GED Social Studies Important Idea: Separation of Powers

On the GED test, there are some important ideas you need to know about government and the big ideas behind government in the U.S. I was thinking about the last thing I talked about, redistricting, made me think about it. I mean, when people were using redistricting to discriminate against blacks or other minorities, other people brought it to court. The Supreme Court decided whether the people making laws were right or wrong. So, one part of the government can stop another part of the government from doing something. Continue reading

Political Cartoons… They’re on the GED!

So, you know what’s on the GED test that’s fun and interesting to study? Political cartoons! Yes, there always seem to be political cartoons on the GED practice tests. They want you to look at them, understand them, and make conclusions about them. So, here’s some fun practice for GED social studies… go look at political cartoons! Continue reading

GED Social Studies… Life Around the World

I found this great article by a Peace Corps volunteer who’s working in Honduras. When you want a glass of water, you probably turn on your faucet and there it is. You’re probably like me, you don’t even think about it. But this village in Honduras, they have pipes that go to a stream nearby. In the summer, they’re all dried up, and in the winter, the water’s not clean.

This is the story of the Peace Corps volunteer, Joan Heberger, trying to get a plan together to get water to the village.

http://www.peacecorps.gov/wws/stories/stories.cfm?psid=49&gid=3

Read the story, and I’ll have a GED practice question for it next week.

GED Test Social Studies… Ugh!

I don’t know why, but the GED test social studies section seems hard to a lot of people. I guess it’s because there’s so much history, and economics, and geography in the whole world. And people ask me, what does looking into local history help? Who knows what’s going to be on the test!

And maybe there’ll be stuff about Spain three hundred years ago or something, but the most important thing is figuring out how to think about what you’re reading. That’s why I say, read about anything that interests you! Because you’re learning to read about stuff, learning to learn new information. That’s the most important thing for the GED social science test.

It’s like how I was interested to read about Clara Barton. As I said, you can read about her at: http://www.civilwar.com/content/view/257/53/
Here’s part of what it says about her:

Clara Barton settled in Danville, N.Y., where for several years she was a semi-invalid. In 1877 she wrote a founder of the International Red Cross, offering to lead an American branch of the organization. Thus, at 56 she began a new career.
In 1881 Barton incorporated the American Red Cross, with herself as president. A year later her extraordinary efforts brought about United States ratification of the Geneva Convention. She herself attended conferences of the International Red Cross as the American representative. She was, however, far from bureaucratic in interests. Although wholly individualistic and unlike reformers who worked on programs for social change, she did a great social service as activist and propagandist.

The social studies test might have a reading like that, and probably it’s something you’ve never read about before! Then, there’s a question, and you can probably answer it just by reading the passage carefully. Try it!

Question: According to the information, Clara Barton was most interested in:

1. founding organizations.
2. having an important position.
3. attending conferences.
4. ratifying conventions.
5. social activism.

What do you think?

GED Social Studies: Haiti’s History

Hey everyone, isn’t it just horrible what happened in Haiti? If you haven’t heard yet, you can donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting “HAITI” to the number 90999, and the money will be added to your next phone bill. Or you can go redcross.org and donate there. I picked a practice question today that talks about Haiti’s past–particularly about the language they speak.

photo taken by dominic arizona : azfoto.com

photo taken by dominic arizona : azfoto.com

  • In the early 15th century, the Spanish took control of the island of Hispaniola for its gold, killing many of the indigenous peoples with disease.
  • In the 16th century, Africans were brought to the island as slaves.
  • Many French pirates made their homes on the western shores of Hispaniola.
  • France eventually gained control over the western portion of the island, and many battles for independence were fought until 1804, when independence was won, and the nation was renamed to Haiti.
  • In the 20th century, the United states occupied Haiti in an attempt to help stabilize their government. During this time, Haitian Creole was also accepted as an official language of Haiti, particularly in education.
  • Throughout the turbulent years of Haiti’s past, many Haitians have left to try and make a better life for themselves in other parts of the Caribbean and North America. Continue reading

GED Social Studies: Deciphering Ads

In today’s day and age, we’re bombarded with a lot of advertisements, and a lot of the time there’s a ton of information thrown at you at once. Sometimes it’s not even related to the product, like when they have women in bikinis playing volleyball in the snowy Alps for a beer commercial. Sometimes there is a lot of relevant information though, and it’s good to know exactly what the ad is trying to get at.

speedy_broom

In the above image, what information about the product is most important to the advertisement?

1. It catches a lot of dirt.

2. It cleans quickly.

3. It has bristles made out of nanotubes.

4. It’s red.

5. It’s inexpensive. Continue reading

GED Social Studies: Seven Wonders

I once visited the Grand Canyon, and let me tell you, it was a real sight to see. I mean, I’ve seen holes in the earth before, so I wasn’t even really sure I’d be as impressed as people tell you you’ll be, but once you get out there, and stand on the edge of a cliff dropping right down into that giant hole, it really takes your breath away.

Later I read about how the Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. I’ve never seen most of the others, except the Northern Lights, which I once saw on a long haul up to Whitehorse in the Yukon. It was real pretty. Kinda like bright white, greenish clouds, only at night. And they’d kinda shifted and moved around real fast, like there was a giant fan up in space blowing them around. I can definitely see why the Grand Canyon and the Northern Lights are part of the Seven Natural Wonders. I think I’d like to see all the rest someday, even they are all across the globe, like Mount Everest way over there in Asia.

I started looking up some of the other wonders of the world, and found out that there’s a lot of different lists! One of the most popular is the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. That’s got the Pyramids in it, along with a lot of other neat things. Here’s a practice question about one of them that I thought was pretty hard. Continue reading

GED Social Studies: Health Care

Hey there! You’re all workin’ on your GED, and so money’s probably tight. Though when I was working as a truck driver, I was doin’ okay. What happened was, my back went out. Now, there’s no way I can drive a truck, so I gotta work on doing something else. That’s when I found out I needed my GED for any decent job. For options, you know. Because things go wrong. Well, when my back first went out, let me tell you, dealing with the insurance company and doctors and medical bills… it was no easy thing. That’s why I was interested in this article I read… and I feel pretty lucky, because bein’ put outta work and havin’ medical expenses, it could’ve been a lot worse.

Here’s a good GED social studies article… it talks about how according to one stud, 60% of bankruptcies are because of medical bills, even though a lot of the people have medical insurance: Medical bills prompt more than 60% of U.S. bankruptcies (CNN) … now, how bout a GED practice question about it?

The study may overestimate the number of bankruptcies caused by medical bills yet underestimate the financial burden of health care on American families, because most people struggle along but don’t end up declaring bankruptcy, according to Cunningham.

“Bankruptcy is the most extreme or final step for people who are having problems paying medical bills,” he says. “Medical bills and medical costs are an issue that can very easily and in pretty short order overwhelm a lot families who are on otherwise solid financial ground, including those with private insurance.”

Which of the following is the best conclusion based on Cunningham’s viewpoint?

1) Health care financial problems can be solved by more families having private insurance.

2) No bankruptcies are truly caused by medical expenses.

3) Families that incur high medical expenses usually have unstable finances.

4) No study could accurately estimate the contribution of health care expenses to bankruptcy.

5) Private insurance alone is not a complete solution to the financial burden of health care costs.

So, have you thought about the question? What do you think is the right answer? Read more to find out how I approached it… Continue reading