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Civics Part 1
Course Length: 1 Semester
Has Textbook: Yes

Civics Part 1 will introduce students to the foundation of the democratic government of the United States and will investigate the basic principles of this system. Students will explore the structure of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the U.S. government and determine how these branches work together. Students will also look at the characteristics of state and local governments throughout the country to examine the organization and responsibilities of these branches. The conclusion of Civics Part 1 will allow students to analyze their own roles within government by identifying the rights of the citizen.

Available Sept. 1, 2013

Course Objectives

Unit 1: Essential Content and Skills

  • Determine the roles of citizens by listing observations of their society.
  • Evaluate the change in race, culture, and religion of the Americas.
  • Predict future population trends and changes by analyzing past patterns.
  • Compare and contrast democratic and non-democratic governments by examining their structures and functions and identifying an example of each.
  • Examine the causes and consequences of the Declaration of Independence by determining the events that led to its creation and the result of its delivery to England.
  • Identify the goals of the U.S. Constitution by analyzing limited government and the Bill of Rights.
  • Examine the process of amending the U.S. Constitution by identifying the steps taken to do so.

Unit 2: Essential Content and Skills

  • Analyze the social, political, and economic impact of the 13th and 14th Amendments by examining the results of their passage.
  • Identify and describe citizens’ duties by outlining the roles citizens must play in society for it to be effective.
  • Differentiate the two houses in American government, the Senate and House of Representatives, by describing the main function of each.
  • Identify the qualifications and roles of the United States’ president by examining the main responsibilities of the job.
  • Evaluate the process a bill goes through to become a law, from its introduction to its passage or rejection.  
  • Organize the president's roles by listing the responsibilities of the position as outlined in the U.S. Constitution.
  • Analyze the four sources of law by describing the differences among them.

Unit 3: Essential Content and Skills

  • Identify the jurisdiction of U.S. district courts by identifying the types of cases they handle.
  • Examine the role of the U.S. Courts of Appeals by determining the court cases it hears.
  • Analyze the Supreme Court’s role in strengthening rights by discussing specific examples of Supreme Court cases. 
  • Differentiate state and federal powers by comparing and contrasting them.
  • Identify where the powers of local governments are derived, and examine the structure of local governments.
  • Identify the structures, positions, and responsibilities of city government officials by analyzing the types of city governments that exist.
  • Examine the ways in which various levels and branches of the government work together by examining the relationships between each branch.

Unit 4: Essential Content and Skills

  • Describe the role of political parties by examining their functions within government.
  • Identify the current voting requirements within the United States by looking at various states’ requirements.
  • Determine the function of the Electoral College by exploring models of its process.
    Identify methods of shaping public opinion by determining how political parties utilize these methods.
  • Recognize the purpose of an interest group by analyzing its effect on government.
  • Research the current tax system by identifying the purposes and principles of taxation.

Course Materials

  • Holt McDougal Civics in Practice (textbook)
    *Available as an iText course
    **NCAA approved