Wachusett Regional School District
Wachusett Mountain

 History and Social Science
Civics and Government
Curriculum Frameworks K-12

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History and Social Science

Civics and Government

The study of civics and government pertains to the rights and responsibilities of citizens.  Students study how people have organized authority and exercised power from earlier civilizations to present.  While several forms of government will be introduced as part of the study of the past, the philosophy, structure, and evolution of American government are recurrent topics.   Students will repeatedly examine the founding documents such as the declaration of independence, the constitution, The Bill of Rights, other Constitutional amendments, and key Supreme Court decisions and explain their relevance to current events.

The fundamental ideals of democracy/liberty and justice for all depend on institutions of government; laws that apply equally to those who govern and are governed; and non-governmental religious, social, and economic institutions for their security.  As they study American history, students learn the concepts and principles central to American constitutionalism-representative government, the purposes of a written constitution, citizenship, rights, duties, ordered liberty, justice, law, privacy, authority, and power.  Further, as students study U.S. and world history, and as they analyze different types of government, they will learn that the quest for freedom and justice transcends national boundaries.


Standard:  As a result of activities in grades K-5, students should develop the ability to:

  • Give examples that show the meaning of the following words:  politeness, achievement, courage, honesty, and reliability.
  • Define and give examples of the some of the rights and responsibilities that students, as citizens, have in the school. 
  • Give examples of fictional characters or real people in the school or community who were good leaders and good citizens. 
  • Give examples of why it is necessary for communities to have governments. 
  • Give examples of the ways people in a community can influence their local government. 
  • Give examples of the major rights that immigrants have acquired as citizens of the U.S. 
  • Give examples of the different ways immigrants can become citizens of the U.S. 
  • Define and use correctly words related to government:  citizen, suffrage, and rights. 
  • Give examples of the responsibilities and powers associated with major federal and state officials. 
  • Explain the structure of the student’s city or town government.


Standard:  As a result of activities in grades 6-7, students should develop the ability to:

  • Define a nation and give examples of the different ways nations are formed.
  • Give examples of several well-known international organizations (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the World Bank). 
  • Define and use correctly words and terms relating to government such as city-state, dynasty, kingdom, and empire.


Standard:  As a result of activities in grades 8-12, students should develop the ability to:

  • Identify and describe leading founders, founding documents and major events that created the American Nation.
  • Understand and apply the U.S. Constitution and trace the federal system at its origins; union; separation of powers; and three-fifths compromise. 
  • Trace the early republic including Washington as founding statesman and the birth of party politics. 
  • Trace the evolution of the Supreme Court including John Marshall and Marbury v. Madison. 
  • Identify pre-Civil War reformers and Jacksonian democracy. 
  • Define the Emancipation Proclamation and describe the purpose of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments.
  • Define Western feudalism and manorialism. 
  • Explain the similarities and differences between absolute monarchies and constitutional governments. 
  • Trace the democratic and social reforms in Europe including evolutions and revolutions. 
  • Explain rising European nationalism and motives for new Western imperialism.