Civics, Semester A

  • Date created

    June 30, 2020

  • Last updated

    April 4, 2021

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Course Overview and Goals

Civics is a course that offers 100% alignment to the Florida Standards for Civics. The
course includes a variety of unit and lesson activities that examine the history, geography,
culture, and economy of the state that encourage research and reflection. Semester A offers
three units that cover topics including the political and physical geography of the United States,
rights and responsibilities of American citizenship, the origins of American government, and the
structure and function of our government. In Semester A, you’ll also examine the American
legal system, compare and contrast the US Constitution and the Florida Constitution, explore
how the Constitution both protects and limits individual rights, and investigate the rights and
responsibilities of American citizens through research and real-world examples.

By the end of this course, you will be able to do the following:

Describe the physical and political geography of the United States.
Describe the population and culture of the United States.
Explain the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
Examine primary and secondary sources.
Explain the importance of government.
Identify influences on U.S. government.
Summarize how the U.S. Constitution was written.
Explain how the Constitution protects individual rights through the Bill of Rights and
other amendments.
Compare and contrast the Florida Constitution and the US Constitution.
Explain the structure and function of the U.S. Congress.
Explain the structure and function of the executive branch of the U.S. federal government.
Explain the structure and function of the federal judicial system.
Describe the roles of law enforcement and the courts in the U.S. legal system.

Scope and Sequence

This document outlines the design of  Civics Semester A, as well as the coverage of
the Florida Standards for Civics within the course.

CPALMS: Florida Standards for Civics

UNIT 1: A NATION AND ITS PEOPLE (DAYS 1 – 25)

In this unit, you will learn about the physical and cultural landscape of the United States. The
unit begins with a lesson on the political and physical geography of the country, in which you
will learn about the unique features of different regions of the United States. The next lesson
focuses on the cultural composition of the country, including an examination of maps and data
related to the current population. Finally, you will investigate the roles, rights, and
responsibilities of all American citizens, culminating with an interactive activity in which you will
research and interview fellow Americans who have real-world experiences carrying out the
duties of citizenship.

Civics Semester A, Unit 1 Syllabus

Syllabus for Civics, Semester A, Unit 1

UNIT 2: FOUNDATIONS OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT (DAYS 26 – 55)

Unit 2 focuses on the history of how our government was formed. It includes a discussion of
major Enlightenment thinkers and their influence on our nation’s founders, as well as
explanation of fundamental concepts that shaped our American democracy, such as the social
contract, natural rights, and the rule of law. You will also learn about other government
systems that exist around the world. This unit also explains the events that led to the creation
of the Declaration of Independence and early state and local governments. You will also closely
examine the US Constitution, including an in-depth look at the Bill of Rights and several
landmark Supreme Court cases that focused on matters of individual rights. Finally, you will
research and closely read both the US Constitution and Florida Constitution to identify
similarities and differences between these two governing documents. Throughout the unit, you
will engage with many different primary and secondary sources to better understand how and
why American democracy came to be.

Civics Semester A, Unit 2 Syllabus

Syllabus for Civics, Semester A, Unit 2

UNIT 3: STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT
(DAYS 56 – 90)

This unit explains the structures and functions of the US federal government branches. It
begins with an examination of the legislative branch, including the Constitutional basis for its
creation, as well its powers. The next lesson covers the Constitutional powers given to the
executive branch, along with an explanation of the responsibilities of US president. The third
lesson in this unit discusses the judicial branch of our government, including an explanation of
the Supreme Court and our federal court system. Finally, you will learn about the American
legal system and different types of law in the country, including case studies of landmark court
cases that examine the role of law enforcement and the rights of the accused in matters of
criminal law.

Civics Semester A, Unit 3 Syllabus

Syllabus for Civics, Semester A, Unit 3

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