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Principles of Government and Law . With Instructional Strategies. Jim Nash Bidwell Junior High Chico, CA Personal Information. Teacher 7 th Grade World History and 8 th Grade United States History B.A. Political Science C.S.U. Chico

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principles of government and law

Principles of Government and Law

With Instructional Strategies

Jim Nash

Bidwell Junior High

Chico, CA

personal information
Personal Information
  • Teacher 7th Grade World History and 8th Grade United States History
  • B.A. Political Science C.S.U. Chico
  • P.I.E. Alumni Since 2000

1. Honored teachers from Central Asia will gain a better understanding of principles of government and law in the United States. 2. Honored teachers from Central Asia will gain a better understanding of how our history has shaped our democracy.3. Honored teachers from Central Asia will be exposed to a variety of instructional strategies.4. Honored teachers from Central Asia and I will have a meaningful exchange.

historic context
Historic Context

Our government and our laws were born out of our experience as colonists living under British Rule.1607-1763 Era of English Colonization1763-1775 The Gathering Storm1775-1781 The War for American IndependenceThe American people are an independent people who have had a long tradition of self rule through local government.

instructional strategy primary source documents
Instructional Strategy: Primary Source Documents.

The Declaration of Independence

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

“He has kept among us,in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures”

“For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world”“For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent”

“The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

constitutional principles
Constitutional Principles

Federalism is a shared responsibility of government between a state government and a national government.

A separation of powers in government keeps government officials from becoming too powerful.

Popular sovereignty means that the people will be the ultimate power in government.

Constitutional rights are rights guaranteed to all Americans.


As English colonists, Americans developed effective local government to deal with day to day issues. Americans were independent in many ways. When Mother England pressured colonists to obey English law, Americans resisted. Americans felt that they were being denied basic rights.

After wining our independence, we created a very weak central government because people, and state governments, were fearful of too much power in the hand of too few.

“No More Kings!”

federalism continued
Federalism Continued

Our first attempt at self-rule was a failure. Our first constitution, The Articles of Confederation, gave most of the power in government to the states. The national government was very weak. Many problems, economic and military, led to the creation of our current Constitution.

Working together & sharing power

National Government

State Governments

instructional strategy small group competition
Instructional Strategy: Small group competition.

“Preamble Scramble”

The Preamble to the United States Constitution

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

federalism continued10
Federalism Continued:

Our system of government operates on many levels.

Every level of government has power to pass laws. However, the National Government is supreme.

instructional strategy use technology
Instructional Strategy: Use Technology

Internet activities:

Geography Quizzes

Current Events

Web Based Lessons

popular sovereignty
Popular Sovereignty

Popular sovereignty means that the people will be the ultimate power in government.

Americans exercise their political power by voting.

Peaceful protests are a constitutional right.

instructional strategy hands on history
Instructional Strategy: Hands on History

1861 – 1865

The War Between the States

constitutional rights
Constitutional Rights

The Bill of Rights

During the late 1780s, two groups opposed each other, the Federalists who wanted a strong government and no bill of rights, and the Anti-Federalists who wanted more power for the states and a bill of rights. To reach an agreement, James Madison promised to add a bill of rights to the Constitution.

instructional activity opinion papers
Instructional Activity: Opinion Papers

Take a stand on the issue of Gun Control:

2nd Amendment : “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Should Americans have the right to own any type of firearm they like?

Should our government have the power to limit the types of firearms Americans can own?

  • Possible topics:
  • Government and Law in the United States
  • Teaching strategies
  • Cultural questions
  • Current events