This semester-long course provides students with a practical understanding of the principles and procedures of government. The course begins by establishing the origins and founding principles of American government. After a rigorous review of the Constitution and its amendments, students investigate the development and extension of civil rights and liberties. Lessons also introduce influential Supreme Court decisions to demonstrate the impact and importance of constitutional rights. The course builds on this foundation by guiding students through the function of government today and the role of citizens in the civic process and culminates in an examination of public policy and the roles of citizens and organizations in promoting policy changes. Throughout the course, students examine primary and secondary sources, including political cartoons, essays, and judicial opinions. Students also sharpen their writing skills in shorter tasks and assignments and practice outlining and drafting skills by writing full informative and argumentative essays.