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Lesson Plan by Lauren Martin M.Ed.

Introduction to Government

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings social studies to life with comics and storyboards.

Make social studies come to life with comics!

Including these awesome activities:
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Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map
  • Comic Strip
  • Poster
  • Character Map

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

Pixton Lesson Plan on Introduction to Government
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings social studies to life with comics and storyboards.
Pixton Lesson Plan on Introduction to Government

Featured Props

Introduction to Government

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Cannon
    Cannon
  • Courthouse
    Courthouse
  • Feather
    Feather
  • Flag
    Flag
  • Gavel
    Gavel
  • Megaphone
    Megaphone
  • Money
    Money
  • Podium
    Podium
  • Skyline
    Skyline
  • Throne
    Throne
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Teacher Guide

Introduction to Government

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

Before students can understand types of government, introduce the definition of government:

  • The group of people or system that controls and makes decisions for a country or state.

Opening Discussion

Introduce the types of government:

  • Democracy: A government run by the people. Each citizen has a say or vote in how the government is run. This is different from a monarchy or dictatorship when just one king or dictator has all the power. While democracy is considered the fairest form of government, there are still problems: Some say only wealthy people can afford to run for office. Voters are uninformed or misinformed and don't understand what they are voting for; The two party system (democrats and republicans) limits how people vote on issues, and the decision-making process can make change slow. There are two types of democracy: direct and representative. Every democracy must have the following characteristics:
    • Citizens rule: The power of the government must be controlled directly by citizens or through elected representatives.
    • Free elections: All citizens are allowed to vote how they want.
    • Majority rule with Individual rights: While the majority (vote) makes decisions, each individual has certain rights that are always protected.
    • Limitations on Lawmakers: Elected officials like the president have limited power and limited term so they can’t be in office for too long.
    • Citizen participation: Everyone is allowed to vote.
  • Direct Democracy: Every citizen votes on every decision. In ancient Athens, Greece, every citizen went to the main square to vote on major issues. A direct democracy is almost impossible for large populations.
  • Representative Democracy: A democratic republic, means every citizen can vote for a representative who they trust to vote on every major issue. The United States is a representative democracy because the citizens vote for representatives to run the government, such as the president, congress, and senators.
  • Oligarchy: A form of government where a small group has the power. Historically, oligarchies have consisted of those with significant wealth or military power. The rights of citizens are determined solely by those in the small group.
  • Monarchy: A king or queen, "a monarch", rules over the people. Some monarchs have held all of the power, while others have shared their power with other branches of government. A monarch typically comes to power by inheritance. Depending on the monarch, citizens can have numerous rights and privileges, or none at all.
  • Dictatorship: A form of government where the power is in the hands of one individual with full authority to enforce and create any laws they desire. Rights and liberties of the citizens are usually suppressed in order to maintain the power of the government.
  • Theocracy: Any form of government centered on a god or gods. A theocracy has a ruling religious authority that oversees the creation and enforcement of laws. Power rests with the religious authority who may or may not give their citizens freedoms.
  • Anarchy: A state without government. In an anarchy, there is no law creation or enforcement. An anarchy is typically characterized by violence and disorder.
Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    Elements of Democracy

    Complete after class discussion.

    View Activity
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    Types of Government

    Complete after class discussion.

    View Activity
  • Make a Comic Strip
    Illustrate Forms of Government

    Complete after class discussion.

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Poster (Extension / Modification)

    Create a classroom reference Poster for each type of government.

  • Extension / Modification
    Character Map (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Character Map for each of the leaders for the six types of government.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Discuss the following:

  • Why do you think the United States is a representative democracy over a direct democracy?
  • In your opinion, would a direct democracy be more or less beneficial for its citizens? Why or why not?
  • What are the pros and cons of each type of government, if any?
  • If you could change your country's government from the one you currently have, what government would you choose, and why?
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Pixton Activity: Introduction to Government 1 Elements of Democracy

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

Review the Elements of Democracy:

  • Democracy: A government run by the people. Each citizen has a say or vote in how the government is run. This is different from a monarchy or dictatorship when just one king or dictator has all the power. While democracy is considered the fairest form of government, there are still problems: Some say only wealthy people can afford to run for office. Voters are uninformed or misinformed and don't understand what they are voting for; The two party system (democrats and republicans) limits how people vote on issues, and the decision-making process can make change slow. There are two types of democracy: direct and representative. Every democracy must have the following characteristics:
    • Citizens rule: The power of the government must be controlled directly by citizens or through elected representatives.
    • Free elections: All citizens are allowed to vote how they want.
    • Majority rule with Individual rights: While the majority (vote) makes decisions, each individual has certain rights that are always protected.
    • Limitations on Lawmakers: Elected officials like the president have limited power and limited term so they can’t be in office for too long.
    • Citizen participation: Everyone is allowed to vote.

Instructions

Create a Mind Map or Storyboard that illustrates the five elements of democracy:

  • Identify the element in the panel title.
  • Write a detailed description of the element.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Introduction to Government 2 Types of Government

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

Review the types of government:

  1. Democracy: A government run by the people. Each citizen has a say or vote in how the government is run. In every democracy, the power of the government must be controlled directly by citizens or through elected representatives. There are free elections so every citizen is allowed to vote. The majority vote makes decisions. Individual rights are protected. Elected officials have limited power and limited terms.
  2. Oligarchy: A form of government where a small group has the power. Historically, oligarchies have consisted of those with significant wealth or military power. The rights of citizens are determined solely by those in the small group.
  3. Monarchy: A king or queen, "a monarch", rules over the people. Some monarchs have held all of the power, while others have shared their power with other branches of government. A monarch typically comes to power by inheritance. Depending on the monarch, citizens can have numerous rights and privileges, or none at all.
  4. Dictatorship: A form of government where the power is in the hands of one individual with full authority to enforce and create any laws they desire. Rights and liberties of the citizens are usually suppressed in order to maintain the power of the government.
  5. Theocracy: Any form of government centered on a god or gods. A theocracy has a ruling religious authority that oversees the creation and enforcement of laws. Power rests with the religious authority who may or may not give their citizens freedoms.
  6. Anarchy: A state without government. In an anarchy, there is no law creation or enforcement. An anarchy is typically characterized by violence and disorder.

Instructions

Create a Mind Map or Storyboard that illustrates the six types of government:

  • Identify the type of government in the panel title.
  • Write a detailed description of the type of government.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Example Mind Map

Types of Government by Student

Here's the link to share this comic:

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Introduction to Government 3 Illustrate Forms of Government

Featured Layouts

  • Comic Strip

Intro

Review the types of government:

  1. Democracy: A government run by the people. Each citizen has a say or vote in how the government is run. In every democracy, the power of the government must be controlled directly by citizens or through elected representatives. There are free elections so every citizen is allowed to vote. The majority vote makes decisions. Individual rights are protected. Elected officials have limited power and limited terms.
  2. Oligarchy: A form of government where a small group has the power. Historically, oligarchies have consisted of those with significant wealth or military power. The rights of citizens are determined solely by those in the small group.
  3. Monarchy: A king or queen, "a monarch", rules over the people. Some monarchs have held all of the power, while others have shared their power with other branches of government. A monarch typically comes to power by inheritance. Depending on the monarch, citizens can have numerous rights and privileges, or none at all.
  4. Dictatorship: A form of government where the power is in the hands of one individual with full authority to enforce and create any laws they desire. Rights and liberties of the citizens are usually suppressed in order to maintain the power of the government.
  5. Theocracy: Any form of government centered on a god or gods. A theocracy has a ruling religious authority that oversees the creation and enforcement of laws. Power rests with the religious authority who may or may not give their citizens freedoms.
  6. Anarchy: A state without government. In an anarchy, there is no law creation or enforcement. An anarchy is typically characterized by violence and disorder.

Instructions

Create a Comic Strip that illustrates how decisions are made and rules and rights are carried out within one of the six types of governments:

  • Identify the type of democracy in the title.
  • Illustrate how decisions are made and rules and rights are carried out.
  • Include appropriate illustrations and dialogue for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Example Comic Strip

Illustrate a Form of Government "Democracy" by Student

Here's the link to share this comic:

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