State and Local Governments

Students will explore the concept of federalism, from the powers held by the federal government to the powers reserved for the states. They will also learn about state government structures and functions, the state-level lawmaking process, and discover county, municipal, and tribal governments. 

State government resources were created with support from the State Government Affairs Council. Local government resources were created with support from the National Association of Counties.

State Power: Got a Reservation?

Students discover that states have their own governments and powers separate from the federal government. They learn what those powers are, how they’re different from the federal government’s powers, and that state governments also give power to smaller, local governments. Students critique a set of fictional state laws, create a story involving state powers, and look at some differences between state and local power. 

The Great State

What do state governments do? In this overview lesson, students learn about state government structure, functions, lawmaking, and relationship with local government.

Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDF versions of this lesson's materials below!

The State Governor

In this lesson, students discover the roles and responsibilities of a governor. Through a reading and board game, students identify the source of a governor's power and how that power is best used in a variety of situations.

States Rule!
Every state is different… and every state is the same! How can that be? Follow this WebQuest to find out about your state, its government, and its relationship to the U.S. government!

Comparative Constitutions

If you’ve seen one constitution, have you seen them all?  Compare and contrast the provisions of the U.S. Constitution alongside the state constitutions of Florida and Virginia. Find common ways in which state constitutions differ from (and are similar to) the U.S. Constitution, and take a closer look at your own state constitution.  

Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDF versions of this lesson's materials below!


Partner Resources for this Lesson Plan include:

The Capable County

County governments provide us with valuable services. In this lesson, students explore the many roles filled by their county government and the role of county governments in our federalist system.

County Basics

You probably know you live in a county (or the equivalent of a county), but do you know what county governments do? Find in this webquest! 

Counties Work
Play Time: 15-30 mins
Running a county is a lot of work! Manage things well, and try to get re-elected.

Who Represents Me?
Do you know who represents you in the federal, state and local government? Do you know how to get in touch with them? Follow this WebQuest to find answers to these questions and more!
  • 1
  • 2