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US Government and Citizenship

00.0 Welcome (Citizenship)

Course Description

The goal of this course is to foster informed, responsible participation in public life. Knowing how to be a good citizen is essential to the preservation and improvement of United States democracy.

Upon completion of this course the student will understand the major ideas, protections, privileges, structures, and economic systems that affect the life of a citizen in the United States political system.

This course is recommended for seniors due to their proximity to voting and draft age.

Class Overview

Welcome to Government and Citizenship! Before starting any assignment, please read the following:

  • Most assignments include links to the US Government HippoCampus website. These videos help you understand the main ideas in this class.  If you can't get the video to play, you can also read the material instead.
  • If you have a problem or question, inform the teacher immediately; don't wait. The teacher's contact information is under the link Teacher Contact Information.
  • You must have an active email address with the same address you registered with at the Electronic High School. You must answer all inquiries by the instructor. Failure to comply results in a lower grade.
  • When you write an essay, it must be long enough to cover all aspects of the question.
  • Keep copies of all the work you submit. This protects your work in an emergency. You may need to resubmit the work.
  • Every assignment must be completed in the order that they appear in the course syllabus. You must complete each assignment with 60% or better in order to pass the class.  You can redo assignments for a higher score if you would like.
  • You must finish the course within ten weeks.  There are pacing suggestions at the end of each assignment, to help you stay on track to finish in the ten weeks or less.
  • Please use a word document to create your assignments so you can copy and paste your finished work into the assignment submission form, always saving a copy for yourself. If you have specific concerns, e-mail the instructor. Never share your copy with another student.

Assignment Format and Rules

Top of the page:

  • the name of student
  • the unit number
  • the name of the assignment
  • the number and question written out with the answer

Body of the assignment:

  • questions written out (properly numbered and ordered)
  • answers in complete sentences listed with questions (properly numbered and ordered)
  • proper writing mechanics


  • do your own work
  • document your information sources
  • you signed up as an individual, do your work as an individual
  • plagiarism is against the law and the honor code at EHS

Scoring Procedures and Grading:

  • The teacher will leave feedback for each assignment in the comments section or on the rubric.  Check these comments to make sure you are doing the assignment correctly.
  • The first essay assignment for each unit is a "Warm Up" activity for that unit. Use facts to back up your opinion. Use the internet or a high school government textbook to help you research and write the answer to the essay questions.
  • Make sure that you put research you have found on the internet in your own words.  If you copy and paste answers from the internet, you will receive a zero.
  • You are required to complete a quiz as you complete each unit. As soon as you have completed that quiz, you get immediate feedback showing you which questions you answered correctly. This score is automatically recorded in the grade book. Retaking each quiz until you have scored at least 85% will ensure you are ready for the final test.
  • When you complete the final assignment for the course, submit the "Ready" assignment to let your teacher know you think you have finished. When the teacher marks that assignment with a score of "1", you may set up your final test. Then follow the procedure outlined by EHS for that proctored exam. Your final is graded automatically and you can check your score when you finish. Your teacher will let you know your final grade for the course.
  • You must finish the class, including taking the final, in ten weeks or less.  At the end of ten weeks, you will be dropped from the class.
  • Your assignments and quizzes count for 75% of your grade. The final test counts for 25%.  The final is made up of questions from the quizzes and exams in that quarter.  The final has fifty multiple-choice questions and each question is worth eight points.

Grading Scale: 
95-100 A
94-90 A-
89-87 B+
86-83 B
82-80 B-
79-77 C+
76-73 C
72-70 C-
69-67 D+
66-63 D
62-60 D-
No credit - below 60

I look forward to working with you. This will be a terrific quarter!

00.00 *Student supplies for U.S. Government and Citizenship

Needed Materials

  • Internet: You must have access to the internet in order to take this course. The answers to all questions can be found on the internet or in a high school government textbook. Each lesson or assignment will list suggested links. We suggest you read or view the material found on the provided links. As you work through your assignment, feel free to choose other links on your own to find needed information.
  • Powerpoint: Microsoft Powerpoint Viewer - download If you don't have Powerpoint on your computer, you can download a free viewer from Microsoft.
  • Online Textbook: A free online textbook, American Government and Politics is available online (see link below) If you would like a print textbook to help you, we suggest this following.

Optional Print Textbook: American Government: a Complete Coursebook, by Ethel Wood and Stephen C. Sansone. Great Source Education Group Houghton Mifflin Copyright: 2000. ISBN #0-669-46795-2. May be purchased directly from the sites listed below or from the Mountain State Schoolbook Depository in Clearfield, Utah by calling 1-800-995-1444 and use reference #046795 or Depository Reference #GRS-10116 or call "Great Source" directly at 1-800-289-4490 and use reference #046795 to order book. You could also get the book from,, or from a local bookstore. Approximate price is $33.10 and price may vary and may or may not include tax or handling fee.

00.00 Welcome (Citizenship)

00.00.01 About Me (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 15 minutes

This assignment will make sure I have all the contact information I need to stay in touch with you throughout the course. Also, It will give me an opportunity to get to know you a little better before you begin. Please submit the following information for your About Me assignment:


  • Name of high school where you take most of your classes,
  • Your year in school,
  • Date you enrolled in this class,
  • The reason you enrolled in this class (make-up credit, free up room for elective, graduate early, etc.),
  • Your email address,
  • Parent or counselor e-mail address.

Next, write two short paragraphs to the teacher. In the first paragraph introduce yourself to me. Tell me about any hobbies or activities you are involved in.

In the second paragraph discuss plagiarism. What is it, and why is it unfair to everyone involved in its use?

Lastly, the EHS Honor Code states:  "As a student of the Electronic High School, I agree to turn in my assignments in a timely manner, do my own work, not share my work with others, and treat all students, teachers, and staff with respect."

Please type up and include the following sentence with your assignment:

“I have read the EHS Honor Code and agree to abide by its principles.  I understand the ten week timeline to finish this class and commit to finish it in ten weeks or less in order to earn credit.”


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 1 of your enrollment date for this class.

00.01.01 Student Software Needs


Students need access to a robust internet connection and a modern web browser.

This class may also require the Apple QuickTime plug-in to view media.

For students using a school-issued Chromebook, ask your technical support folks to download the QuickTime plug-in and enable the plug-in for your Chromebook.


01.00 Unit 1 (Citizenship)

David Maiolo image, Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 UnportedDavid Maiolo image, Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

The first quarter of US Government and Citizenship includes three units:

  • Unit 1 covers basic principles of government, the colonial background leading up to the formation of the United States, and an in-depth look at our Constitution.
  • Unit 2 covers political parties, elections, voting, and political ideology.
  • Unit 3 covers the legislative and executive branches of the US government

These three units develop ideas from the Utah State Core Curriculum Standards for this class:

Standard One: Students will understand the significance and impact of the Constitution on everyday life.

Objectives: Investigate the ideas and events that influenced the creation of the United States Constitution. Assess the essential ideas of United States Constitutional Government. Determine the importance of popular sovereignty and limited government in a democratic society. Investigate the organization and functions of the United States Government.

Standard Two: Students will understand the distribution of power among the national, state and local governments in the United States federal system.

Objectives: Determine the relationship between the national government and the states. Analyze the role of local government in the United States federal system.

Standard Three: Students will understand the responsibilities of citizens in the United States.

Objectives: Investigate the responsibilities and obligations of citizens. Assess methods for respectfully dealing with differences.

Standard Five: Students will understand the relationship between the United States and the international system.

Objectives: Examine major government structures and functions outside the United States. Evaluate how United States foreign policy affects the world and explore how the United States influences other nations and how other nations influence the United States.

01.00.01 Warm-up Activity (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 20 points possible 25 minutes

Write a two-paragraph answer to the following question:

1. Why would the State of Utah mandate that all high school students take a U.S. Government and Citizenship class in order to graduate?

NOTE: A complete paragraph in this course means at least five to seven sentences.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 1 of your enrollment date for this class.

01.01 Sovereignty and Government (Citizenship)

The Magna Carta: Public domainThe Magna Carta: Public domain

We all have times when we wish we could just do without a government, like when we have to pay taxes, or apply for a building permit, or send in a passport application four months before going on a trip out of the country. However, for better or worse, it seems that people have always needed some kind of government to help them get along.

When humans lived in small, scattered, family groups of hunters and gatherers, their 'government' was probably informal--the strongest or smartest were in charge. When people began to settle down and farm the land, and towns and cities first formed, a lot more people were involved. They needed a more formal arrangement. Probably some decisions were made by consensus, and others were made and enforced on the principle of "might makes right." In other words, whoever can win a fight or war is in charge until someone else comes along and defeats or kills that leader.

This lesson is about the different kinds of government, and the purpose of having a government at all. The following topics and vocabulary are those you will need to understand this lesson.

"Power Elite" Magna Carta
autocracy oligarchy
democracy (direct and indirect) federated
confederated sovereignty
social contract theory government



Please go to the websites (links below) about Sovereignty and Government to further study this topic.