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.

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  • Lesson Plan

    Counties Work Extension Pack

    Make your students’ game play more meaningful by using our activity and assessment set designed specifically for Counties Work. This easy-to-use Extension Pack helps you give context and purpose to the game, as well as reinforce and assess the game concepts. That means deeper learning for students, and best practices around game-centered learning for you!  Extension Packs are designed for use with projectors or interactive whiteboards. Partner Resources for this Lesson Plan include:Counties Work Extesion Pack Google Slides 
  • Lesson Plan

    County Contributions (Infographic)

    Meet the departments doing the important jobs that make your county work! 
  • Lesson Plan

    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. We recommend teaching our lesson The "Federal" in Federalism right before this lesson.(Please note: This lesson replaces our old "On the Level" lesson plan. The Venn diagram…
  • Lesson Plan

    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.
  • WebQuest

    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!
  • Lesson Plan

    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!
  • WebQuest

    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! 
  • Lesson Plan

    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.
  • Game

    Counties Work

    Running a county is a lot of work! Manage things well, and try to get re-elected.
  • Game

    Cast Your Vote

    Election Day is coming, are you prepared to vote?