History 12 S1 (Government)

Course Description

This semester-long course provides students with a practical understanding of the principles and procedures of government. The course begins by establishing the origins and founding principles of American government. After a rigorous review of the Constitution and its amendments, students investigate the development and extension of civil rights and liberties. Lessons also introduce influential Supreme Court decisions to demonstrate the impact and importance of constitutional rights. In the second quarter, students build on this foundation as they explore the function of government today and the role of citizens in the civic process. The course culminates in an examination of public policy and the roles of citizens and organizations in promoting policy approaches.

The course implements literacy skills by encouraging students to read and write in a variety of formats. Assignments and project-based lessons encourage students to apply critical thinking skills to scenarios, situations, and arguments. Students examine primary and secondary sources, including political cartoons, essays, and judicial opinions. Students also sharpen their writing skills in shorter tasks and assignments, and practice outlining and drafting skills by writing a full informative essay.

Units of Study

• Introduction to American Government
• The Constitution
• Civil Rights and Liberties
• Government Institutions
• Civics and Participation
• Public Policy

Course Features
• Each lesson begins with a warm-up activity that provokes student thinking and orients students toward the central concepts at the heart of the lesson.
• Lesson questions help students focus on big ideas.
• On-screen teachers use clear graphic organizers to present lesson goals and lesson organization in a student-friendly manner.
• In each lesson, students interact with multimedia stimuli, including maps, charts, graphs, photographs, and videos.
• Students investigate challenging and complex texts at grade level, including excerpts from essays and legal documents.
• Academic and domain-specific vocabulary is emphasized and studied in every lesson.
• Each reading assignment utilizes the CloseReaderTM, which provides text mark-up tools, language support, word look-up, embedded comprehension questions, and audio and text commentary to scaffold challenging texts.
• A project-based lesson (in Unit 3 of the initial credit version of the course) allows students to engage in a role-playing activity that allows them to apply their critical thinking skills to real-world political situations.


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