Big Ideas and Pacing

Title
Textbook Alignment/Resources
Big Ideas/Objectives
Pacing
Unit One: Principles of Government
Chapter 1 - Principles of Government


iCivics Foundations of Government
What is government?
  • Define government and the basic powers every government holds.
  • Describe the four defining characteristics of a state.
  • Explain theories on the origins of the state.
  • Classify governments according to three sets of characteristics
What are the foundations of a democracy?
  • Analyze the connections between a democracy and the free enterprise system.
September - 2 weeks
Unit Two: The Constitution
Chapter 2 - Origins of American Government; Chapter 3 - The Constitution

iCivics The Constitution
What foundational documents formed the political traditions in America?

How did the political structure of the American colonies affect the Constitutional makeup of the original states?

How did the fight for ratification establish a foundation for Constitutional discourse?

Unit Three: Federalism
Chapter 4 - Federalism

iCivics Federalism and Separation of Powers
How does the principle of Federalism establish relevant government at varying levels that creates strong authority while limiting power?
  • Describe the delegated, denied, and reserved power system
  • Examine how the Constitution functions as "the Supreme Law of the Land"
  • Explore the cost and benefits of cooperative federalism as it compares to dual federalism.
  • Examine why States form interstate compacts.
  • Understand the purpose of the Full Faith and Credit Clause.
  • Use the Federalist Papers to examine the rationale for Federalism and Separation of Powers

Unit Four: Political Parties
Chapter 5 - Political Parties

iCivics Political Parties

CNN Video - Democratic Party

CNN Video - Republican Party
How has the two-party system evolved in American government and what roles do parties serve?
  • Describe the major functions of political parties.
  • Identify reasons why the U.S. has a two party system.
  • Understand the origins of political parties in the U.S.
  • Understand why minor parties are important despite the fact that none has ever won the presidency.
  • Understand why the major parties have a decentralized structure.

Unit Five: Public Opinion
Chapter 8 - Mass Media and Public Opinion
Why is pubic opinion so difficult to define and how does this lead us to understand what factors shape it?
  • Analyze how family and education shape public opinion.
  • Understand the challenges in measuring and evaluating public opinion.
  • Examine the role of the mass media in providing the public with political information.

Unit 6: Interest Groups
Chapter 9 - Interest Groups
How do interest groups provide a service to representative democracy by influencing public policy?
  • Compare and contrast political parties and interest groups.
  • Describe the categories of groups based on economic interests.
  • Explain interest groups' three major goals in influencing public opinion.
  • Examine how lobbying brings group pressures to bear on the process of making public policy

Taking Sides Debates
Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Political Issues
Use forms of inquiry and construct reason arguments
  • How can citizens acquire information, solve problems, make decisions, and defend positions about public policy issues?
  • How can we use preparation for a debate to engage in class discussion on controversial political issues?

American Values Debates
Opposing Viewpoints: American Values
Use forms of inquiry and construct reason arguments
  • How can citizens acquire information, solve problems, make decisions, and defend positions about public policy issues?
  • How can we use preparation for a debate to engage in class discussion on American values?




Unit Three: Federalism




Unit 4: Political Parties