School Improvement in Maryland
Government Lesson Plans
Lesson Plan 12
Government Lesson Plans
. Overview
Lesson Objectives
Assessment of Indicator

Core Learning Goal: 2
The student will demonstrate an understanding of the history, diversity, and commonality of the peoples of the nation and world, the reality of human interdependence, and the need for global cooperation, through a perspective that is both historical and multicultural.
Expectation: 2
The student will compare and evaluate the effectiveness of the United States system of government with various other political systems.
Indicator: 2.2.1
The student will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of various types of governments throughout the world.

Assessment Limits:
  • Types of political systems from democratic to authoritarian
  • Forms of government: confederation, federal, unitary
This lesson focuses on comparing political systems. Students should have previously learned about the characteristics of various types of governments. Students will also need prior knowledge of United States democracy, specifically "consent of the governed" and "rule of law."

Lesson Objectives
Students will research the political systems of other nations.
  Students will compare the United States' system with other political systems.

Student Handout: Comparison Chart
Student Handout: Types of Government Project
Library Resources: encyclopedias, almanacs
Student Handout: Political Systems: Advantages and Disadvantages
  Useful website:

  1. Have students create a list of the various political systems and their characteristics.
  2. Distribute the handout Comparison Chart. Review the terms "consent of the governed" and "rule of law." Have students complete only the United States column of the chart on their own. Review their answers.
  3. Divide students into groups. Explain that each group will research one foreign country's political system. Distribute the handout Types of Government Project. Tell groups that their final product will be an oral presentation in which they will teach about their nation's government. The oral presentation must be accompanied by a visual: a map, picture of the leader, flag, or symbol.

    Review the grading criteria. Assign countries so students will learn about a variety of political systems. For example:

    • China/Cuba - oligarchy
    • Jordan/Saudi Arabia - monarchy
    • Libya/Iraq - dictatorship
    • Britain/Canada - parliamentary
  4. During the oral presentations, have all students complete the Comparison Chart. Add columns depending on the number of countries assigned. Conduct a debriefing after each presentation to ensure that students have accurate information.
  5. Assign one student from each country to a new group. Have the students complete the handout Advantages and Disadvantages. Discuss their conclusions.

Assessment of Indicator
Have students answer this Brief Constructed Response item:
"Democracy is the worst form of government on earth except for all the rest."
-Winston Churchill
  • Explain the meaning of the quote.
  • Do you agree or disagree with the author of the quote? Explain why.
  • Give details and examples to support your answer.
Use the Social Studies Rubric to score student responses.

.  Print Version: Government Lesson Plan (Acrobat 26k)