be voted in or out of office. Every person’s vote counts the same as another person's vote.

The right to vote is a duty or responsibility as well as a privilege. It is important for all citizens to vote in every election to make sure that the democratic, representative system of government is maintained. Persons who do not vote lose their voice in the government. Before voting in an election, each citizen should be well informed about the issues and candidates.

The government may call upon citizens to serve on a jury. If an individual is chosen for jury duty, he or she must stop work and attend the trial as long as he or she is needed. The members of the jury need to decide the case in as fair a way as they can.

Men can be asked to serve in the armed forces. During times of war, any man who is physically able can be called upon to fight for the U.S. In peaceful times, there can be a draft or men and women can enlist voluntarily.

Every person is expected to obey the laws of the community, state and country in which he or she lives. All Americans are expected to respect the rights of others. All persons living in the U.S. are expected to pay the income taxes and other taxes honestly and on time.

To be responsible members of their communities, citizens can volunteer their services to help obtain needed improvements. Citizens can offer their knowledge and talents to different local organizations or committees. Participation in town meetings, public hearing and community projects is important for community improvement and for finding out the problems that need to be solved.

Informational/Public Domain (source:
According to the passage, self-government is the reason that...
  1. power remains with the people.
  2. the country has high voter turnout.
  3. so many people apply to become citizens.
  4. there are so many candidates in each election.
What do Americans have to do in order to have a voice in government?
  1. Run for office
  2. Vote in elections
  3. Become a citizen
  4. Volunteer for service
How can citizens help their communities get necessary improvements?
  1. Serve on juries
  2. Enlist in the armed forces
  3. Volunteer their services
  4. Research local nominees
What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. People should help those in local hospitals.
  2. Garage sales are a great way to make some money.
  3. Speaking to the city council is easier than one would think.
  4. Communities can work together to help those in need.
Which statement is most likely true, based on the information in this passage?
  1. Volunteering is necessary to develop a strong college application.
  2. Being a volunteer with your friends or family is often the most effective method.
  3. Most volunteering opportunities are found through online databases.
  4. Volunteers are almost always in demand in the typical community.
Is distracted driving really a problem?

Distracted driving kills. The friends, family, and neighbors of the thousands of people killed each year in distracted driving crashes will tell you it is a very serious safety problem. The nearly half a million people injured each year will agree.

What is distracted driving?

Distraction occurs any time you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off your primary task: driving safely. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.

If it's so dangerous, why do people do it?

Some people still don't know how dangerous distracted driving is. Others know about the risks of texting and talking while driving, but still choose to do so anyway. They make the mistake of thinking the statistics don't apply to them, that they can defy the odds. Still others simply lead busy, stressful lives and use cell phones and smartphones to stay connected with their families, friends, and workplaces. They forget or choose not to shut these devices off when they get behind the wheel.

Who are the most serious offenders?

Our youngest and most inexperienced drivers are most at risk, with 16% of all distracted driving crashes involving drivers under 20. But they are not alone. At any given moment during daylight hours, over 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone.

Sending or reading one text is pretty quick, unlike a phone conversation - wouldn't that be okay?

Texting is the most alarming distraction because it involves manual, visual, and cognitive distraction simultaneously. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded. It's extraordinarily dangerous.

What is the main reason texting is considered the most dangerous driving distraction?
  1. It takes your mind off of the oncoming traffic.
  2. It involves your hands, eyes and brain all at the same time.
  3. It takes longer to text than it does to make an actual phone call.
  4. It is not possible to text with the safer hands-free style cell phone.
What is the main reason people continue to text while driving?
  1. They are not aware texting is as dangerous as it is.
  2. They have to stay in close contact with work and family.
  3. They have hands-free cell phones and know they are safe to use.
  4. They do not believe they take their eyes off of the road when texting.
What was the main purpose of including the statistics about text-related accidents and fatalities?
  1. To point out how many young people text while they are driving
  2. To explain why all ages are guilty of using their phones in the car
  3. To show how closely the impact of texting on driving is researched
  4. To demonstrate the huge risk involved with texting behind the wheel

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