U.S. Government Grade 12

Grade 12

This list may be customized for individual lesson plans and records.  Alaska Content Standards (in government) should be recorded as they are addressed throughout the year.  For your convenience, each item in the Mastery and Developmental lists on the following pages is matched to the Content Standard (in government) that it supports.   Items that meet the Alaska Cultural Standards are marked with an asterisk (* ).  Since this is a government class, only standards in government are addressed.   

Civil liberties     
Current issues     
Electoral process     
Executive branch     
Federalism and Alaska State government     
Judicial branch     
Legislative branch     
Origins of American democracy     
Political parties     
Principles of government     
Voting and voter behavior     

This course offers the student an opportunity to participate in an in-depth study of the American political system: its framework, traditions, values, and the rights and responsibilities of the citizens of the United States.


• Examine the meaning of fundamental ideas such as equality, authority, power, freedom, justice, property, responsibility, and sovereignty. (A1, A2)
• Demonstrate an understanding of the former U.S. government under the Articles of Confederation. (A1, A3, A4, B2)
• * Analyze the rights, responsibilities, and roles of citizenship (e.g., obligations to obey the law, serve as a juror, pay taxes). (E1, E2, E3, E6, C2)
• Analyze the role of the individual in politics, such as evaluating rules and laws, selecting political leaders, and resolving conflict. (E4, E5, E7)
• Demonstrate understanding of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights; memorize the first 10 Amendments and the Preamble. (A1, A2, B1, B2, B3)
• Demonstrate basic factual understanding of the legislative branch as outlined in Article I of the Constitution (e.g., organizational structure and powers of the legislative branch, length of terms, age requirements, law making processes, impeachment proceedings). (B3, A3)
• Demonstrate basic factual understanding of the executive branch as outlined in Article II of the Constitution (e.g., powers of the President and Vice President; federal departments and agencies; budget; war powers; foreign policy). (D1, F6, A3)
• Demonstrate basic factual understanding of the judicial branch as outlined in Article III of the Constitution (e.g., number of justices; length of term; major Supreme Court rulings: Roe v. Wade, Brown v. Board of Education, Marbury v. Madison, Plessy v. Ferguson, McCulloch v. Maryland, Arizona v. Miranda). (B3, B7, E4, B8, F1, A3)
• Explain how the U.S. Constitution reflects a balance between the classical republican concern with promotion of the public good and the classical liberal concern with protecting individual rights. (B5, B6)
• Describe the systems of separated and shared powers, checks and balances, the importance of an independent judiciary, enumerated powers, rule of law, and federalism. (B3)
• Discuss the meaning and importance of each of the rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights and how each is secured (e.g., freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, petition, privacy). (B1)
• Understand that law codes reflect the values of civilizations (e.g., American Bill of Rights; Supreme Court rulings: Roe v. Wade, Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education). (B3, B7, E3, E4)
• Understand, compare, and contrast how powers and responsibilities are distributed, shared, or limited in government. (B3, C8)
• Demonstrate an understanding of federalism. (B4, C8)
• Demonstrate basic knowledge of the Alaska Statehood Act, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and the Alaska Permanent Fund. (C3, C5, D3)
• Analyze the origin, development, and role of political parties in the United States. (B5, B9)
• Analyze trends in voter turnout. (E1, E2)
• Analyze the causes and effects of reapportionment and redistricting, with special attention to spatial districting and the rights of minorities. (B6, B9)
• Analyze the function of the Electoral College. (E5) 

* Meets Cultural Standards

• * Explore the extrinsic and intrinsic value of civic participation. (E1, E3, E6)
• Relate the importance of individuals, media, public opinion, diversity, law, and dissent to local, state, federal, and international issues. (B6, B8, B9, D3, D5)
• Identify the roles and relationships among tribal, state, and federal governments. (C3)w         Analyze how the policies and actions of states as well as national and international organizations influence one another in the world community (e.g., NATO, SEATO, and the United Nations). ((D2, D4)

• Study, observe, and participate in government action.
• Participate in elections, political parties, and voting.
• Analyze the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to current state, national, and international issues.

* Meets Cultural Standards

• Attend a public meeting on a school issue and record responses of individuals and members; share the information with your class and critique it as a group.
• Conduct interviews and polls.
• Conduct a debate on a current issue, such as ANWR or commercial/subsistence/sport-fishing industries.
• Create an exhibit addressing important issues of a democracy.
• Create an effective campaign poster.
• Create a campaign jingle/slogan.
• Create a political cartoon of a past or present political issue.
• Create a budget for the United States.
• Create flow charts showing structure and organization of the branches of government.
• Debate the issue of federalism and states’ rights related to past and current issues and events.
• Describe and create a perfect voter or citizen in writing, through art, or using technology.
• Design and produce a national symbol and explain its relationship to American values.
• Examine a current issue from the perspective of the Bill of Rights.
• Investigate a bill currently in Congress.
• Participate in a community service project within the school, community, or neighborhood.
• Participate in a mock election or mock Senate.
• Prepare position papers on public policies.
• Work on small group projects.
• Track an issue through the media for a given time period.
• Write a law and appropriate penalties.
• Write an essay about how the rights in the Bill of Rights apply to you; pick the five (5) rights from the American Bill of Rights that you believe to be the most important and explain why.
• Write letters to the editor regarding state or local issues.

• Comparison/contrast charts
• Creative writing assignments
• Diagrams
• Essays
• Individual projects/presentations
• Journaling
• Mock situations
• Multimedia projects/presentations
• Opinion papers, current events
• Political cartoons
• Public forum/panel discussions
• Research papers
• Small group projects/presentations
• Tests/quizzes