Foundations of Government

Students will examine the purpose, forms, and limitations on government. They will learn about key philosophers like John Locke and explore practical examples of government functions. Students will complete this unit with an understanding of different forms of government, key influences on American democratic principles, and distinguishing features of governments around the world.

Topics at a Glance: rule of law | government and power | philosophy | types of government | forms of government | limited powers | democratic influences

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  • Lesson Plan

    Why Government?

    Great question! We ask Thomas Hobbes and John Locke to help us find an answer. The thing is, they don't agree. Dig into the philosophers' ideas and see how they've influenced those that have followed in their footsteps.
  • Lesson Plan

    The Sovereign State

    Discover the four features of a sovereign state. Graphic organizers and mini-quizzes help reinforce the information, while students create a fictional country to apply what they've learned.
  • Lesson Plan

    Who Rules?

    Students learn about the different forms of government that exist, including democracy, autocracy, oligarchy, and others. They compare and contrast these types of government, and they look at real-life examples in the world today.
  • Lesson Plan

    A Dive Into Democracy

    The Founding Fathers had many influences. Discover how aspects of Athenian democracy shaped the structure and ideals of the U.S. government.
  • Lesson Plan

    Limiting Government

    Explore the five basic limits on government through the true story of Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori, and other fictional cases of government power gone wild.
  • Lesson Plan

    Rule of Law

    This skit-driven lesson explores the six factors that make up the rule of law and how they protect individual rights and freedoms in our day to day lives. Students then connect the rule of law to America’s founding documents and think about the relationship between the rule of law factors.