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The Role of Government in Utah


Enduring Understanding:
Students will understand the need and function of government.

Essential Questions:
1. What is government?
2. Why do we need government?
3. What services do governments provide?

Instructional Procedures

Adapted from AskERIC and the New York Times Learning Network

The Role of Government in Utah

Grade: 7

Subjects: Utah Studies, Government

Overview of Lesson Plan: In this lesson, students will explore the role of government in their lives.

Suggested Time Allowance: 1 hour

Students will:
1. Define the word government
2. Examine why society needs a government to exist.
3. Identify the services government provides.

Resources/ Materials
-student journals
-classroom blackboard
-poster board (four pieces, one per small group)
-research materials (Utah Studies textbooks, encyclopedias, computers and Internet access)

Activities/ Procedures:
1. WARM-UP/DO-NOW: Students respond to the following questions in their journals, written on the board prior to class: "How do you define the word 'government'"? What do you believe some of these services to be? For each, how does this value manifest itself in your everyday life?" Students then share their answers. Write students' suggested "government services" on the board.

2. Divide students into four groups, and assign each group one service government provides (police, schools, roads, libraries). Explain to students that they will be citizens identifying these needs and will be deciding which governmental services we need. Using all available classroom materials, each group should locate or develop the following information (written on board for easier student reference)
-clear definition of the need
-clear understanding of what services government can provide

3. HOMEWORK/ WRAP UP: After completing their research, each group should prepare a presentation for their class based on their findings. Presentations can be in the forms of skits, oral reports, town counsel simulations, or any other format that relays all of the required research information. Encourage students to be as interesting as possible in their presentations. Students should present in a future class.

Further Questions for Discussion:
-Can there ever be agreement across the state about what government should do or not do? Why or why not?
-Do you believe that government is integral to a democratic society? Why or why not?

Evaluation/ Assessment:
Students will be evaluated based on initial journal response, thoughtful class discussion, thoughtful participation in small group research, and well-crafted presentations.

Created: 08/05/2002
Updated: 02/05/2018