What is Government
Lesson Plan Reference
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment Individual or Group
For this activity, students will create a spider map that represents and defines numerous forms of government. Students should represent how power is distributed either symbolically, (e.g. Direct Democracy represented as a pizza where each citizen receives an equal sized slice) or through the representation of governmental figures.
Example Forms of Government
|Direct Democracy||A direct democracy is a form of government where the citizens determine how the country should function. A direct democracy has no elected leaders and each citizen has an equal level of power.|
|Representative Democracy||A representative democracy, sometimes known as a republic, is a form of government where the people vote on their leaders. Leaders listen to the concerns and problems of the people and create laws to solve them.|
|Monarchy||In a 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 dictatorship is 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.|
|Anarchy||An anarchy is the state without a government. In an anarchy, there is no law creation or enforcement. An anarchy is typically characterized by violence and disorder.|
|Oligarchy||An oligarchy is 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.|
|Theocracy||A theocracy is any form 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.|
Students should present their spider map to their peers, with the goal of ranking each government from most favorable to least favorable, in terms of which ones they would want to be a part of. Students can number each government representation storyboard to guide them in their presentation.