U2: Participating in Government

Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Be sure to visit the Course Calendar for nightly readings, upcoming due dates, etc. 


This unit introduces students to various means to participate in our democracy including voting, involvement in political parties, interest groups, and the influence of the media. We will also examine roles these political organizations play in our society and how their importance has changed throughout history. 


  1. What is the process nominating candidates and electing public officials in our democratic system and which political groups impact this process along the way? 
  2. What influence does the media have on American Political Life? 

Key Terms 

  1. Political Party
  2. Multi-Party/Two-Party System
  3. Coalition Government
  4. Third Parties
  5. Partisan/Bipartisan
  6. Precinct
  1. Patronage
  2. Platform
  3. Political Action Committee (PAC)
  4. Primary Elections
  5. Soft-Money
  6. Lobbying/Lobbyist
  1. Incumbent
  2. Political Culture
  3. Political Socialization
  4. Libel/Slander
  5. Trial Balloon
  6. Prior Restraint


Historical People

  1. Democrats
  2. Republicans
  3. Bull Moose Party
  4. Libertarian Party
  5. Green Party
  6. Tea Party
  1. Joe Biden - D
  2. Hillary Clinton - D
  3. Andrew Cuomo - D
  4. Elizabeth Warren - D
  5. Barack Hussein Obama - D
  6. Bernie Sanders - D
  1. Donald Trump - R
  2. Marco Rubio - R
  3. Chris Christie - R
  4. Rand Paul - R
  5. Jeb Bush - R
  6. Scott Walker


Events and Ideas

  1. Third Parties
  2. Party Organization
  3. History of Voting Rights
  1. Voter Behavior
  2. Interest Groups/Lobbying
  1. Political Socialization
  2. Public Opinion 


Graphic Organizers

  1. Liberal vs. Conservative
  2. Electoral College Maps
  3. Political Party Platforms
  4. 4 Ways to Nominate Candidates
  1. Running for President
  2. Influences on Voters
  3. Interest Groups
  4. Influence of the Media
  1. Guided Reading Worksheets
  2. Re-Teaching Worksheets
  3. Supreme Court Case Studies

Main Topics

1. The Constitution


2. Federalism


3. Review and Project