Powers of Federal, State, and Local Governments


US History The U.S. Constitution Powers of Federal, State, and Local Governments
Students review the concept of federalism and identify some of the powers of federal and state governments. Then they analyze the structure of state governments and their similarities to the federal government. Next, students explore levels of local government and the services they commonly provide. Finally, they'll identify people in each branch of their own state government.

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Overview

In this experience, students review the concept of federalism and identify some of the powers of federal and state governments. Then they analyze the structure of state governments and their similarities to the federal government. Next, students explore levels of local government and the services they commonly provide. Finally, they’ll identify people in each branch of their own state government.

Objectives:

  • Describe the concept of federalism and the powers of federal and state governments.
  • Describe the services that state and local governments provide. 


Every day, in many ways, the government influences our lives. In this experience, you will review the concept of federalism and identify some of the powers of federal and state governments. Then you will analyze the structure of state governments and their similarities to the federal government. Next, you will explore levels of local government and the services they commonly provide. Finally, you’ll identify people in each branch of your own state government.

Objectives:

  • Describe the concept of federalism and the powers of federal and state governments.
  • Describe the services that state and local governments provide.




U.S. Capitol, Texas State Capitol Building, San Antonio City Hall


In a word or short phrase, name three things you or your family does because of the government. It might be a service you depend on, a place you go, or an obligation you have as a citizen. Separate each item with a comma, like this: bake cookies, eat pizza.

Post your answer

Answers will vary. Students may note places that are funded by the government, such as public schools, libraries, and parks. Or they might note services they rely on, such as the police, postal service, or roads and highways. They may note obligations they have, such as paying taxes, driving the speed limit, or simply obeying the laws. They might also mention that using money relies on the government—since the government is responsible for printing and coining the money we use to buy things. Finally, they might say “voting”—which may not be a requirement for citizens, but it is a right and a responsibility. 


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The Complete List of Learning Experiences in The U.S. Constitution Unit.
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