CoverIntroduction for EducatorsExpanded Table of Contents with Media Literacy ConnectionsUpdates & Latest AdditionsLearning Pathway: Black Lives MatterLearning Pathway: Influential WomenLearning Pathway: Student RightsLearning Pathway: Election 2020Learning Pathway: Current Events Learning Pathway: Critical Media LiteracyTeacher-Designed Learning PlansTopic 1. The Philosophical Foundations of the United States Political System1.1. The Government of Ancient Athens1.2. The Government of the Roman Republic1.3. Enlightenment Thinkers and Democratic Government1.4. British Influences on American Government1.5. Native American Influences on U.S. GovernmentTopic 2. The Development of the United States Government2.1. The Revolutionary Era and the Declaration of Independence2.2. The Articles of Confederation2.3. The Constitutional Convention2.4. Debates between Federalists and Anti-Federalists2.5. Articles of the Constitution and the Bill of RightsTopic 3. Institutions of United States Government3.1. Branches of the Government and the Separation of Powers3.2. Checks and Balances Between the Branches of Government3.3. The Roles of the Congress, the President, and the Courts3.4. Elections and Nominations3.5. The Role of Political PartiesTopic 4. The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens4.1. Becoming a Citizen4.2. Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens and Non-Citizens4.3. Civic, Political, and Private Life4.4. Fundamental Principles and Values of American Political and Civic Life4.5. Voting and Citizen Participation in the Political Process4.6. Election Information4.7. Leadership and the Qualities of Political Leaders4.8. Cooperation Between Individuals and Elected Leaders4.9. Public Service as a Career4.10. Liberty in Conflict with Equality or Authority4.11. Political Courage and Those Who Affirmed or Denied Democratic Ideals4.12. The Role of Political Protest4.13. Public and Private Interest Groups, PACs, and Labor UnionsTopic 5. The Constitution, Amendments, and Supreme Court Decisions5.1. The Necessary and Proper Clause5.2. Amendments to the Constitution5.3. Constitutional Issues Related to the Civil War, Federal Power, and Individual Civil Rights5.4. Civil Rights and Equal Protection for Race, Gender, and Disability5.5. Marbury v. Madison and the Principle of Judicial Review5.6. Significant Supreme Court DecisionsTopic 6. The Structure of Massachusetts State and Local Government6.1. Functions of State and National Government6.2. United States and Massachusetts Constitutions6.3. Enumerated and Implied Powers6.4. Core Documents: The Protection of Individual Rights6.5. 10th Amendment to the Constitution6.6. Additional Provisions of the Massachusetts Constitution6.7. Responsibilities of Federal, State and Local Government6.8. Leadership Structure of the Massachusetts Government6.9. Tax-Supported Facilities and Services6.10. Components of Local GovernmentTopic 7. Freedom of the Press and News/Media Literacy7.1. Freedom of the Press7.2. Competing Information in a Free Press7.3. Writing the News: Different Formats and Their Functions7.4. Digital News and Social Media7.5. Evaluating Print and Online Media7.6. Analyzing Editorials, Editorial Cartoons, or Op-Ed CommentariesGlossaryIndex of Terms


14th AmendmentFundamental Principles and Values of American Political and Civic Life
The 14th Amendment (1868) guaranteed citizenship and due process and equal protection under the law to anyone born or naturalized in the United States (except certain indigenous Americans).
AmendmentAmendments to the Constitution
Approved or proposed change (either by addition, subtraction, or substitution) to the United States or state constitution.
CensorshipFreedom of the Press
Suppression by governments or political groups of words, images or ideas that are deemed offensive
CivicsRights and Responsibilities of Citizens and Non-Citizens
From the French word “civique,” meaning citizen, the study of what people need to know and do (their rights, roles, and responsibilities) as members of a democratic society.
Critical media literacyMedia LiteracyFreedom of the Press and News/Media Literacy
Knowledge, skills, and competencies to access and analyze the content of multiple media (print and digital) while also analyzing who produces media, why they do so, and what impacts that media has on people and society.
DemocracyThe Government of Ancient Athens
Government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Democratic Government
System of government where people chose their leaders through free and open elections.
Democratic schools
Educational organizations where teachers, students, administrators and community members make decisions openly and collectively.
Digital Choice Board
An online visual display that gives students multiple ways to learn about a topic featuring hyperlinks to digital resources and tools as well as higher order, creative learning activities.
Digital government
Widespread use of technology for government functions.
An abbreviation for electronic books; refers to material that is delivered digitally to readers using laptops, smartphones, or other mobile devices.
ElectionDemocratic GovernmentElections and Nominations
Process by which voters choose individuals to represent them in federal, state, or local government.
Employee owned businessComponents of Local Government
An organization where the workers, not outside shareholders, own all or most of the business and make decisions about its operation; also known as worker owned business.
Executive branchBranches of the Government and the Separation of Powers
Individuals, agencies and organizations in a government that carry out a nation or state's laws and policies.
Executive privilegeChecks and Balances Between the Branches of Government
Policy that allows a President and his close advisors to refuse to turn over to Congress or the court documents and discussions they had about national and international policies.
A system of government in the United States (and most other democracies) that divides and shares power between a national (or federal) government and the various states in the country.
GerontocracyThe Roles of the Congress, the President, and the Courts
Government run by older people.
Heraean GamesThe Government of Ancient Athens
Athletic competitions for women and girls in Ancient Greece.
Instant Runoff/Ranked Choice VotingElections and Nominations
A election system that allows voters to vote for candidates in order of preference. If no candidate gets a majority of votes, the one with the fewest votes is eliminated and those who ranked that candidate first have their votes transferred to the second preference and so on until one candidate gets more than 50% of the vote.
Judicial branchArticles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
The part of a government that decides the meaning of laws and administers justice through trials and other court proceedings. The Supreme Court has the power of judicial review of court decisions.
Legislative branchThe Roles of the Congress, the President, and the Courts
The part of a government that makes or changes laws. The U.S. Congress has also the power to declare war, regulate interstate commerce and control taxing and spending.
Local governmentFunctions of State and National Government
An organization that provides public services to people in cities, towns, boroughs, villages, and townships within states in the United States.
Media LiteracyEvaluating Print and Online Media
Knowledge, skills, and competencies to access, analyze, and produce multiple forms of media.
Rule by one individual who inherited the position by birth.
Rule by a small group or elite.
Political Action Committee (PAC)Public and Private Interest Groups, PACs, and Labor Unions
Organizations that collect and donate funds to political candidates.
Recommendation AlgorithmsAnalyzing Editorials, Editorial Cartoons, or Op-Ed Commentaries
Computer programs on social media sites that direct content to users based on what they have viewed, bought, or done before.
The PressFreedom of the Press and News/Media Literacy
The people (reporters, photographers, commentators, editorial writers and behind-the-scenes workers) and media organizations (online and in print) that bring us the news.
TyrannyChecks and Balances Between the Branches of Government
Rule by an authoritarian leader who suppresses dissent, often through violent means. See also dictatorship.
WhistleblowerCompeting Information in a Free Press
A person who exposes illegal or unsafe actions by government, corporations or private individuals.
Worker cooperativesComponents of Local Government
Organizations where workers make decisions democratically; see also, worker/employee owned businesses.