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Civics and Government on Maps101

Posted on June 19 2022

Civics and Government on Maps101

Dear Educator,

The internet and television are buzzing with the January 6 hearings, which focus on the events that occurred on that date at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. These hearings draw attention to ideas about citizenship, governmental and presidential power, and political parties. These are all important concepts for students to understand as they are first introduced to civics and government, from primary through secondary education.

Here at Maps101, we are thinking about civics and government for other reasons, too. On June 22, 1870, a bill was passed that created the Department of Justice. It is easy to imagine that a federal department such as this was in effect from the beginning, but that is not the case. However, the U.S. Constitution does discuss the right of the accused to a fair and speedy trial. This can be found in the Bill of Rights, within the Sixth Amendment. This week, then, we are taking a look at topics around the governing of the United States. 

Also, check out our Summer of Where landing page to discover even more content to inspire you as you plan how to bridge the learning gap that comes with the inevitable summer slide.

Geography News Network

This week, we are first featuring the GNN article that was written right after the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Review this article with students to help them understand the hearings that are happening today.

Geography News Network

According to the website, the Department of Justice “enforces federal laws, seeks just punishment for the guilty, and ensures the fair and impartial administration of justice.” The U.S. Attorney General is the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, and he or she heads this department. Learn more in this week’s GNN article.

Field Trip Library

Another stop worth taking while exploring the U.S. government is our Field Trip on the Bill of Rights. It is through these first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution that citizens have the right to a fair and speedy trial. Learn more about our guaranteed rights through the nation’s highest law, in this interactive journey. Topics focus on James Madison, Federalists and Anti-Federalists, compromise, amending the Constitution, ratification, and a review of the purpose of each of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights.

 Lesson Map

A fantastic place to explain how the U.S. government works is with our exclusive Lesson Map. This online lesson answers essential questions such as: What are the three branches of the U.S. government? What makes the two houses of the U.S. Congress different from one another? Which officials are part of the executive branch of the U.S. government? How does someone become a Supreme Court Justice? What role does the system of checks and balances play in the U.S. government? The accompanying teacher’s edition includes point-of-use activities that are leveled for different learners. 

Map of the Week

The court system is one of the three branches of government in the United States. At the top of the judicial branch is the Supreme Court. The federal judicial system has been divided into districts, seen in this week’s map. Each district court has judges, clerks, court reporters, and other personnel. As part of the executive branch, there is also a U.S. attorney in each district to act as the lawyer for the federal government. This person prosecutes federal crimes and defends the government in civil suits against the U.S. government. 


This is a small sample of the kind of content available to you with your Maps101 subscription. Every week, the editors at Maps101 will provide you with highlights from our extensive collection in this GeoJournal newsletter. We suggest you make a folder to store them for future reference. Expand your students’ world with Maps101!

Don’t forget to visit our Summer of Where landing page to discover even more content to inspire you this summer, and frankly, anytime!

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