Civics & Economicsby Matthew Caggia

Unit 4A: Citizenship, Voting, & Elections

Chapters 1, 5, 10

The United States of America has sometimes been known as a "Nation of Immigrants." Most people are either immigrants to the nited States or descendants of immigrants. The culture of this nation consists of a blending of the many cultures have helped make this nation great. While we have already learned about the structure of government and the functions of each of the branches in our federalist system, this unit focuses on "Who Are Americans?", the uniqueness of our identity as "American", Citizenship, the process of becoming a citizen, the Right, Duties, and Responsibilities of being a citizen. We will take a look at how a person can become a citizen and how that citizen can be an active participant of the government and community. We will pay particular attention to the most basic act of civic participation, one often ignored or taken for granted: voting.

Study Tools

Online Textbook Resources

These pages contain the links to the online content for student practice. It includes Chapter Overviews, Web Activities, Self-Check Quizzes, ePuzzles and Games, Vocabulary Flashcards, Charts in Motion (to accompany diagrams in the textbook), and Interactive Graphic Organizers.


Link to Quizlet! Vocabulary is the key to understanding any subject. Once you can break down the barrier of language the ideas and concepts are wide open. Here you can find the vocabulary for the unit to practice by using online flash cards and by practicing online generated vocabulary quizzes.

Slide Shows

The slideshows are best viewed full screen. Slideshows will be blocked until AFTER the homework is due to encourage students to read the required sections of the textbook.

American Metaphors

This slideshow demonstrates a few different historical ideas about American Culture, from the Melting Pot, to the Salad Bowl, and the Cultural Mosaic. Included in the slideshow are questions to answer that accompany each reading. Look for the culminating assignment on the last slide of the show.

e pluribus Unum

This brief presentation summarizes the ways a person can become a citizen, either by birth or by naturalization.

Political System Cycle

The following is a 12-minute PowerPoint Presentation that I have recorded on Use the handout listed on the right Political System Cycle PowerPoint Handout. This presentation describes how popular sovereignty currently works in United States politics. It is thanks to this system that government is able to respond to the needs of the people and make changes peacefully. However, this system would not be possible were it not for the 1st Amendment and the rights of the people to express their views and opinions to government while requesting action to correct problems.

Here is the PowerPoint for the Presentation above in case you are unable to get the VoiceThread to work on your mobile device. I stongly urge you se the narrated version above as the narration adds more information than can be gotten from just the PowerPoint.


This slideshow reviews the voting process in North Carolina, including the requirements.


Schoolhouse Rock: The Great American Melting Pot

Cute little cartoon and jingle about the idea of the culture of United States of America as a melting pot. This metaphor was coined by Israel Zangwill in 1909. And although it is an outdated way of thinking of American culture, it is a good starting point for a discussion on the topic.

HipHughes History: US Immigration in Ten Minutes

McKinley Vocational High School in Buffalo, NY brings us "HipHughes History" on a website called "SchoolTube." This ten minute video features Mr. Hughes giving a brief overview of immigration history in the United States.

Note: I do not know who Mr. Hughes is, but this video applies to the topic of immigration in this unit.

Declare Yourself

This was an advertisement for voting in the 2008 election. While that election is behind us, the message is the same, go out and vote. This year it is November 3 (but it is always the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November). This website has since been renamed OurTime and advocates for young Americans.

From the website: "The mission of OUR TIME is to combine the voting and purchasing power of young Americans so that politicians and businesses represent our needs better. Currently, they are not doing a good job. At least 1 in 6 of us is unemployed, almost 1 in 3 of us lack insurance, and those of us lucky enough to attend college on average owe more than $24,000 in student loan debt. This has got to stop..."

For more than 200 years Americans have been fighting to protect this great experiment that is the government of the United States of America. Never before had a nation actually created a system that allowed the people to run government (popular sovereignty). And since the creation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the number of people who are eligible to vote has continued to grow - not just through growing population but through the greatest thing about our government, the voice of the people. People have stood up to declare themselves and declare what is important to them. Why should this year, or any year, be different? We have something that so many people in the world only wish they could have: a voice in government. It is so important to us that we protect it in our Bill of Rights - the First Amendment! Do not throw away what so many people have fought and died for - go vote.

I am going to vote, because I care.

Video Link:  Annenberg Media -

Glencoe Online: Spotlight Videos

These videos accompany the textbook. Each is about 2-3 minutes and uses real news reports that demonstrates a main idea from each section.



Duties & Responsibilities

Voting and Elections

Campaign Finance

Copyright M. Caggia 2018