United States Government

Credits: 0.5
Estimated Completion Time: 1 segment / 16–18 weeks
Earliest Start Date: October 2018





Responsible citizenship, including civil and political participation, is essential to maintain a representative government that truly represents the people of the United States. In this course, students learn about the structure of government and how it shares power at the local, state and federal levels. This course also explores founding principles that inspired the Constitution and Bill of Rights, preserving the freedoms that students experience daily.

Students will examine the processes of each branch of government, the election process, and how citizens can impact public policy. The media, interest groups and influential citizens provide examples of how the government can be affected by informed and active participants. Students will examine the U.S. Court system, and become a part of the process by participating in the judicial decision-making process. They will also discover ways the United States interacts with countries around the world, through domestic policy, foreign policy and human rights policy.

Completion of this course will allow you to act as an informed citizen who is ready to participate in the American democracy!

Access the site links below to view the Florida Department of Education description and standards:

Regular course description: http://www.cpalms.org/Public/PreviewCourse/Preview/13350

Honors course description: http://www.cpalms.org/Public/PreviewCourse/Preview/13351

Major Topics and Concepts

Segment One

  • Constitutional Principles of Government
  • Rule of Law
  • Establishing Citizenship, Naturalization
  • Political and Civic Participation
  • Effective Citizenship
  • Service Learning
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Principles of American Democracy
  • Checks and Balances
  • Articles of Confederation
  • The U.S. Constitution
  • Federalists, Anti-Federalists and the Federalist Papers
  • Bill of Rights and the Amendment Process
  • Individual Rights
  • Analyzing Historical Documents
  • Federalism
  • State and Local Governments
  • Constitutional Powers
  • Structure and Functions of the Federal Government
  • Structure, Function and Processes of the Legislative Branch
  • Public Policy
  • Structure, Function and Processes of the Executive Branch
  • Federal Bureaucracy and Independent Regulatory Agencies
  • Role of Political Parties and Interest Groups
  • The Media and Bias in Political Communication
  • Influencing Government
  • Elections and Voting Trends
  • Structure, Function and Processes of the Judicial Branch
  • Judicial Review
  • The U.S. State and Federal Court System
  • Judicial Decision-Making Process
  • Landmark Supreme Court Cases
  • Expansion of Civil Rights
  • Comparing Governments of the United States and the World
  • Democratization
  • Domestic and Foreign Policy
  • Human Rights Policies at Home and Abroad
  • International Organizations
  • Analyzing Data

Required Materials


Course Grading

Besides engaging students in challenging curriculum, the course guides students to reflect on their learning and evaluate their progress through a variety of assessments. Assessments can be in the form of practice lessons, multiple choice questions, writing assignments, projects, research papers, oral assessments, and discussions. This course will use the state-approved grading scale. Each course contains a mandatory final exam or culminating project that will be weighted at 20% of the student’s overall grade.***

***Proctored exams can be requested by FLVS at any time and for any reason in an effort to ensure academic integrity. When taking the exam to assess a student’s integrity, the exam must be passed with at least a 59.5% in order to earn credit for the course.

Communication Policy

To achieve success, students are expected to submit work in each course weekly. Students can learn at their own pace; however, “any pace” still means that students must make progress in the course every week. To measure learning, students complete self-checks, practice lessons, multiple choice questions, projects, discussion-based assessments, and discussions. Students are expected to maintain regular contact with teachers; the minimum requirement is monthly. When teachers, students, and parents work together, students are successful.

November 7 @ 01:40
01:40 — 02:40 (1h)

Social Studies

Barbara Smith-Gillespie, Kate Ryder, Scott Jones, Valerie Shelton