This Civics course is designed to give students an overview of   all aspects of U.S. government and what it means to be a U.S. citizen. Students will define civics, politics, and government and then explore the basic principles, purposes, and types of government. Students will take a deeper dive into the foundations of U.S. government by examining the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and other amendments. Students will also analyze the three branches of government, federalism, civic rights and liberties, and the role of political parties and interest groups. They will take a global perspective by examining foreign affairs, including U.S. foreign policy, other nation’s political structures and foreign policies, the relationship between the United States and other countries, as well as international organizations. They will examine the meaning of citizenship, including who is a U.S. citizen, how people become citizens, and citizens’ privileges, rights, and responsibilities. Students will also analyze civic participation and civic virtue by studying historical and contemporary examples of how citizens influenced the government.

Each lesson features formative assessments that gauge students’ understanding of the material presented in the lesson. Mid-way and at the end of each unit, there is a summative quiz that covers the content prior to it. At the end of each unit, there is a review lesson before the unit test. In each unit, there are two projects that may require students to conduct research, synthesize information, and write essays. Finally, at the end of the course, there is a final exam.

  • Unit 1: Describe the basic principles, types, and purposes of government with an introduction to the concept of a constitution, the U.S. Constitution, and the structure of federalism
  • Unit 2: Explain the factors that influenced U.S. government and American society with a closer look at government structures at the national, state, and local level, as well as American political culture
  • Unit 3: Examine the three branches of government, how public policy is created, the powers of state and local governments, individual rights, and political parties
  • Unit 4: Analyze foreign affairs, including the U.S. relationship with other nations and global contemporary politics
  • Unit 5: Explain citizenship, the rights of citizens, and civic virtue

State: National
Grade Level: 8
Category: History & Social Sciences
Course Length: Year