Unit 1 - Foundations of American Government

Unit introduces students to both the origins of American Government and the government as it exists today.  Chapter 1 analyzes the purposes and concepts behind American democracy.  Chapter 2 explores the origins of the American governmental system from its early development to the creation and adoption of the Constitution.  Chapter 3 describes the six basic principles in on which the Constitution is built and the formal and informal procedures for interpreting the Constitution. Chapter 4 shows the division of power between the National Government and the States, and how constitutional provisions encourage cooperation between and among the states.

Essential Questions: What are the purposes of government? What principles guide different types of government?  What is the role of government in different types of economic systems?  What influenced the development of our government institutions?  Why and How did the colonists declare independence?  How does the U.S.Constitution structure government and divide power between the national and state governments?  Why and how has the U.S. Constitution been amended and interpreted throughout our history?  How do state Constitutions and local charters structure government and protect individual rights?   Why and how is power divided and shared among national, state, and local governments?  How does federalism promote democracy and civic participation?

Chapter 1 - Foundations of American Government

Foundations of American Government PPT

Chapter 1 Lesson 1 Purpose and Origins of Government PPT

Chapter 1 Lesson 2 Types of Government PPT

Chapter 1 Lesson 3 Economic System PPT

Foundations of Government Study Guide PDF

Foundations of Government Outline

Chapter 2 - Origins of American Government 

Origins of American Government PPT

Chapter 2 Lesson 1 Government in Colonial America PPT

Chapter 2 Lesson 2 Uniting for Independence PPT

Chapter 2 Lesson 3 The Articles of Confederation PPT

Chapter 2 Lesson 4 Creating the Constitution PPT

Origins of American Government Study Guide PDF

Origins of American Government Outline

Chapter 2 Practice Test

Chapter 3 - The Constitution

The Constitution PPT

Chapter 3 Lesson 1 Structure and Principles of the Constitution PPT

Chapter 3 Lesson 2 The Three Branches of Government PPT

Chapter 3 Lesson 3 Amendments PPT

The Constitution Study Guide PDF

Constitution Project

The Constitution Outline

Chapter 3 Practice Test

Chapter 4  - Federalism

Federalism PPT

Federalism Study Guide PDF

Federalism Outline

Unit 2  - The Legislative Branch

Unit two covers the Legislative Branch.  The legislative branch plays a variety of important roles in governing communities, states, and the nation.  At each level of government, the legislative branch represents the interests of the voters and should reflect the makeup of the population it serves.  Perhaps the most important function of the legislative branch is its power to pass, amend, and repeal laws.  Legislators must balance competing interests so that a law is fair.  Each part of the legislative branch has its own responsibilities in  creating laws.  At all levels, the laws our legislatures enact protect and endorse our rights and help us understand the "rules" we need to follow so society runs smoothly.  The work of the legislative branch also plays an important role in overseeing the executive and his or her administration.  Raising revenue - primarily through the use of taxes - and approving government spending are also the responsibilities of the legislative branch.  In all of these functions, legislators are influenced by a great many factors: voters, staff members, political parties, and special interest groups.  By understanding the roles and functions of the legislative branch, you can better understand how and why the laws that affect your daily society and life are made.

Essential Questions: What is the structure and organization of Congress? How have the powers of Congress changed over time?  How does the separation of powers influence the work of Congress?  How does a bill become a law? How does the government raise and allocate money? What factors influence congressional decision making? How can citizens participate in state and local governments? How are laws created at the state and local levels?

Chapter 5 - The Structure of Congress

Structure of Congress PPT

Chapter 5 Lesson 1 Congressional Membership PPT

Chapter 5 Lesson 2 The House of Representatives PPT

Chapter 5 Lesson 3 The Senate PPT

Chapter 5 Lesson 4 Congressional Committees PPT

Structure of Congress Study Guide PDF

The Structure of Congress Outline

Congressional Scavenger Hunt

Practice Test Chapter 5

Chapter 6 - Congressional Powers

Congressional Powers PPT

Congressional Powers Study Guide

Congressional Powers Outline

 Unit 3 - The Executive Branch

As the country's only nationally elected office, presidents today have much greater power and responsibility than presidents who served earlier in our nation's history.  The president is the head of state, chief executive, commander in chief, chief diplomat, legislative leader, economic leader, and party leader.  Successful executives are in tune with the public, posses good communication skills and a sense of timing, are willing to compromise with competing factions, and demonstrate political courage.  Many federal departments, agencies, boards, commissions, government corporations, and advisory committees make up the executive branch of the United States government.  All of these bodies help carry out the president's policies and the laws passed by Congress.  The function of the executive branch on the state and local levels is much the same as on the federal level.  State and local executives administer and enforce the laws passed by the legislative branch.  By understanding how the executive branch operates, you will more clearly see how the actions of federal, state, and local bureaucracies affect your daily life.

Essential Questions:  What are the powers and roles of the president and how have they changed over time?  What are the structure and functions of the executive branch? Why and how has the process for nominating and electing presidents changed over time? How are state and local executive branches structured? What are the characteristics of effective governors and mayors?

Chapter 9 - The Presidency

The Presidency PPT

Chapter 9 Lesson 1 Sources of Presidential Power PPT

Chapter 9 Lesson 2 Head of State and Chief Executive PPT

Chapter 9 Lesson 3 Commander in Chief and Chief Diplomat PPT

Chapter 9 Lesson 4 Legislative, Economic, and Party Leader PPT

The Presidency Study Guide PDF

The Presidency Outline

Chapter 9 Practice Test

Chapter 10 - Choosing the President

Choosing the President PPT

Chapter 10 Lesson 1 Presidential Qualifications and Leadership PPT

Chapter 10 Lesson 2 Presidential Salary, the Vice President and Succession PPT

Chapter 10 Lesson 3 Electing the President PPT

Choosing the President Study Guide PDF

Choosing the President Outline

Chapter 10 Practice Test

Unit 5 - Participating in  Government
Unit 5 concentrates on political behavior of American citizens.  There are many ways you can participate in your government.  Citizens in the United States can vote for candidates in elections, volunteer for a political party or election campaign, join interest groups to affect issues that matter to them, contact their elected representatives, and follow the news about government in their state or community.  Students will examine the origins of political parties, party identification and the role of third parties.  Students will also analyze voter patterns, turnout, trends and barriers that have been eliminated to ensure fair and equal treatment in the voting process since the civil war. Students will understand the limitations on campaign funding and the significance and importance of voting.  Students will identify the influence of mass media on society and the political process.
Essential Questions:  How does the two - party system influence American democracy?  Who should have the right to vote in a democracy? What factors influence voters and election campaigns?  What are key steps in voting?  In what ways can public opinion affect government policy?  How do special interest groups seek to influence U.S. public policy?  What role does the mass media play in the U.S. political system?  How do the Internet and social media affect the U.S. political process?

Chapter 17 - Political Parties

Political Parties PPT

Chapter 17 Lesson 1 Development of Political Parties PPT

Chapter 17 Lesson 2 Party Ideology and Identification PPT

Chapter 17 Lesson 3 Party Organization and Nominating Candidates PPT

Political Parties Study Guide PDF

Political Parties Outline

Political Party Project

Chapter 17 Practice Test

Chapter 18 - Voting and Elections

Voting and Elections PPT

Chapter 18 Lesson 1 Expanding Voting Rights PPT

Chapter 18 Lesson 2 Influences on Voters PPT

Chapter 18 Lesson 3 Campaigns and Financing PPT

Chapter 18 Lesson 4 Voters Guide PPT

Voting and Elections Study Guide PDF

Voting and Elections Outline

Voter Behavior Scavenger Hunt

Chapter 18 Practice Test

Chapter 19 - Public Opinion and Interest Groups

Public Opinion and Interest Groups PPT

Chapter 19 Lesson 1 Shaping Public Opinion PPT

Chapter 19 Lesson 2 Measuring Public Opinion PPT

Chapter 19 Lesson 3 Interest Groups and Their Roles PPT

Chapter 19 Lesson 4 Affecting Public Policy PPT

Public Opinion and Interest Groups Study Guide PDF

Public Opinion and Interest Groups Outline

Interest Group Project

Chapter 19 Practice Test

 Chapter 20 - Mass Media

Mass Media PPT

Mass Media PPT Mass Media Study Guide PDF

Mass Media Outline