About This Chapter
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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Other chapters within the American Government Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course
- U.S. Constitutional Democracy Lesson Plans
- Federalism in the United States Lesson Plans
- U.S. Political Culture, Opinion & Behavior Lesson Plans
- Civil Liberties in American Government Lesson Plans
- Civil Rights in American Government Lesson Plans
- Political Parties in the U.S. Government Lesson Plans
- Interest Groups and American Democracy Lesson Plans
- The Media and American Democracy Lesson Plans
- The Federal Bureaucracy in America Lesson Plans
- Presidential Election, Powers & Practice Lesson Plans
- Congress: Election, Power & Representation Lesson Plans
- The U.S. Federal Judicial System Lesson Plans
- U.S. Public, Social & Environmental Policy Lesson Plans
- U.S. Economic and Fiscal Policy Lesson Plans
- Foreign and Defense Policy in the U.S. Lesson Plans