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Think about all the different people who live in your community. Everyone is different. Everyone wants different things and believes different things. Everyone has his or her own opinions. But despite these differences, there are ideas and hopes that everyone in a community shares. We all want to be happy. We all want to be able to make decisions for ourselves. We all want to be able to work toward our goals. Some of us may struggle sometimes. When we are worried about ourselves and those we love, some of us may forget that other people have rights too and that their rights are just as important as our own rights. Some of us, too, may have dreams that are so big that we all have to work together to achieve them.

For thousands of years, people have lived together in communities. People have learned that by working together they can protect one another from dangers, help one another overcome hardships, and inspire one another to accomplish great things. These three ideas—of working together, sharing burdens, and respecting each other’s rights—are why people form governments.

What Do We Want To Know?

What questions shape your exploration of this unit? Think about these questions as you learn about this topic.
  • 1
    How do people act as good citizens in a democracy?
  • 2
    What are the people’s rights and responsibilities?
  • 3
    What are the responsibilities of federal, state, and local government?
  • 4
    How is a balance of power part of our democracy?

For Students

Learn It!

Explore the role of civics and government in today's world, in your community, in New Hampshire, and in the United States

Find It!

View the images, objects, documents, maps, videos, biographies, and vocabulary words in this unit

Do It!

Use the knowledge you’ve gained in this unit to play these online games and complete the review activities

Go See It!

Visit New Hampshire places where civics and government are happening

For Teachers

Unit Plan for Unit 18

Find lesson plans, vocabulary words, additional resources, and an overview of the subject