Government and Citizens

Grade Range: K-5
Resource Type(s): Reviewed Websites, Primary Sources, Lessons & Activities
Duration: 90 minutes
Date Posted: 10/19/2016

This historical investigation is aligned with the C3 Framework and is from

This inquiry is an exploration into government that begins by looking at the historical roots of democracy in the United States and then focuses on state government. The inquiry features a case study of a piece of legislation, initiated by a class of New York State elementary school students that resulted in yogurt becoming the official state snack of New York. In examining the idea that we have a voice in our government, especially through state representation, students develop an argument supported by evidence that answers the compelling question “Why does New York have a state snack?”

National Standards

Historical Thinking Standards (Grades K-4)

United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)

Common Core State Standards (Grades K-12)

College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards (Grades K-2)

College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards (Grades 3-5)

2: Applying Disciplinary Tools and Concepts

D2.Civ.1.3-5. (Civics): Distinguish the responsibilities and powers of government officials at various levels and branches of government and in different times and places.
D2.Civ.2.3-5. (Civics): Explain how a democracy relies on people's responsible participation, and draw implications for how individuals should participate.
D2.Civ.3.3-5. (Civics): Examine the origins and purposes of rules, laws, and key U.S. constitutional provisions.
D2.Civ.4.3-5. (Civics): Explain how groups of people make rules to create responsibilities and protect freedoms.
D2.Civ.6.3-5. (Civics): Describe ways in which people benefit from and are challenged by working together, including through government, workplaces, voluntary organizations, and families.
D2.Civ.7.3-5. (Civics): Apply civic virtues and democratic principles in school settings.
D2.Civ.8.3-5. (Civics): Identify core civic virtues and democratic principles that guide government, society, and communities.
D2.Civ.12.3-5. (Civics): Explain how rules and laws change society and how people change rules and laws.
D2.Civ.13.3-5. (Civics): Explain how policies are developed to address public problems.
D2.Civ.14.3-5. (Civics): Illustrate historical and contemporary means of changing society.
D2.His.2.3-5. (History): Compare life in specific historical time periods to life today.
D2.His.12.3-5. (History): Generate questions about multiple historical sources and their relationships to particular historical events and developments.
D2.His.16.3-5. (History): Use evidence to develop a claim about the past.