Governing the Commonwealth provides middle-school students with an introduction to Virginia’s government: its structure, processes, powers, and scope. The middle-school civics curriculum requires teachers to cover Virginia’s government, and there has not been a useful text to do this until now.

Robert Dudley has written an accessible guide to Virginia’s government that not only covers the overall structure but also provides information about Virginia’s constitution and the history of the people and the land. Each chapter includes two highlighted sections—"Why It Matters" and "How It’s Done in the Other States"—that allow students to deepen their understanding and make comparisons to other locations. Amy Smith, a veteran Fairfax County Public Schools teacher, assisted the author with this book to ensure that it would be understood by the students and that it covered current Virginia Standards of Learning requirements.

In addition, Smith prepared a teacher’s guide to assist all teachers—especially new ones—with the process of implementing the text in the classroom. For each chapter, the teacher’s guide includes a general overview, chapter objectives, in-class activities, and much more. This book will be useful to all middle schools in Virginia, homeschoolers, and the general public, including aspiring citizens looking for a basic introduction to Virginia’s government, how it works, and its historical development.

Distributed for George Mason University Press

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