Unit 2: Foundations of American Government Unit Plan & Lessons

civics units Nov 27, 2017

After finishing the first unit on the beginning and purpose of government, Unit 2 in our curriculum focuses on the foundations of America's government. 

Topics covered in this month-long unit include: 

  • Government in Athens and Ancient Rome
  • The Magna Carta, Petition of Right, & English Bill of Rights
  • Locke, Hobbes, and the Enlightenment Philosophers
  • The Mayflower Compact
  • Thomas Paine's Common Sense
  • George Mason and the Virginia Declaration of Rights
  • Jefferson and the Statute of Religious Freedom
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The Fundamentals of American Democracy

Students begin the unit comparing the governments of ancient Athens and Rome using an interactive Google Drive page and station activity. 

Next, students analyze the development of rights in England with a PowerPoint and guided notes sheet, reading on the Magna Carta, Google Drive page, and podcast. 

Day 3 has students  looking at the Enlightenment through an engaging "Magic Portrait" PowerPoint on the Enlightenment philosophers, interactive notebook page, and reading activity. 

Early American documents and influences come next with lessons on the Mayflower Compact and Common Sense, comparing George Mason and Thomas Jefferson, and the Declaration of Independence. 

Finally, students begin an awesome Project Based Learning (PBL) assignment on the Fundamentals of American Democracy. Students select "real world" careers that interest them and their talents and use them to promote 8 key aspects of American democracy like Majority Rule, Equality, Compromise, etc. 

The unit concludes with a day to review using fun online games Kahoot, Clue, Quizizz, and Quizlet Live before students take the (fully editable) assessment.

You can download this unit individually here on TpT and start using these great activities in your classroom today. 

If you want this unit plus every other Civics unit, join Students of Civics today and you'll get immediate access to ALL of these awesome resources plus hundreds more for every other unit in Civics and American Government! 

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