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Civics Standards for K-5

Understand political systems, with an emphasis on the United States

Civic Standards for K-5 (2015), related to Illinois

Civic and Political Institutions

  • SS.CV.1.K. Describe roles and responsibilities of some people in authority.
  • SS.CV.1.2. Explain what governments are and some of their functions (e.g., making and enforcing laws, protecting citizens, and collecting taxes).
  • SS.CV.1.3. Describe ways in which interactions among families, workplaces voluntary organizations, and government benefit communities.
  • SS.CV.2.3. Explain how groups of people make rules to create responsibilities and protect freedoms.
  • SS.CV.1.5. Distinguish the responsibilities and powers of government officials at various levels and branches of government and in different times and places.
  • SS.CV.3.5. Compare the origins, functions, and structure of different systems of government.

Participation and Deliberation: Applying Civic Virtues and Democratic Processes

  • SS.CV.3.3. Compare procedures for making decisions in the classroom, school, and community.
  • SS.CV.3.4. Identify core civic virtues (such as honesty, mutual respect, cooperation, and attentiveness to multiple perspectives) and democratic principles (such as equality, freedom, liberty, respect for individual rights) that guide our state and nation.

Processes, Rules, and Laws

  • SS.CV.4.4. Explain how rules and laws change society and how people change rujles and laws in Illinois.
  • SS.CV.4.5. Explain how policies are developed to address public problems.

Internet Resources & Links

Recommended sites for Certification Test Preparation - Elementary Education Subject Matter

  • Diagram of how a bill becomes a law (PDF)
    This site provides a very detailed chart of the law making process in Illinois. The chart is well organized and worth careful study – a picture is worth at least a thousand words.
  • Legislative branch organizational chart (PDF)
    This site provides a basic chart on the organization of the Legislative Branch of government in Illinois. Note the size of each house. The site also gives a brief description of member eligibility as well as legislative functions, powers, organization, composition, and the legislative cycle. This may be more information than you need, but it is very clearly and concisely stated.
  • Three branches of Illinois and federal government chart & explanation (PDF) 
  • Illinois’ capitols >>: This site describes the various state capitols Illinois has had.
  • Wikipedia entry >>: This Wikipedia site contains mostly basic information. It has multiple links to various people, places, events, terms, etc. Check to make sure the correct office holders are listed in the box at the right. Sometimes there are changes due to elections.

Illinois Handbook of Government

This regularly updated publication is available as a downloadable pdf from the IL Secretary of State and as a booklet (call 217-785-8234). This will help you become familiar with the basic organization of Illinois government, who presently holds the six elected executive offices, the state budget, Illinois at a Glance, and Illinois State Capitols. Under the legislative, executive, and judicial branches there are organizational charts and some basic information. Finally, study the History and Highlights of the Illinois State Constitution and glance through the Illinois Constitution, noting unique characteristics such as certain rights, retention of judges, home rule, education, etc.

Note for teaching: this booklet is available from the state free of charge. It is published by the Secretary of State’s office and can be downloaded or a class set ordered by calling the phone number above.