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Social Studies Curriculum Social Studies - United States Government & Citizenship
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American citizenship brings with it civil liberties, civil rights, and responsibilities. Students must know their rights and responsibilities and understand the extent of those rights. Students should be able to defend their own rights and the rights of others, understanding that the Constitution and its amendments extend protections to individuals who may not share their views. Our nation's future rests on the ability and willingness of every generation to fulfill their civic responsibilities.

Possible Guiding Questions to Consider:

  • What are the civil rights and liberties codified in the Constitution?
  • What is the relationship between a successful, functioning republic and a civically responsible population?
  • How have the rights and liberties in the Constitution been interpreted and applied over time?
  • How has the definition of citizen changed over time?

    U.S. GOV Standard 2.3:

    Students will explain the purpose and importance of fulfilling civic responsibilities, including serving on juries; voting; serving on boards, councils, and commissions; remaining well-informed; contacting elected officials; and other duties associated with active citizenship.

    • The Economics of Voting
      Why do so many voters stay away from the polls on election day? This is a puzzle to many people interested in the well-being of our democratic system. Economists try to explain this outcome. This activity has students read a couple of articles, analyze some data in order to answer some questions about voter turn out.
    • The Mystery of the Voters Who Don't Vote
      Americans are known around the world for their love of liberty and democracy. Many Americans have fought and died to protect their system of government and way of life. Free elections are central to that system of government. Together with safeguards for protecting individual rights, free elections are the heart of American democracy. Yet many Americans do not vote. Only about half of all eligible voters vote in presidential elections, for example. This lesson plan asks and answers the question: 'Why don't more Americans vote?'

    UEN logo - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Robert  Austin and see the Social Studies website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - Jennifer  Throndsen.

    These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Board of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.