What are the differences between Uncle Sam and You and Exploring Government?

Uncle Sam and You

Uncle Sam and You is a one-year civics course specifically designed for students in grades 5 to 8. The subject of civics (by comparison to government) gives special attention to the role of the individual citizen in government and in his community. One of the main goals of the curriculum is to explain the functions of government that the student experiences in everyday life. Uncle Sam and You focuses on individuals, from the president and first lady to the architect of the Capitol to local policemen and other first responders to members of the city council to the young citizen reading the book.

The curriculum features extensive coverage of the election process and surveys government activities on the federal, state, and local levels. Lessons are included on patriotic symbols and national holidays. The supplemental reading assigned in the Uncle Sam and You course includes original source documents in The Citizen's Handbook (such as letters, newspaper articles, songs, and poems) plus age-appropriate books such as A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt and Misty of Chincoteague. The writing assignments are short (usually a paragraph or two). The quizzes and tests in the student review books are designed for middle-school students.

Uncle Sam and You answers questions such as, "How do elections work?" "What does the president do all day?" "Who decides where stop signs go?" and "How did the observance of Labor Day get started?"

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Exploring Government

Exploring Government is a one-semester course written at an advanced high school level. It covers such topics as the Biblical basis of government and the different types and philosophies of government. The course has extensive coverage of the entire U.S. Constitution, how the federal government operates, and contemporary issues government addresses today such as health care and immigration.

Exploring Government discusses not only what government does, but why government functions the way it does. The supplemental readings in We Hold These Truths include historic and modern governmental documents, Supreme Court decisions, speeches, and essays. The curriculum suggests a topic each week for a two- to three-page essay plus alternate hands-on projects. The Quiz and Exam Book has a weekly quiz and three extensive tests, each covering five units.

Exploring Government helps the student know how government works but also challenges the student to consider how government should work. Exploring Government answers such questions as, "What were the origins of Enlightenment ideas about government, and how did they impact the formation of the U.S. Constitution?", "How has the Supreme Court addressed the issues of slavery and race?", and "What is the appropriate role of government in protecting human rights?"

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