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Ch 1: Intro to American Government Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Intro to American Government chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach about the definition, principles, and evolution of U.S. government in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Intro to American Government chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

Day Topics Key Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday Government The functions of government in general and in the U.S., pros and cons of different types of government, American government ideals
Tuesday Modern American government Characteristics of contemporary American politics (i.e., primaries, public opinion), tracing the philosophy of American Enlightenment, dominant values in American government (i.e., liberty, unity, diversity)
Wednesday Politics Sources of conflict, the role of politics in government, the role of American ideals in politics, political power
Thursday Democracy Direct vs. representative democracy, theories of democracy and government
Friday Power shifts in American government Factors that contribute to a shift in power from the majority to a minority

15 Lessons in Chapter 1: Intro to American Government Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Government? - Definition, Role & Functions

1. What is Government? - Definition, Role & Functions

In this lesson, we will examine the various definitions of government. Then we will take a close look at the functions of the U.S. government and the role it plays in citizens' everyday lives.

Traditional Types of Government: Definitions, Strengths & Weaknesses

2. Traditional Types of Government: Definitions, Strengths & Weaknesses

In this lesson, we will explore several traditional types of government. We will define each type and take a close look at its strengths and weaknesses.

The Core Principles of American Government

3. The Core Principles of American Government

In this lesson, we will examine a few of the core principles of American government. We will pay special attention to the ideas of popular sovereignty, limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism.

The New American Democracy: Definition & History

4. The New American Democracy: Definition & History

In this lesson, we will explore the phenomenon of the 'permanent campaign,' which has changed the face of American democracy. In doing so, we will take a close look at the factors that led to this political development.

The American Enlightenment: Intellectual and Social Revolution

5. The American Enlightenment: Intellectual and Social Revolution

For a thousand years, Europe had been living in the Dark Ages until a series of philosophical, religious and scientific movements helped turn on the lights. The Enlightenment began in Europe, but quickly spread throughout America in the 1700s and helped set the stage for a revolution against British rule.

America's Core Values: Liberty, Equality & Self-Government

6. America's Core Values: Liberty, Equality & Self-Government

In this lesson, we will examine a few of America's core values. We will focus especially on liberty, self-government, equality, individualism, diversity, and unity.

Politics: Definition and Source of Governmental Conflict

7. Politics: Definition and Source of Governmental Conflict

In this lesson, we will explore the concept of politics. We will examine the various definitions of the word, take a close look at the role of politics in government, and investigate the conflicts sometimes caused by politics.

The Rules of American Politics: Democracy, Constitutionalism & Capitalism

8. The Rules of American Politics: Democracy, Constitutionalism & Capitalism

In this lesson, we will explore the three rules of American politics: democracy, constitutionalism, and capitalism. We will define each rule and see how it works to keep the political system running smoothly.

Political Power: Definition, Types & Sources

9. Political Power: Definition, Types & Sources

In this lesson, we will take a close look at political power. We will define the term, examine its elements, and learn about several theories that help determine who gets to use political power.

What is Democracy? - Definition, Types & Principles

10. What is Democracy? - Definition, Types & Principles

In this lesson, we will study the nature of democracy. We will define the term, take a look at the types of democracy, and examine its basic principles.

Thomas Hobbes & John Locke: Political Theories & Competing Views

11. Thomas Hobbes & John Locke: Political Theories & Competing Views

In this lesson, we discuss the two premier English political theorists of the 17th century: Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. We'll also take a look at their impact on Western philosophy in contemporary and modern times.

Shifting Power From Majority to Only a Few: Factors & Process

12. Shifting Power From Majority to Only a Few: Factors & Process

In this lesson, we will explore factors that have shifted power from the majority of voters to specific groups. We'll pay special attention to voter participation, single-issue voters, uninformed citizens, the nomination of candidates, and campaign expenses.

Lincoln's First Inaugural Address: Summary & Analysis

13. Lincoln's First Inaugural Address: Summary & Analysis

Abraham Lincoln became president at a time when the United States looked sure to split apart over the issue of slavery. Learn more about what he said about this problem in his First Inaugural Speech and why he hoped that it would help keep the country from descending into a civil war.

Government: Definition, Purpose & Types

14. Government: Definition, Purpose & Types

In this lesson, you will explore the concept and forms of government and discover how different types of government use and control their power. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

5th Grade Government Project Ideas

15. 5th Grade Government Project Ideas

Use these project ideas to deepen students' understanding of government through the use of collaborative, engaging projects that synthesize the research skills and academic content learned about in a 5th grade unit on government.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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