Barbara Soots, Washington OSPI OER Project, Jerry Price
U.S. History, Political Science
Material Type:
Upper Primary
  • Civics
  • Government
  • League of Women Voters of Washington
  • Tribal Sovereignty
  • Wa-social-studies
  • Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Washington State History
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Text/HTML

    Education Standards

    The State We're In: Washington (Grades 3-5 Edition)

    The State We're In: Washington (Grades 3-5 Edition)


    This edition of The State We’re In: Washington is a civics/history textbook designed for elementary grades 3-5. It’s many colorful images, descriptive pictures and graphics not only enhance the text but demonstrate the ethnic and geographic diversity of our state. 

    The book was produced by the League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund and authored by Jill Severn.


    washington landscapes

    Why Study Civics?

    Civics is the study of government. But government is about more than elections and politics. It’s about what kind of society we want to live in.

    We all want to live in a society that’s fair—a country where all people have equal rights and equal opportunities in life. And we want to live in a country that is open—a place where everyone has the freedom to freely express themselves—to speak, write, sing, paint, invent, or worship—without fear of being punished by the government.

    We want everyone to have a voice in making the laws we live by. We want the police and courts to treat everyone equally. We believe everyone should have equal opportunities to get a good education and a good job. And we don’t want anyone to be discriminated against because of race, gender, disability, national origin, or religion.

    So, the study of civics is the study of our hopes and dreams for our own lives and the lives of future generations. And, of course, it’s also the study of our history—the story of how long Americans have worked to realize those hopes and dreams, and how far we’ve come.

    Table of Contents

    Download individual chapters by clicking the links below or the whole book as a PDF by clicking on the attached resource.

    Chapter 1 -  How the first peoples of Washington governed themselves
    Chapter 2 - First contacts between native Northwest people and Europeans
    Chapter 3 - The design of today's democracy
    Chapter 4 - From settlers to statehood
    Chapter 5 - From 1900 to 2000: What a difference a century makes
    Chapter 6 - Small is beautiful: local governments
    Chapter 7 - Governing Washington today is complicated!
    Chapter 8 - Tribal governments today
    Chapter 9 - Civics and the natural world
    Chapter 10 - What's next for Washington?
    Chapter 11 - What does it take to be a good citizen?
    Timeline of Washington history

    Video Overview

    Watch the 9 minute video overview of the State We're In: Washington - Textbook and Teacher Guide by Leslie Heffernan, Central Valley School District

    overview of textbook and teacher guide

    Teacher Guide

    Teacher Guides for The State We're In: Washington (Grade 3-5 Edition)  were developed by expert social studies educators from across the state. 

    Teacher Guide

    State We're In: Latino History in Washington


    Latino History in Washington

    Latino History in Washington is a companion to the League of Women Voters of Washington's civic education books: The State We’re In: Washington, which are designed for grades 3 -12.

    Attribution and License


    The State We're In: Washington, a civics/history textbook for elementary grades by Jill Severn, was produced and published by the League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund.

    This resource was made possible by funding from the Washington State Legislature, administered through a grant from the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. 


    Creative Commons Attribution License
    Except where otherwise noted, The State We're In: Washington Elementary Edition by the League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
    All logos and trademarks are property of their respective owners. All art, illustrations and photos in this work are used with permission and are not included in the open license.


    Print books for purchase are available individually or in classroom sets. 
    For additional information visit: the League of Women Voters of Washington