15 Favorite Lessons: AMERICAN GOVERNMENT CURRICULUM (31-45/105)

15 Favorite Lessons: AMERICAN GOVERNMENT CURRICULUM (31-45/105)
15 Favorite Lessons: AMERICAN GOVERNMENT CURRICULUM (31-45/105)
15 Favorite Lessons: AMERICAN GOVERNMENT CURRICULUM (31-45/105)
15 Favorite Lessons: AMERICAN GOVERNMENT CURRICULUM (31-45/105)
15 Favorite Lessons: AMERICAN GOVERNMENT CURRICULUM (31-45/105)
15 Favorite Lessons: AMERICAN GOVERNMENT CURRICULUM (31-45/105)
15 Favorite Lessons: AMERICAN GOVERNMENT CURRICULUM (31-45/105)
15 Favorite Lessons: AMERICAN GOVERNMENT CURRICULUM (31-45/105)
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This American Government book has sold thousands of times outside TpT but is a brand new addition to my store with no feedback yet. I have, however, received the following comments on a similar bundle, 15 Favorite Lessons (76-90 of 150) Civil War Period: AMERICAN HISTORY CURRICULUM

"Absolutely great resource, thank you!" ( 4.0 stars )

"The lessons are very informative and nicely put together." ( 4.0 stars )



LESSON TITLES (31-45 of 105):
31. Public Opinion
32. Public Opinion Polls
33. Interest Groups
34. The Beginning of Political Parties
35. Functions of Political Parties
36. The Two-Party System
37. Third Parties
38. Democrats and Republicans
39. Choosing Political Candidates
40. Election Campaigns
41. Voting
42. Congress
43. The House of Representatives
44. The Senate
45. How Congress Makes Laws

Detailed descriptions of these lessons are provided below.


Bundle Discount
Individual lessons in this American government bundle are also available in my TpT store. But purchasing all 15 here enables you to save $10.85 (18%).


Note to TpT Community & Fellow Educators
Although I am a new TpT member, I have been publishing and selling reproducible social studies lessons to teachers across the United States for many years. Purchase these materials with confidence knowing they are high-quality and have been classroom-tested with my own students, as well as thousands more nationwide. My lessons are designed to present relevant information in a timely fashion as part of a fun activity.

Please take a moment to visit/Follow my TpT store and check out other complete lesson programs on American History (150 high-interest lessons covering Exploration to Modern Times), as well as Recent American History (45 high-interest lessons on major events and developments after World War II). Other programs on World History, Recent World History, Asia, Africa, and Latin America coming soon.


PRODUCT OVERVIEW:
Supplement the textbook and eliminate prep time with these 15 ready-to-use reproducible American government lessons. Make social studies the favorite class of your students using a wide variety of high-interest activities for individuals, small groups, or the entire class. Most lessons can be finished in 1-2 class periods and include 3-5 activity sheets. Every lesson includes easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions with TIME, OBJECTIVE, and DIRECTIONS, along with an answer key and 20-question follow-up quiz, where applicable. The quizzes can be used to measure student progress or as homework assignments.

• critical thinking / thought questions
• reading comprehension
• vocabulary
• games
• contests
• illustrations
  and more...


LESSON 31: Public Opinion

OBJECTIVE:
To understand the process of forming public opinion and the influence that such opinion has on the government.

TIME:
1 class period

This lesson begins as you read with the class a brief introductory paragraph about public opinion, as well as directions for the activity. Students then read through a series of 20 statements about public opinion and must decide which words in parentheses best complete the sentences. There are two answer choices for each statement. You can choose whether this section will be an assignment, contest, or game for individuals, small groups, or the entire class.

Next, in a section entitled Agencies of Public Opinion, class members are presented with a list of 15 such agencies, including newspapers, political parties, TV, etc.. Students then answer two Thought Questions. For each of these questions, they must choose an agency from the list and explain (in 40-60 words) how it can help people form opinions. This helps to develop critical thinking skills.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.


LESSON 32: Public Opinion Polls

OBJECTIVE:
To learn about the role of public opinion polls in American politics.

TIME:
1 class period

This is a simple but informative lesson, which I have used as an activity for individuals. Students read through several paragraphs describing the role public opinion polls in American politics. While doing so, they must fill in spaces with the appropriate words, names, and terms from lists that are provided.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.


LESSON 33: Interest Groups

OBJECTIVE:
To understand the purpose of interest groups and the influence they have on American government.

TIME:
1 class period

Students begin this lesson by reading an overview of what interest groups are and what they seek to do. I have the kids underline or highlight what they think are the most important words, terms, and ideas. This is followed by two Thought Questions to help develop critical thinking skills.

Next, class members participate in a fun contest that involves matching influential interest groups with the reasons why they were established.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.


LESSON 34: The Beginning of Political Parties

OBJECTIVE:
To study the development of political parties by focusing on the election campaign of 1800.

TIME:
1 and 1/2 class periods

This lesson begins by reading with the class background information in two sections entitled The First Parties Are Organized and Election Campaign of 1800. Students then learn about the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party by reviewing information on a chart. This is followed by 20 Chart Questions that require class members to decide which political party is being described.

Next, you can read with the class the section entitled Speeches, Signs, and Campaign Buttons. The class is then divided into the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party. Ask for volunteers from each group to be the campaign manager, vice presidential candidate, and presidential candidate. (Or you may want to let each party choose its own campaign manager and candidates.) Have the two campaign managers and the two vice presidential candidates use encyclopedias to find biographical information about the candidates they will introduce. The two presidential candidates will only need to use the chart that compares the two political parties. Other class members will enjoy designing campaign signs and buttons using a template on page 34D, and should have these ready by the day that you designate for the presentation of the speeches. On that day, have the speakers read their speeches in the order given on page 34C. You can also display the campaign signs and buttons.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.


LESSON 35: Functions of Political Parties

OBJECTIVE:
To understand the role of political parties in selecting candidates, organizing the government, providing political opposition, and funding election campaigns.

TIME:
1 class period

This lesson begins by reading with the class introductory paragraphs which summarize the functions of political parties.

The class is then divided into two teams that will play four short games, each of which contains five questions valued at 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 points. (See thumbnails above for visual.)

Beginning with the first game -- which is titled SELECTING CANDIDATES -- a person from Team 1 is asked to pick a category and point value from the game board. For example, someone might choose “SELECTING CANDIDATES for 20.” That person then reads the paragraph and tries to identify the missing word or name. The number of letters in the answer is given in parentheses as a clue. If a correct answer is given, the team scores 20 points. If a wrong answer is given, the question can be chosen again later in the game. Play continues with Team 2 taking its turn. Have the kids fill in correct answers as they are given during the game. The same person cannot answer twice in a row for their team.

The lesson continues in the same way with games 2-4.

Game 1: SELECTING CANDIDATES
Game 2: ORGANIZING THE GOVERNMENT
Game 3: PROVIDING OPPOSITION
Game 4: CAMPAIGN FUNDING

During the games, on any questions that both teams may have difficulty answering, you can give letter clues--such as the first or second letters of the answer.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.


LESSON 36: The Two-Party System

OBJECTIVE:
To learn about the two-party system, party membership, and party organization in the United States.

TIME:
1 class period

The lesson includes two fun contests for the kids.

You can begin by going over the directions for the activity with the class. Then, give students time to read descriptions 1-8 in sections entitled Party Systems and Party Membership in the United States. Have the kids underline or highlight the most important words, names, terms, and ideas as they are reading the information.

After they read descriptions 1-8, give each class member a copy of page 36C, which includes the Contest 1 form. Go over the directions for Contest 1, set a time limit, and have the students begin. Using information from descriptions 1-8, students must try fill in as many missing words on the contest form as possible. There are 20 questions in total. Correct answers are worth either 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 points. A perfect score is 100.

The lesson continues in the same way with students reading descriptions 9-17 in a section entitled Party Organization in the United States and then doing Contest 2.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.


LESSON 37: Third Parties

OBJECTIVE:
To understand the role played by third parties in American politics.

TIME:
1 class period

Students begin this activity by reading several paragraphs which summarize the involvement of third parties in American politics. As they do so, have the kids underline or highlight the most important words, names, terms, and ideas.

Next, class members read about some of the most notable third parties in American political history.

• Liberty Party
• Free Soil Party
• American Party, or Know-Nothing Party
• Prohibition Party
• Greenback Party
• Populist Party, or People’s Party
• Progressive Party, or Bull Moose Party
• American Independent Party

Within the reading, students must fill in missing words, names, and terms in order to complete sentences in each paragraph. A list of answers to choose from is provided.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.


LESSON 38: Democrats and Republicans

OBJECTIVE:
To point out the similarities and differences between the Democratic and Republican parties.

TIME:
1 class period

After giving each student a copy of pages 38A and 38B only, class members begin by reading through a list of similarities between Democrats and Republicans. They are then given another 10 minutes to study some of the major differences between Democrats and Republicans.

Next, everyone passes their papers forward and a contest sheet (page 38C) is handed out. As students read through statements 1-9 in Contest 1, they must fill in the name of the party they think is being described –– Democrats or Republicans. After completing Contest 1, I have my kids exchange papers to determine which students have the most correct answers. Contest 2 continues in the same way.

Following the contests, all lesson pages can be handed back to the class.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.


LESSON 39: Choosing Political Candidates

OBJECTIVE:
To understand how the caucus, convention, and primary election have been used to choose political candidates through the years.

TIME:
1 class period

After giving each student a copy of pages 39A-39C, read with the class the brief introductory paragraph about how political candidates have been chosen throughout American history.

Students then read through a series of sentences which are arranged into the following sections:

• Caucuses
• National Conventions
• Primary Elections

As class members are reading and learning about these topics, they must also fill in missing words, names, and terms to complete the sentences. The first and last letters of each answer are given as clues.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS:
This lesson can be turned into a fun contest between individual class members, or pairs, to see who can come up with the most correct answers by the end of the period or time limit you set for them. You can also turn this into a game by dividing the class into two teams that will take turns trying to identify the correct answers as you read through the story with them.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.


LESSON 40: Election Campaigns

OBJECTIVE:
To understand how political campaigns are organized and carried out.

TIME:
1 class period

In this lesson, students read through a series of sentences about election campaigns with sections entitled:

• Organizing a Campaign
• Stages of a Campaign
• Changes in Election Campaigns

During the reading, class members complete sentences by rearranging scrambled letters to form key words, names, and terms. Answers are then written in the spaces provided.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS:
This lesson can also be used as a contest or game.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.


LESSON 41: Voting

OBJECTIVE:
To trace the evolution of voting in the United States from the late 1700s to modern times.

TIME:
1 class period

In this lesson, the class is divided into two teams and participates in a fun game activity.

Game 1 begins when a person from Team 1 selects any question from 30 that appear on handout sheets. The questions are arranged in point categories of either 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 points.

The person choosing the question reads it aloud, giving the missing word, name, or term. If their answer is correct, Team 1 scores the points that question is worth. All class members then write the word, name, or term in the space. If the answer given is incorrect, the question can be picked again later.

Play continues in the same way with someone from Team 2 choosing a question.

Game 1 ends after both teams have given five answers, whether correct or incorrect. The team with the most points is the winner. If the two teams have the same number of points, a tie-breaker question -- provided in the Teacher Instructions for this lesson -- is asked.
.
The same person cannot answer twice in a row for their team. Team members cannot talk over possible answers.

Games 2 and 3 are played in the same way.

Game 4 is based on any remaining unanswered questions.

Letter clues are provided for the lower point value questions, with fewer clues being given the more a question is worth.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.


LESSON 42: Congress

OBJECTIVE:
To know how Congress is organized and how it carries out its legislative duties.

TIME:
1 class period

Students begin this lesson by reading several statements about Congress, which are arranged into the following sections:

• How Congress Is Organized
• When Congress Meets
• Congress's Power to Make Laws
• Other Duties of Congress
• Members of Congress at Work

As they read through this information, I have the kids underline or highlight key words, names, terms, and ideas.

Following the reading, the class is divided into two teams to compete against each other in a fun JEOPARDY game. Category titles are TERMS, SENATE, THE HOUSE, PEOPLE, and ODDS AND ENDS. Questions asked during the game are based on facts given in the background information.

SPECIAL NOTE:
JEOPARDY games have always been very popular among my students, and help to make social studies their favorite class!

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.


LESSON 43: The House of Representatives

OBJECTIVE:
To become familiar with the organization and duties of the House of Representatives.

TIME:
1 class period

In this lesson, students read through a series of sentences about the House of Representatives that are arranged into the following sections:

• Overview
• Membership of the House
• Organization of the House
• The House at Work

During the reading, class members must complete sentences by filling in missing letters to form key words, names, and terms. One or more letters in each answer are given as clues.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS:
This lesson can be turned into a fun contest between individual class members, or pairs, to see who can come up with the most correct answers by the end of the period. You can also turn this into a game by dividing the class into two teams that will take turns trying to identify the correct answers as you read through the story with them.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.


LESSON 44: The Senate

OBJECTIVE:
To become familiar with the organization of the Senate and the role it plays in the United States government.

TIME:
1 class period

This lesson includes a simple but unique game that kids really enjoy!

Begin by passing out pages 44A-44C. Give class members time to read information about the United States Senate, underlining or highlighting key words, names, terms, and ideas.

The class is then divided into five teams that will compete against each other in a game reviewing the United States Senate.

When a question is asked by the teacher (from pages 44D and 44E that students do not yet have), the first person to raise their hand will be called on. If their answer is correct, all class members will print the person, word, or term along the top row of spaces in the game form for the team that gave the right answer. For example, if the answer was "Congress," spaces 1-8 would be filled in with one letter each.

The team which fills its 100 spaces first with letters of correct answers wins the game. If no team can do this by the end of the period, then the team with the most spaces filled wins the game.

Complete game rules are provided on the lesson pages.

When the game is over, or when time runs out at the end of the period, you can give each student a copy of pages 44D and 44E to do as a quiz or review exercise.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.


LESSON 45: How Congress Makes Laws

OBJECTIVE:
To understand the process by which a bill becomes a law.

TIME:
1 class period

To begin this lesson, students are given a copy of pages 45A and 45B only. These contain eleven paragraphs about the process by which a bill becomes a law.

Class members begin by reading paragraphs 1-2 and underlining or highlighting key words, names, and terms. They then put pages 45A - 45B face down under their desks. Next, each student is given a copy of pages 45C and 45D with the same eleven paragraphs but with missing words, names, and terms. Without looking back at the first two pages, the kids must complete a series of sentences in paragraphs 1-2. A list of answer choices is provided.

After about 10 minutes, the students will switch their papers –– pages 45C and 45D are turned face down underneath the desk, and pages 45A and 45B are again turned face up on top of the desk.

The activity continues in the same way with paragraphs 3-5, 6-8, and then 9-11.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS:
While this can be used as an activity for individuals, you can also turn this into a fun game by dividing the class into two teams that will take turns trying to identify the correct answers as you read through the paragraphs on 45C and 45D with them. In that case, have the kids first read through all eleven paragraphs on pages 45A and 45B by themselves. Then collect those pages and pass out 45C and 45D, divide the class into two teams, and start the game.

Teacher Instructions and answer key included.
Total Pages
72 pages
Answer Key
Included
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