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Alabama Course of Study: US Government, Grade 12

Below you will find the standards relevant to U.S. History from the ALCOS for Social Studies, grade 12. Beneath each standard are links to web resources that may be useful to you and your students.

  1. Analyze purposes, organization, functions, and principles of the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.
    • Magna Carta: Cornerstone of the US Constitution
      Lesson plan in which students examine how the Magna Carta served to lay the foundation for the evolution of parliamentary government and subsequent declarations of rights in Great Britain and the United States. In attempting to establish checks on the king's powers, this document asserted the right of "due process" of law.
    • The Charters of Freedom
      Interactive website on the documents of the American Revolution and the new government (The Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights) provided by the National Archives.
    • In Congress Assembled
      Unit plan of four lessons which uses primary source documents to teach students about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and early issues discussed by Congress in the founding of the United States. Grades 6-12
    • The Constitution: Counter-Revolution or National Salvation?
      Library of Congress Lesson Plan which provides questions for analyzing each article of the Constitution.
    • Federalist and Anti-Federalist Debates on Diversity and the Extended Republic
      In this unit, students will examine some of the most important arguments of those opposing or supporting the Constitution. They will learn why Anti-federalists believed that a large nation could not long preserve liberty and self-government and why Federalists such as James Madison believed that a large nation was vital to promote justice and the security of rights for all citizens, majority and minority alike.
    • Norman Rockwell, Freedom of Speech--Know It When You See It
      This lesson plan highlights the importance of First Amendment rights by examining Norman Rockwell’s painting of The Four Freedoms. Students discover the First Amendment in action as they explore their own community and country through newspapers, art, and role playing.
  2. Explain how the federal system of the United States divides powers between national and state governments, including areas of taxation, revenue distribution, federal grants, distribution of entitlements, regulation of interstate commerce, and enforcement of contracts.
  3. Describe specific functions, organization, and purposes of state and local governments.
    • 1901 Alabama Constitution
      Online text of document, with summary of each article along left margin.
    • Al.gov
      Official website for the state government of Alabama.
    • Will You Join a Special Interest Group?
      Students will create a brochure aimed at recruiting members of a special interest group. After selecting a group to research from a list that is attached, students will use the Internet to research the group, identify the primary objectives of the group and the group's accomplishments. Students then will publish a brochure aimed at recruiting prospective members. (Could easily be modified to focus only on state special interest groups.)
    • Keeping Up With the Alabama Legislature: Legislative Update Wiki Project
      This technology-based lesson encourages active engagement in the state legislative process. Students participate on a wiki designed to follow the progress of legislation as it moves through the state legislature. It is conducted during the Legislative session and concludes at the end of the session. Sessions will start in either January or February depending on whether or not it is an election year.
  4. Trace the expansion of suffrage and its effect on the political system of the United States.
    • Cultural Change Lesson Plan
      See how the rhetoric of women’s rights evolved from the “Declaration of Sentiments” of 1848 to the suffragist arguments that finally prevailed.
    • Voting Rights
      Lesson Plan from the Alabama Dept. of History and Archives which examines the racial make-up of voters in 1960's Alabama and how the Voting Rights Act of 1965 changed things.
    • The Voting Rights Act
      Image and transcribed text of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 from the National Archives Website.


Teaching American History Program | The University of Alabama
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