Table of Contents

"When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself."

John Lewis, Congressman and Civil Rights Activist (2020)

TOPIC 1: The Philosophical Foundations of the United States Political System  [Standards 8.T1.1-5]

  1. The Government of Ancient Athens

    1. INVESTIGATE: Athenian Democracy and Digital Government after the 2020 Pandemic
    2. UNCOVER: The Legend of Pheidippides, the Heraean Games, and First American Runners in the Boston Marathon
    3. ENGAGE: How Can School Classrooms Become More Democratic Spaces?
  2. The Government of the Roman Republic

    1. INVESTIGATE: Roman Government and Roman Engineering
    2. UNCOVER: Spartacus and Slavery in the Roman World, Toussaint L’Ouverture, and Black American Slave Revolts
    3. ENGAGE: What Latin Words and Phrases Should Every Student Know?
  3. Enlightenment Thinkers and Democratic Government

    1. INVESTIGATE: Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and their Influence on Government
    2. UNCOVER: Mary Wollstonecraft, Olympe De Gouges, and the Rights of Women
    3. ENGAGE: Who Were History’s Most Important Women Change-Makers in Math, Science, and Politics?
  4. British Influences on American Government

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Mayflower Compact, Colonial Governments, and Who Voted in Early America
    2. UNCOVER: Anne Hutchinson and Mary Dyer: Religious Dissent and Women's Roles in Colonial America
    3. ENGAGE: Should 16 or 17 Year-Olds Be Allowed to Vote?
  5. Native American Influences on American Government

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Iroquois Confederacy and the Great Law of Peace
    2. UNCOVER: The Peskeompskut-Wissatinnewag Massacre OR the Battle of Great Falls
    3. ENGAGE: How to Evaluate a Person’s Place in History: Jeffrey Amherst and the Case of the Smallpox Blankets

TOPIC 2: The Development of United States Government [Standards 8.T2.1-5]

  1. The Revolutionary Era and the Declaration of Independence

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Seneca Falls Convention and the Declaration of Sentiments (1848)
    2. UNCOVER: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    3. ENGAGE: What Do Other Declarations of Independence Declare?
  2. The Articles of Confederation

    1. INVESTIGATE: Government Under the Articles of Confederation
    2. UNCOVER: Shays’ Rebellion and the Coming of the Constitution
    3. ENGAGE: How Much Power Should the Federal Government Have in the 21st Century?  The Case of Self-Driving Cars
  3. The Constitutional Convention

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Great Compromise: The Virginia and New Jersey Plans
    2. UNCOVER: Thomas Jefferson’s Draft Constitution (1776) and Thurgood Marshall’s Bicentennial Speech (1987)
    3. ENGAGE: Did the Three-Fifths Compromise Make the Constitution a Pro-Slavery Document?
  4. Debates Between Federalists and Anti-Federalists

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Federalist-Anti-Federalist Debates
    2. UNCOVER: Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, and the Political Roles of Women
    3. ENGAGE: Who Should Have Primary Responsibility for Environmental Policies?
  5. Articles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Articles of the Constitution and the Many Bills of Rights in United States History
    2. UNCOVER: W.E.B. DuBois, the Niagara Movement, and the History of the NAACP
    3. ENGAGE: What Are the Most Influential Documents in America’s Multicultural History

TOPIC 3: The Institutions of the United States Government [Standards 8.T3.1-5]

  1. The Branches of the Government and the Separation of Powers

    1. INVESTIGATE: Federalism and the Three Branches of the Government
    2. UNCOVER: Shirley Chisholm, African American Politician and Presidential Candidate
    3. ENGAGE: Should Puerto Rico or Washington, D.C. Be a 51st State?
  2. Examine the Relationship of the Three Branches

    1. INVESTIGATE: The System of Checks and Balances and the Powers of the President
    2. UNCOVER: The War Powers of the President
    3. ENGAGE: When and For What Should a President Be Impeached?
  3. The Roles of Congress, the President, and the Courts

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Executive Branch
      1.1 UNCOVER: The FBI in American Politics
      1.2 ENGAGE: Can a Woman Be Elected President?
    2. INVESTIGATE: The Legislative Branch
      2.1 UNCOVER: Electing LGBTQIA Legislators
    3. INVESTIGATE: The Judicial Branch
      3.1 ENGAGE: What Supreme Court Cases Should All Teenagers Know?
  4. Elections and Nominations

    1. INVESTIGATE: Presidential Elections and the Electoral College
    2. UNCOVER: 2000 and Other Disputed Elections in United States History
    3. ENGAGE: Is It Time to Adopt Instant Runoff/Ranked Choice Voting?
  5. The Role of Political Parties

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Evolution of the Party System and the Causes and Consequences of Third Parties
    2. UNCOVER: Radical Political Parties in United States Politics: Populists, Socialists, and Black Panthers
    3. ENGAGE: Should Voters Join a Political Party?

TOPIC 4: Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens [Standards 8.T4.1-13]

  1. Becoming a Citizen

    1. INVESTIGATE: Becoming a Citizen Through Immigration Gateways and Ports of Entry
    2. UNCOVER: Citizenship for Puerto Ricans 
    3. ENGAGE: When Should Someone Be Granted Asylum in the United States?
  2. Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens and Non-Citizens

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Rights of Citizens and Non-Citizens
    2. UNCOVER: The Internment of Japanese Americans During World War II
    3. ENGAGE: Should Fred Korematsu and Other Individuals Who Fought for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Have a National Day of Recognition?
  3. Civic, Political, and Private Life

    1. INVESTIGATE: People's Lives and Government Responses to COVID-19
    2. UNCOVER: Women's Political Participation Around the World
    3. ENGAGE: Should the United States Adopt Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a National Policy?
  4. Fundamental Principles and Values of American Political and Civic Life

    1. INVESTIGATE: Fundamental Principles and Values of American Life
    2. UNCOVER: The Importance of the 14th Amendment
    3. ENGAGE: What Are Students’ Rights at School?
  5. Citizen Participation in the Political Process

    1. INVESTIGATE: Who Votes and Who Does Not in the United States
    2. UNCOVER: Secret Ballots, Poll Taxes, Literacy Tests, and Voter Restriction Laws
    3. ENGAGE: How Would You Get More People, Especially Young People to Vote?
  6. Election Information

    1. INVESTIGATE: Persuasion, Propaganda, and Political Language in Elections
    2. UNCOVER: Presidential Debates in U.S. Politics
    3. ENGAGE: Should There Be Public Financing of Elections?
  7. Leadership and the Qualities of Political Leaders

    1. INVESTIGATE: Frances Perkins, Margaret Sanger, and Harvey Milk: Three Examples of Political Leadership
    2. UNCOVER: Benjamin Banneker and George Washington Carver’s Contributions to Math, Science and Politics
    3. ENGAGE: Who Do You Think Are the Most Famous Americans?
  8. Cooperation Between Individuals and Leaders

    1. INVESTIGATE: Contacting Congress
    2. UNCOVER: Youth Activism for Change
    3. ENGAGE: Would You Join a Consumer Boycott or Buycott to Promote Change?
  9. Public Service as a Career

    1. INVESTIGATE: Working for Local, State and Federal Government 
    2. UNCOVER: A Short History of American Public Education
    3. ENGAGE: Is Teaching a Career for You?
  10. Liberty in Conflict with Equality or Authority

    1. INVESTIGATE: Movements for Civil Rights in United States History
    2. UNCOVER: Queen Liliuokalani and the American Annexation of Hawaii
    3. ENGAGE: What are Transgender Students’ Rights at School?
  11. Political Courage

    1. INVESTIGATE: When American Ideals Were Affirmed
    2. UNCOVER: Claudette Colvin and the Browder v. Gayle case
    3. ENGAGE: When Were American Ideals Denied?
  12. The Role of Political Protest

    1. INVESTIGATE: Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Doctrine of Nonviolence Protest and Civil Disobedience
    2. UNCOVER: Three Historical Examples of Political Protest
      2.1 The Stonewall Uprising (1969)
      2.2 Mother Jones and the March of the Mill Children (1903)
      2.3 The Standing Rock Pipeline Protest (2016-2017)
    3. ENGAGE: Can Books and Music Express Political Protest?
  13. Public and Private Interest Groups 

    1. INVESTIGATE: Special Interest Groups, Political Action Committees (PACs and SuperPACs), and Labor Unions
    2. UNCOVER: The Pullman Strike of 1894 and the History of Labor Day 
    3. ENGAGE: What Role Does Money Play in our Elections?

TOPIC 5: The Constitution, Amendments, and Supreme Court [Standards 8.T5.1-6]

  1. The Necessary and Proper Clause

  2. Amendments to the Constitution

    1. INVESTIGATE: Prohibition and the 18th and 21st Amendments
    2. UNCOVER: Alice Paul and the History of the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment)
    3. ENGAGE: What New Amendments to the Constitution are Needed Today? 
  3. Constitutional Issues Related to the Civil War, Federal Power, and Individual Civil Rights

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Missouri Compromise, the Dred Scott Case, and the 54th Volunteer Regiment During the Civil War
    2. UNCOVER: Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad
    3. ENGAGE: Whose Faces Should Appear on U.S. Currency?
  4. Civil Rights and Equal Protection for Race, Gender and Disability

    1. INVESTIGATE: Race -The 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act of 1965
    2. INVESTIGATE: Gender - Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1970
      2.1 ENGAGE: When can girls and boys compete together in athletic events?
    3. INVESTIGATE: Disability - The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
      3.1 UNCOVER: Helen Keller, author and political activist
  5. Marbury v. Madison and the Principle of Judicial Review

    1. INVESTIGATE: John Marshall and Marbury v. Madison
    2. UNCOVER: The Trail of Tears, Chief John Ross, and Supreme Court Cases involving Native Americans
    3. ENGAGE: Do Supreme Court Dissents Make a Difference to the Law?
  6. Significant Supreme Court Decisions

    1. INVESTIGATE: First Amendment Rights: Landmark Cases
      1.1 UNCOVER: Tinker v. Des Moines and Student Speech in School
    2. INVESTIGATE: Due Process and Equal Rights: Mendez v. Westminster (1947)
    3. INVESTIGATE: Rights in Conflict: The U.S. Flag and the Pledge of Allegiance
      3.1  ENGAGE: Is Kneeling during the National Anthem an Effective Form of Political Protest?
    4. INVESTIGATE: Rights in Conflict: School Prayer
    5. INVESTIGATE: Rights in Conflict: National Security
    6. INVESTIGATE: Rights in Conflict: Gun Control
      6.1 ENGAGE: What Steps Should Communities and Governments Take to Reduce Gun Violence?

TOPIC 6: The Structure of Massachusetts State and Local Government [Standards 8.T6.1-10]

  1. Functions of State and National Government

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Powers of State and National Government and the Tensions Between Them
    2. UNCOVER: Native American Tribal Governments
    3. ENGAGE: Should More States Adopt Part-Time Citizen Legislatures?
  2. United States and Massachusetts Constitutions

    1. INVESTIGATE: Powers and Restrictions on Powers of the Government
    2. UNCOVER: Elizabeth Freeman (Mum Bett) and the Abolition of Slavery in Massachusetts
    3. ENGAGE: Should the Government Pay Slavery Reparations for African Americans?
  3. Enumerated and Implied Powers

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Enumerated and Implied Powers of the U.S. Constitution
    2. UNCOVER: Federal Minimum Wage Laws and the Implied Powers of Congress
    3. ENGAGE: Should the Nation Adopt a Living Wage Rather Than a Minimum Wage?
  4. Core Documents: The Protection of Individual Rights

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Bill of Rights, the 14th Amendment, and Article I of the Massachusetts Constitution 
    2. UNCOVER: Marriage Equality Court Cases
    3. ENGAGE:  When Should You Go to Small Claims Court?
  5. 10th Amendment to the Constitution

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Regulation of Sports Betting
  6. Additional Provisions of the Massachusetts Constitution

    1. INVESTIGATE: Comparing the Federal and Massachusetts Constitutions
    2. UNCOVER: Gender-Inclusive and Anti-Racist Language and Images in State Constitutions, Laws, and Materials
    3. ENGAGE: How Can Teachers and Students Develop an LGBTQIA-Inclusive Curriculum in Schools?
  7. Responsibilities of Federal, State and Local Government

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Functions of State and Local Government
    2. UNCOVER: Disease, Vaccination, and Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905)
    3. ENGAGE: What Single-Use Plastic Items Should Local Governments Ban to Help Save the Environment?
  8. Leadership Structure of the Massachusetts Government

    1. INVESTIGATE: The Structure of Massachusetts Government
    2. UNCOVER: Milestones in Massachusetts Politics
    3. ENGAGE: How Can Society Eliminate Gender Gaps in Wages and Jobs?
  9. Tax-Supported Facilities and Services

    1. INVESTIGATE: People’s Taxes and How They Are Spent
    2. UNCOVER: A Brief History of Taxation in the U.S.
    3. ENGAGE: Should States Expand Lotteries to Raise Money for Communities?
  10. Components of Local Government

    1. INVESTIGATE: Town Meetings as a Form of Local Government
    2. UNCOVER: Democratic Decision Making in Cooperative Organizations and Worker/Employee-Owned Companies
    3. ENGAGE: Should Communities Declare Themselves Safe or Sanctuary Cities?

TOPIC 7: Freedom of the Press and News/Media Literacy [Standards 8.T7.1-6]

  1. Freedom of the Press

    1. INVESTIGATE: Notable Freedom of the Press Court Cases
    2. UNCOVER: Censorship and the Campaign Against Comic Books in the 1950s, Banned Books in the U.S. Today, and the Great Chinese Firewall
    3. ENGAGE: What are the Speech Rights of Student Journalists?
  2. Competing Information in a Free Press

    1. INVESTIGATE: History of Newspapers, Then and Now
    2. UNCOVER: Investigative Journalists: Nellie Bly, Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair, and Rachel Carson
    3. ENGAGE: Does Every Citizen Need to be Her or His Own Investigative Journalist?
  3. Writing the News: Different Formats and Their Functions

    1. INVESTIGATE: Reading and Writing News Articles, Editorials, Editorial Cartoons, and Op-Ed Commentaries
    2. UNCOVER: Two Pioneering Women Cartoonists: Jackie Ormes and Dale Messick
    3. ENGAGE: What is the Role of a War Correspondent?
  4. Digital News and Social Media

    1. INVESTIGATE: Social Media, News, and the Spread of Misinformation
    2. UNCOVER: Russian Hackers, Facebook, and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
    3. ENGAGE: Is the Internet a Human Right?
  5. Evaluating Print and Online Media

    1. INVESTIGATE: Defining and Combating “Fake News
    2. UNCOVER: Yellow Journalism and the Spanish-American War
    3. ENGAGE: How Can Students Use Fact Checkers to Evaluate the Credibility of News?
  6. Analyzing Editorials, Editorial Cartoons, or Op-Ed Commentaries

    1. INVESTIGATE: Evaluating Editorials, Editorial Cartoons, and Op-Ed Commentaries
    2. UNCOVER: Deepfakes, Fake Profiles, and Political Messaging
    3. ENGAGE: Should Facebook and Other Technology Companies Regulate Political Content on Their Social Media Platforms?

Learning Pathways

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