Barbara Soots, Washington OSPI OER Project, Jerry Price, Kari Tally
U.S. History, Political Science
Material Type:
Reading, Textbook
Middle School
Dual Language, League of Women Voters of Washington, Wa-social-studies, Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, dual-language
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
English, Chinese, Spanish
Media Formats:
Downloadable docs

Education Standards

The State We're In: Washington - Eighth Edition

The State We're In: Washington - Eighth Edition


The State We’re In: Washington is a digital and printed educational publication written by Jill Severn for the League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund. Part of a larger Civic Education Project, this instructional resource establishes the link between public participation and effective government. Colorful graphs, historical photos and thought-provoking illustrations help to describe the basics of government, and the connection between a governing authority and culture and economy. Young readers and adults alike will gain a robust sense of past and present tribal governance and their relationship to state and local government in Washington.

Teacher guides to accompany this resource as well as translated versions are included.


Images of Washington

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.

Jill Severn, The State We're In: Washington

Table of Contents

Click below to download individual chapters or the whole book

Entire Book
Chapter 1 - How the first peoples of Washington governed themselves
Chapter 2 - The Design of Today's Democracy
Chapter 3 - Creating Washington's Government
Chapter 4 - 1900-2000: A Century  of Change
Chapter 5 - Governing Washington Today
Chapter 6 - Tribal Governments Today
Chapter 7 - Local Government: Counties, Cities, Towns, and Special Districts
Chapter 8 - Civics and the Natural World: Land, Air, Water, Plants, and Animals
Chapter 9 - What's Next for Washington
Chapter 10 - What Does it Take to Be a Good Citizen
Appendix - Glossary

Textbook and Teacher Guide

teacher guide


     State We're In: Washington - Teacher's Guide



overview of textbook and teacher guide



  Watch the State We're In: Overview of
   Textbook and Teacher Guide
by Leslie
   Heffernan, Central Valley School District





Translated Versions

Seattle Public Schools  has produced Spanish and Chinese translations of "The State We're In" for use in Middle School Spanish Dual Language Immersion Programs through an OER Project grant.

state we're in cover in chinese


     Chinese Translation



View Resource   

      Spanish Translation



Print books for purchase are available individually or in classroom sets. 
For information and to place orders, please call: 
206-622-8961 or 1-800-419-2596 (outside King County)
For additional information and order forms, visit: the League of Women Voters of Washington


Attribution and License


The State We’re In: Washington - Your guide to state, tribal & local government 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. 


CC BY NC logo
Except where otherwise noted, the downloadable digital version of The State We're In: Washington. Your guide to state, tribal and local government 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. Photos in this work are used with permission and not included in the open license.

This work has been created in partnership with organizations representing the diverse communities within Washington. Please be aware that any adaptations should be considered carefully so as not to impact this thoughtfully crafted content design or introduce any unintended bias.

If this work is adapted, note the substantive changes and re-title, removing any League of Women Voters of Washington logos and any photos. Provide the following attribution: “This resource was adapted from The State We’re In: Washington developed by the League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund. Access the original work on the Washington OER Hub.”