School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Social Studies, Grade 8

Political Science | Peoples of the Nation and World | Geography | Economics | History | Social Studies Skills and Processes

Resource Links:

Standard 1.0 Political Science

Topic C. Protecting Rights and Maintaining Order

Indicator 1. Examine the impact of governmental decisions on individual rights and responsibilities in the United States

Objective a. Describe responsibilities associated with certain basic rights of citizens, such as freedom of speech, religion, and press, and explain why these responsibilities are important

Resource Links
A brief, student-friendly discussion of rights and responsibilities, from the U.S. Government Printing Office’s “Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government” page.
Brief article on the concept of rights and responsibilities, from the U.S. State Department
Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities
Listing of rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens, from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Center for Civic Education lesson plan connecting rights with responsibilities. Lesson designed to accompany reading of We the People upper elementary text, but discussion questions are appropriate for middle grades
Lesson plan on First Amendment rights and responsibilities, from the High School Journalism Initiative. Though intended for high school, this lesson could be modified for 8th grade students.
“Brain Pop’s” guide to rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens. Features summary of the concept and activity suggestions for teachers and students (Although full access to this site requires paid subscription, the free version of the site provides ideas and information)
Online Citizenship and Participation unit, from
Resources for Objective 1.C.1.a:
Clarifications | Lesson Seeds | Sample Assessments | RESOURCE LINKS