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Basic Principles of American Government

Develop a foundational understanding of the structure and role of all the major components of American government


  • updated text puts recent political events in context, including the 2016 election campaign and outcomes and the early stages of the Trump administration
  • seven units cover the principles behind American government, the American political process, the legislative branch, the executive branch, the judicial branch, state and local government in the American system, and looking ahead
  • emphasizes the significance of “involvement” by encouraging Americans to stay informed about public events and government actions on all levels
  • comprehensive introduction and chapter content reflects an emphasis on the Social Studies Practices and Historical Thinking Skills students should develop for college, career, and civic participation (C3)
  • Chapter Review exercises include stimulus-based questions, an issue-based essay, and a Document-Based Question to challenge students to read and synthesize primary sources, charts, graphs, and political cartoons
  • each chapter ends with an inquiry-based activity to answer, followed by Concept Application Tasks to practice civic participation
  • Unit Reviews provide students with targeted practice of each of the six social studies skills through writing and research activities, completion of graphic organizers, and in answering the Unit Essential Question
  • includes the complete text of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution
  • The Language of Government offers a selection of mini vocabulary activities for English Language Learners with vocabulary connected to each chapter's key concepts
  • Follows the C3 Framework and addresses the Inquiry Arc’s Four Dimensions through Essential and Compelling Questions, comprehensive content, skills development, and communication of student understanding
  • 566 pages
Teacher Package

Teacher Manual

Provides instructors with a compact, well-organized framework for teaching a semester- or year-long course in government. The manual provides objectives, ready-made lesson plans, teaching strategies, and test materials.


Also included is one practice test for each chapter and one practice test for each unit. Each test consists of 10 multiple-choice items, two short-answer items, and one essay item. At least four items require students to interpret a text or graphic.