Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Democracy Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Democracy, and supports the standard of explaining the origins, functions, and structure of different systems of government, including those created by the U.S. and state constitutions. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Explain that the word “democracy” means “rule by the people.” Ask students:

  • What do you think it means for a government to be “ruled by the people?”
  • What do you think might be some responsibilities of citizens living in a democracy? 


Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign the Democracy Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about democracy while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Imagine you are living in ancient Athens. Produce a video diary that answers this question: What was democracy like in ancient Athens? 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map comparing and contrasting features of modern American democracy with Athenian democracy.
  • Creative Coding: Code a game where players determine whether information describes direct democracies or representative democracies. 
  • Primary Source: Listen to a 1944 recording of FDR’s radio address on the right to vote, and cite details from the broadcast to answer the accompanying questions. 

More to Explore

Branches of Power: Players run all three branches of government in this interactive game.

Cast Your Vote: This game challenges students to become informed voters by uncovering information about issues and candidates. 

Time Zone X: Democracy: Challenge players to put historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments