High School US Government Course Overview

Online US Government Lessons, Activities, & Interactive Exercises

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High School US Government Course

Time4Learning offers an online, interactive high school curriculum that correlates to state standards. It can be used as a primary homeschool curriculum, a supplement to your current curriculum and as an afterschool or summer skill building program. At the high school level, Time4Learning is organized by courses rather than grade levels, so parents have the option of choosing any four as part of membership.

The US Government curriculum is one of five history courses offered at the high school level. US Government is taught using a combination of multimedia lessons, instructional videos, worksheets, quizzes, tests and both online and offline projects. The US Government course is designed to prepare students for the US History II course.

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Chapter 1 - Principles of US Government

The materials in this chapter introduce historical events, individuals, and writings that influenced the shape of the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the federalist system of government. It is organized into sections that will teach, reinforce, and test students on the ideals of government, the foundations of the US government, the United States Constitution, and Federalism.

Lessons in this chapter are organized into the following sections:

  • Lesson 1 The Ideals of Government - Students answer "What is Government?" and explore government branches and forms of government, identifying three types: unitary, federal, and confederate. Students identify the basic tenets of government, analyze political power, and consider contradiction and compromise in government.
  • Lesson 2 The Foundations of US Government - Students explore the historical roots of the US Government and the ideas and principals that underlie the Declaration of Independence. Students consider the philosophy of the US Government and trace the process of US independence from Great Britain.
  • Lesson 3 The United States Constitution - Students consider the making of the US Constitution, Shay's Rebellion, the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers and the ratification of the Constitution. Students explore the process of amending the Constitution, looking at each of the 27 amendments. Students learn how the Bill of Rights came to be and debate the relevance of each amendment in the Bill of Rights.
  • Lesson 4 Federalism - Students answer "What is Federalism?" Students trace the development of Federalism and explore the relationship between the federal and state governments in cooperative federalism. Students analyze conflict between state and local governments in history and today.

Chapter 2 - Institutions of US Government

The materials in this chapter introduce the role of the three branches of federal government and the system of checks and balances built to control the amount of power that each branch wields. It is organized into sections that will teach, reinforce, and test students on each branch of the federal government, their relationships to each other, and their responsibilities to United States citizens.

Lessons in this chapter are organized into the following sections:

  • Lesson 1 The Executive Branch - Students evaluate the role of the President of the United States including international relations, Commander in Chief, and domestic policy. They explore the relationship between the Executive Branch and the other branches of the government and the checks and balances that control the power of the Executive Branch. Students explore the role of the Cabinet and the role of President as leader. Students examine past presidents, the events, speeches, and legacies of their terms of office.
  • Lesson 2 The Legislative Branch - Students learn the structure of the US Congress and its powers. Students consider the Senate and the House of Representatives and how their members are elected. Students learn the process by which a bill becomes law and the checks and balances that affect Congress.
  • Lesson 3 The Judicial Branch - Students explore the federal court system and its role in judicial review. Students will learn how federal and Supreme Court justices are selected. Students explore due process and research landmark Supreme Court decisions. Students compare the civil and criminal court systems.

Chapter 3 - Politics in the United States

The materials in this chapter analyze the roles of political parties; the role of citizens, special interest groups, the media, and the government in the election process; and the fundamental rights set forth in the Bill of Rights. It is organized into sections that will teach, reinforce, and test students on the function of political parties, voting, civic responsibility, campaign finance, the electoral process, the role of the media in politics, the role of special interest groups, and the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

Lessons in this chapter are organized into the following sections:

  • Lesson 1 Political Parties - Students identify the functions of political parties in the US and their organization and function in local, state, and federal politics. Students consider the two party system and the role of third parties. Students identify political parties today, their views, and how they influence policy within the government.
  • Lesson 2 Democracy in Action - Students consider voting behavior, the right to vote, and transparency in government. Students explore how campaigns are financed. Students consider voter turnout, civic responsibility and personal involvement in the democratic process.
  • Lesson 3 The Electoral Process - Students explore the process of elections including local, state, and federal elections. Students trace the electoral process. Students analyze maps of past elections and consider disputed elections in US history.
  • Lesson 4 The Media and Politics - Students consider the role the media has in the democratic process. Students analyze bias in the media and how public opinion is shaped. Students examine how public opinion is measured and contrast the right to freedom of information with national security concerns.
  • Lesson 5 - Politics and Special Interest - Students identify special interest groups and political action committees, today and in history. Students analyze lobbying as a means to shape public policy. Students examine the influence of special interest groups at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Lesson 6 Freedoms, Rights, and Issues in US Government - Students evaluate the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Students consider the court's role in protecting civil liberties. Students look at specific rights, cases, and the events surrounding them through the course of US history.

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Chapter 4 - State and Local Governments

The materials in this chapter examine the structures and responsibilities of state and local government. It is organized into sections that will teach, reinforce, and test students on the structures, responsibilities and revenues of local and state governments.

Lessons in this chapter are organized into the following sections:

  • Lesson 1- State Government - Students identify the roles and structures of local, state, and federal government. They analyze sources of state revenue including taxes and bonds.
  • Lesson 2 Local Government - Students examine the structure and function of local government. Students consider the levels of local government and the structure of city government. Students consider revenue sources for local government and the impact of government spending and policy on local economies.

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Chapter 5 - Comparative Systems

The materials in this chapter compare political and economic systems upon which the US government was modeled. It is organized into sections that will teach, reinforce, and test students on comparative political systems and comparative economic systems and how these affect the relations of world governments.

Lessons in this chapter are organized into the following sections:

  • Lesson 1 - Comparative Political Systems - Students explore the evolution of governments and compare political systems around the world. Students discuss national sovereignty and challenges to state authority faced today.
  • Lesson 2 - Comparative Economic Systems - Students analyze global trade patterns and the growth of national economies. Students compare systems of socialism and capitalism. Students consider free enterprise and the communist system. Students explore national economies in the world today in light of the world economy and multi-national corporations.

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Chapter 6 - International Relations

The materials in this chapter evaluate the role of the US in the United Nations and in world-wide international relations. It is organized into sections that will teach, reinforce, and test students on ideas and events in US foreign policy, national and international security, and issues of environmental and economic interdependence among world nations.

The lesson in this chapter covers:

  • Lesson 1 International Relations - Students explore the role of the United States in international relations. Students trace US foreign relations since the end of World War II. Students consider national defense, national security, and environmental interdependence.

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