United States Government: Principles in Practice

U.S. Government Curriculum Grades 9–12

HMH Professional Services
  • Why?

    Exclusive Partnership with HISTORY®

    Together, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and HISTORY® are creating a new arena in the classroom—and an opportunity for students to relive, reflect, and re-imagine the people, places, events, and decisions that have made us who we are today.

    Support Common Core with Rigor, Skills, and Document-based Instruction

    With today’s emphasis on Common Core State Standards, it is more important than ever to have a social studies program that meets the rigor these standards demand. United States Government exposes students to a wealth of primary sources and develops critical skills while analyzing a variety of perspectives and investigating key government topics.

    Experience Social Studies with 21st-century Tools

    The digital generation of students today is like none before, so another way we help them experience success is to provide the capability to access their United States Government book not only on a computer, but on a variety of mobile devices. In addition, with products co-developed with HISTORY® such as the iBooks® textbook and Streaming Digital Media Library, you will be meeting students where they already are—online.

    Engage Students with Accessible Social Studies Content

    From reading support to differentiated instruction, United States Government is filled with a variety of student-friendly features designed to enhance the learning experience. This program brings a unique format and organization to the classroom. The Student Edition features 16 chapters—11 Essentials Chapters and 5 Interactive Chapters that include standards-based content and an application—and activity-based approach to studying government. Because government is not chronological, these interactive chapters can be taught in any order providing teacher flexibility. United States Government is a manageable, well-organized curriculum that ensures teachers can present required content and explore the contemporary issues facing our nation today.

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    • Interactive Brochure

      Experience United States Government: Principles in Practice and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and the Center for Civic Education through an innovative Interactive Brochure! Watch United States Government: Principles in Practice and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and the Center for Civic Education come alive with embedded interactive links. Sample videos, technology demonstrations, and more are just a click away! 



      Interactive Brochures
      Interactive Brochures
    • Preview

      Experience United States Government Today!

      United States Government integrates HISTORY® multimedia to help all students understand how to successfully participate in the democratic process. Explore how this program engages students.

    • Common Core

      With today’s emphasis on Common Core State Standards, it is more important than ever to have a social studies program that meets the rigor these standards demand. United States Government exposes students to the skills and understandings necessary for college and career readiness and helps them become literate, in all its forms, in the 21st century.

      The Grades 6–12 strand in Social Sciences promotes an interdisciplinary approach to literacy by:

      • Including primary source analysis and Common Core informational text reading
      • Incorporating literature and historical fiction selections
      • Utilizing higher-order thinking skills of text evidence, determining point-of-view, distinguishing fact from opinion, and more

      College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards

      Reading in History/Social Sciences

      Key Ideas and Details

      Using key skills like analyzing, evaluating, determining main idea from supporting detail, and drawing conclusions, students will actively look for text evidence in support of learning objectives. Complete skill lessons teach these explicitly, and ample assessment opportunities allow for demonstration of knowledge.

      Craft and Structure

      United States Government teaches students how to read social studies-based informational text with particular guidance and practice on understanding historical readings, developing historical perspective, and formulating historical questions. This focus allows students to understand and compare points-of-view, determine bias, and recognize propaganda as they interpret a variety of primary sources.

      Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

      United States Government offers students continuous opportunities to access a variety of sources—print, audio, visual, interactive media, and video—and in turn to analyze and assess them in 21st-century applications. Students can demonstrate their understanding through projects, proposals, presentations, and more.

      Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

      United States Government offers students a wealth of text genres in the Student Editions, related support material both in print and online, and related small volumes focusing on primary source collections, historical readings, literary collections, and historical literature.

      Writing History/Social Sciences

      Text Types and Purposes

      United States Government is committed to the student writing process with skills and lessons to support them every step of the way with ample and varied writing can be found in formative assessment, informal assessment, formal assessment, and portfolio opportunities.

      Production and Distribution of Writing

      Whether in print or online, United States Government offers a variety of writing opportunities and platforms for students to research and publish their writing.

      Research to Build and Present Knowledge

      United States Government teaches students how to analyze bias, determine point-of-view, and recognize propaganda, along with interpret print, visual, and Internet source material. The depth and variety of skills culminates in students critically reading and responding to text and supporting their written argument with critical analysis and text evidence.

      Range of Writing

      United States Government offers a variety of writing projects—both short term and long term—to support the different needs of today’s classrooms and schedules. Students demonstrate their knowledge for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

    • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework

      C3 Framework Whitepaper

      Research shows us that fewer and fewer students are receiving a high quality social studies education, despite the central role of social studies in preparing them for the responsibilities of citizenship.

      The new College, Career, and Civic Life Framework for Social Studies State Standards was developed with this in mind, and changes the focus of how social studies is taught in the classroom.

      The result of a three year state-led collaborative effort, the C3 Framework has been developed to enhance the rigor of the social studies disciplines, while building the critical thinking, problem solving, and participatory skills necessary for students to become engaged citizens. The C3 Framework also serves to align academic programs to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies.

      To find out more information about what the C3 Framework means for you in your classroom, download a free whitepaper that describes why the C3 Framework is necessary, what the guiding principles are, and how it is organized to engage students in active inquiry.

      C3 Framework Whitepaper (449 KB)

      For more information, or to download a complete copy of the C3 Framework, visit www.socialstudies.org/c3

    • Correlations
    • Scope and Sequence

      Preview the skills taught throughout each unit and chapter.

      Grades K–12 (7.9MB)

      Grades 6–12 (5.8MB)

    • Author
      Meet the author that has made United States Government: Principles in Practice one of the best-selling high school programs on the market.
  • Features

    Meeting the needs of all learners is no easy task. This is why Houghton Mifflin Harcourt created United States Government. Designed to engage students with the narrative while integrating rich multimedia assets, the program brings content to life for students and enriches their understanding.

    Teacher and student resources are available in print, online, and via mobile, providing the kind of anytime, anywhere access to resources that today’s learning environment demands. With leading-edge digital tools, United States Government helps students connect to the content like never before.

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    • Partnerships

      Powerful partnerships with the Center for Civic Education and American Bar Association provide valuable content in the Student Edition, ancillary resources, research resources, and online materials to extend and enrich the student’s experience with the content.

      Center for Civic Education

      The Center for Civic Education is an independent nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy in the United States and other countries.

      The Student Edition of United States Government includes features derived from lessons in We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution.

      • We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution features, including interactive strategies and a simulated Congressional hearing
      • What Do You Think features
      • Connecting to the Constitution activities

      In addition, the CCE developed the Foundations of Democracy Activities ancillary. This piece is organized around the concepts of authority, privacy, responsibility, and justice to promote critical thinking and foster participation skills.

      American Bar Association

      The American Bar Association Division for Public Education’s programs, publications, and resources are designed to educate and inform youth, college and university students, and adults about law and the justice system so that they are better equipped to meet the challenge of productive engagement in our democracy.

      The ABA Division for Public Education developed and provided the content for the Landmark Supreme Court Cases in the United States Government Student Edition and the Supreme Court Case Studies ancillary resource.

      In addition to the content in print, the ABA Division for Public Education website, www.abanet.org/publiced, features research resources, downloadable newsletters, and scripts for mock trials.

    • Reading Support and Accessibility

      In United States Government: Principles in Practice, reading support works seamlessly with the content, preparing students to learn with focused success.

      Chapter at a Glance

      Chapter at a Glance provides an overview of what students will learn in the chapter.

      Before You Read

      Before You Read at the beginning of each section provides students with the Main Idea Reading Focus Questions, Key Terms, and Taking Notes features.

      Why It Matters

      Why It Matters introductions emphasize the significance of the main idea covered in each section.

      Reading Checks

      Reading Checks enable students to monitor their comprehension.

      Section Asessmentments

      Section Assessments provide scaffolded questions based on Bloom’s taxonomy.

      Reading Social Studies

      Reading Social Studies by Kylene Beers helps students in every social studies course develop content-area reading skills. It includes reading-skill practice, think-aloud strategies, graphic organizers, and practice skill lessons for world history, geography, U.S. history, and civics.

      Interactive Reader and Study Guide

      Interactive Reader and Study Guide (English and Spanish) helps all students understand and master the content using visual summaries, critical thinking questions, and challenge activities.

    • Critical Thinking and Active Learning

      United States Government offers features that enhance students’ comprehension skills, critical-thinking skills, and analysis skills throughout the text.

      Debating the Issue

      Debating the Issue presents opposing viewpoints that frame a debate for students to explore with “What Is Your Opinion?” assessment questions.


      Interactive features, presented in the text and extended online, make government concepts relevant to students’ everyday lives.

      Primary Source

      Primary Source features allow students to examine and interpret historical documents and political cartoons to develop critical-thinking skills.

      Responsibilities of Leadership

      Responsibilities of Leadership features encourage students to participate and help them recognize that in a democracy, every citizen is a potential leader.

      Profiles in Government

      Profiles in Government present information about the lives of people who have influenced or played key roles in U. S. government.

      Real-World Examples

      Real-World Examples provide current examples of a topic and opportunities for students to apply information.

      Case Studies

      Case Studies illustrate concepts with contemporary examples to help students make relevant connections to the content.


      Students apply their knowledge of key topics in government by taking part in interactive simulations.

      Landmark Supreme Court Cases

      Landmark Supreme Court Cases identify the constitutional issue behind the case. “Why it Matters” stresses the key reason the case is important and the contemporary impact of the case.

      Supreme Court Case Studies

      Supreme Court Case Studies, a resource written by the American Bar Association Division for Public Education presents the facts, background, decisions and impact of more than 65 Supreme Court cases.

      Student Casebook

      Student Casebook supports the Interactive Chapters with graphic organizers to help students in note taking and completing simulations.

      Foundations of Democracy Activities

      Foundations of Democracy Activities—organized around the concepts of authority, privacy, responsibility, and justice—promote critical thinking and foster participation skills.

      Democracy and Civic Education Resources

      The Democracy and Civic Education Resources package includes Civic Participation Activities Guide, Constitution Study Guide, and United States Supreme Court Case Studies. Co-developed with the American Bar Association, the workbooks contain information on the history and development of the Constitution, its applications in today’s world, and analyses of important U.S. Supreme Court cases.

      Political Cartoons Activities

      Political Cartoons Activities with Answer Key includes content-related political cartoons to enrich and broaden instruction. Teacher’s Guide and Answer Key provide background information on each political cartoon to enable you to place the cartoon in context for students. Each political cartoon activity includes instructional captions that guide students in interpreting symbolism, caricature, satire, and bias.

      Primary Source Activity Kit

      The Primary Source Activity Kit is a compilation of primary and secondary sources designed to provide students with opportunities to examine historical, geographical, and government records; to analyze a variety of points-of-view; and to use critical-thinking strategies to interpret historical documents.

      This engaging activity kit includes:

      • Laminated placards featuring the documents and accompanying activities
      • Primary and secondary source documents that cover United States history, world history, geography, and civics and government
      • Teacher’s Guide with lesson plans and answer keys
    • Differentiated Instruction

      United States Government: Principles in Practice provides a variety of teaching strategies and activities designed to reach all learners. The Teacher’s Edition and ancillary materials fully support differentiated instruction.

      Chapter Planning Guide

      The Differentiated Instruction section of the Chapter Planning Guide targets program resources to address the needs of struggling readers, English language learners, and gifted and talented students.

      Teacher's Edition

      The Teacher’s Edition provides point-of-use Differentiating Instruction activities for English language learners, special education students, learners having difficulty with the content, and advanced learners.

      All activities in the Teacher’s Edition wrap are labeled Below-, At-, or Above-level as well as Standard English Mastery where appropriate. Activities are also labeled with appropriate learning styles.

      The Teacher’s Edition includes Teach the Main Idea, an instructional plan in the wrap that serves as a Minimum Course of Study when teachers are pressed for time.

      Interactive Reader and Study Guide

      Interactive Reader and Study Guide (English and Spanish) helps all students understand and master the content using visual summaries, critical thinking questions, and challenge activities.

      Differentiated Instruction Teacher Management System

      Differentiated Instruction Teacher Management System and Differentiated Modified Worksheets and Tests provide teachers with all of the resources needed to address struggling readers, special education students, English-language learners, and advanced learners.

      Guided Reading Activities

      Guided Reading Activities reinforce the content presented in the Student Edition.

      Gov 101

      Gov 101 online features are designed to provide intervention opportunities for teachers who need to re-teach key concepts or present content to lower-level readers.

      Advanced Placement* Review and Activities

      Advanced Placement* Review and Activities with Answer Key is an in-depth resource that provides advanced level students with thorough preparation for both the AP* United States Government and Politics Exam and the AP* Comparative Government and Politics Exam.

      English Learner Strategies and Activities

      English Language Learner Strategies and Activities by Julie Chan provides support for social studies teachers who have English language learners in their classrooms. The activities and strategies have been designed to be used with English language learners at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced proficiency levels. It includes Skill Building Activities, Social Studies Theme Activities, and Graphic Organizers.

    • Interactive Online Editions

      When is a book not a book? When it’s an Online Edition! Our online programs contain the same Student Edition that you find in print, but with a host of additional resources and features.


      TextHelp is a text-to-speech feature that allows for a section of the text to be read aloud at either slow, medium, or fast speeds. Student can also select a word to be translated into Spanish.

      Online Simulations

      Online Simulations place students in an interactive environment that challenges them to make informed choices to accomplish a government related task. Topics include how a bill becomes a law, the judicial process, the presidential election process, a foreign-policy decision, and the federal budget process.

      HISTORY® Videos

      High-quality bellringer HISTORY® videos are included with most chapter openers and indicated at point of use with various biographies and features. Where applicable, we’ve included links to the full-length videos as well.

      Essential Question Podcasts

      The Essential Question at the beginning of each chapter engages students by connecting people, places, and events and by setting a main purpose for reading. United States Government: Principles in Practice takes it one step further with Essential Question Podcasts that go into greater detail, providing additional support for all learners and continuing to set them up for success.

      Current Events Website

      hmcurrentevents.com enriches your classroom with subject-specific information from world history, world geography, American history, economics, psychology, sociology, civics, government, and African American history. It also spotlights today’s headlines with blogs, quizzes, activities, and web links.

      Additional Student Resources

      Students find chapter and section resources here, including reading support, enrichment activities, skill development activities, and section and chapter review assessment.

      Additional Teacher Resources

      Everything teachers need to plan, present, and assess is available online through the Teacher Resources section of the Online Edition, as well as the Teacher One Stop™. Teachers will find the Interactive Teacher’s Edition, ExamView® Test Generator, enrichment activities, assessments, answer keys, and much more.

      For a free 120-day preview of the Student and Teacher Online Editions, please contact your Account Executive.

    • Available Digital Formats

      iBooks® Textbooks

      Visually engaging Multi-touch textbooks for iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch® allow today's digital learners to truly interact with content. The rich, magazine-style design includes embedded interactive features to maximize learning engagement and promote higher order thinking skills. Embedded chapter videos, multimedia interactive features, easy-to-use interface, and interactive section quizzes are just a few of the features that keep students engaged.

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      HMH® eTextbooks

      eTextbooks include all of the content from the print textbook and are available across all grade levels and discipline areas. Suitable for most tablets, eTextbooks are portable and easily accessed, with some interactivity depending on the device.

  • Resources

    Explore Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s social studies resources that further develop students’ comprehension skills.

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt & HISTORY® Partnership Website

    Updated monthly, you will find valuable resources you can incorporate into your classroom, such as teacher’s guides to relevant HISTORY® show airings and related links. Also, you can explore all of the products and sponsorships that link HMH & HISTORY® together, including the brand new Custom Solutions service. Come here often to take advantage of what this site has to offer.

    Current Events Website

    hmcurrentevents.com enriches your classroom with subject-specific information from world history, world geography, American history, economics, psychology, sociology, civics, government, and African American history. It also spotlights today’s headlines with blogs, quizzes, activities, and web links.

  • HMH Professional Services

    Our Mission Is to Advance Yours

    HMH Professional Services forges student-centered partnerships with schools and districts in the belief that all learners deserve a quality education and the opportunity for lifelong success.

    HMH Professional Services includes teachers, leaders, and technologists. Our Professional Learning Consultants become part of your team, working right beside you to build and implement professional learning plans that respect the unique needs and culture of your school or district community. Through program, practice, and technical services, we work collaboratively to unlock the full potential of every student, teacher, and leader.

    Comprehensive Services for K–12 Educators

    We offer teachers and instructional leaders a full suite of learning and support to deepen their mastery and hone their teaching skills throughout the school year.


    Visit us at hmhco.com/professionalservices to learn more.

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