Bring in your Books, guides and Flashcards before 5/28!

  Please finish the following assignments before the Exam on May 10th.  

   1) Finish watching the review video and complete the guide that goes with it. 

   2) Finish the guide for famous laws and famous court cases.  

​   3) After finishing the earlier Packets, work on the remainder Units.  All are due before the final exam on

       Thursday, 5/10. 
               Unit 3 and Unit 4         
               Unit 5 and Unit 6         Due 5/8
               Unit 7                            Optional for Extra Credit

  3) Here are additional Exam Resources:

        Multiple Choice Questions Site

    Practice Test #1     Answers #1      Practice Test #2    Answers #2   Practice Test #3   Answers #3

                                    Glossary of Key Terms        (Brief definitions worth remembering)

   Mr. O'Neil from Mallard Creek has shared the following resources.  82 page guide    Essential Terms
     Internet Links
       AP GOVT Survival Weebly Course Review Materials
       US GOVT Flashcard for Exam Review
       AP GOVT Exam tips (6:27) Video 
       AP GOVT Review Video in 75 Mins
       Mr. F's AP GOVT Exam Prep Webpage
       AP GOPVT Test Prep Site
       AP GOVT C-Span Review Video (40:00)
       AP GOVT C-Span Cram Review Video (35::00)
       AP Govt Exam Info from College Board

    4) If any of you are brave enough, the CSPAN call in show for AP GOVT this year is on Saturday, May 5th
                at 9am EST.  They will discuss the exam, preview sample questions, and make suggestions as to what 
                students should be studying. I'd call myself but phone lines will be open to students only.  You should give

                 them a ring,  especially if you are going to ask if Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer.
                                   202-748-8000 Eastern/Central 
                                   202-748-8001 Mountain/Pacific 

         More info including last years shows can be found at this link... scroll down a couple of lines, center screen. 

  Due for Wednesday 4/25 Bureacracy Test 

    1) Study for the Bureaucracy Test.  

  General AP Review Day At UNC-Charlotte this Saturday
     Note- The AP Review day at UNC-Charlotte on Saturday April 28th, 2017 from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm.  
     There will be a variety of sessions for AP subjects ranging from Env Science to AP US Government. 
    Each session is only one hour so numerous courses can be covered in one visit.  A list of topics & times
    are posted below:

   AP Course                               Topic                                                            UNC-Charlotte Room 
   Psychology   Neuroscience, Brain science and Sensation-Perception  Fretwell 121 
   Art History     Essay                                                                                       Denny 220 
   Physics          Writing a Paragraph                                                               Friday 137 
   US History     Writing the LEQ/DBQ                                                           Burson 110 
   Physics C:       Mechanics Forces, Energy, and Momentum                     Friday 142 
   Env. Science  Population                                                                             Denny 200 
   Hum. Geo.      Models Review                                                                    Fretwell 128 
   US History     Colonial Period                                                                     Friday 141 
   Statistics         Inference                                                                              Burson 121 
   Comp Sci.       The Must Knows for APCS                                                 Denny 120

   US History       Everything About Essays                                                  Fretwell 100

    10:00 - 11:00 AM 
   AP Course                               Topic                                                            UNC-Charlotte Room  
     Psychology    Behaviorism and Cognitive Psych                                      Fretwell 121 
     Art History     Timeline                                                                               Denny 220 
     Euro History Stuff                                                                                       Friday 132 
     Physics         Rotational Dynamics                                                            Friday 137 
    Gov & Politics    Politics Exam Prep                                                          Denny 111 
     US History         Writing the LEQ/DBQ                                                    Burson 110 
     Physics C:      Mechanics Torque and Angular Momentum                   Friday 142 
     US History    Key Events for the APUSH Exam ( 1491-1877)                   Fretwell 100 
     Env. Sci.         Energy                                                                                  Denny 200 
      Hum Geo     FRQ - Strategies                                                                  Fretwell 128 
      US History   Second Half of the 20th Century                                       Friday 141 
      Statistics      Exploring Data                                                                      Burson 121 
      Comp Sci    Principles- Seven Big Ideas in APCS                                   Denny 120

    11:00 - 12:00 PM 
   AP Course                               Topic                                                            UNC-Charlotte Room  
    Psychology   Perspectives                                                                        Fretwell 121 
    Psychology   Nuts & Bolts - What you need to know                           Fretwell 128 
    Art History     Identifying                                                                            Denny 220 
    Euro History Stuff                                                                                       Friday 132 
    Gov & Politics  Exam Prep                                                                         Denny 111 
    US History      Linking themes across time periods 1491-1877               Burson 110 
    Physics C:       Mechanics Gravitation and Orbits                                     Friday 142 
    US History      Key Events for the APUSH Exam-( 1877-2018)                Fretwell 100 
    Env. Sci.          Math (without a calculator)                                                Denny 200
    US Gov           General Test Review                                                          Friday 141 
    Statistics         Probability                                                                           Burson 121

    12:00 - 1:00 PM 
   AP Course                               Topic                                                            UNC-Charlotte Room  
   Psychology        Q n A - FRQ review, test prep focus, psychology,          Fretwell 121 
   Psychology        How to write the FRQs for AP Psychology                     Fretwell 128  
   Art History          Attritbution                                                                         Denny 220 
   US History          Linking themes across time periods 1877-present        Burson 110 
   Physics C:           Mechanics Gravitation and Orbits                                    Friday 142 
   US Gov               General Test Review                                                         Friday 141 
   Statistics             AP Exam Tips                                                                     Burson 121 
   Statistics             Probability                                                                          Fretwell 100

    Come to the sessions- there are two superb AP Gov teachers and its important you get their perspectives on

     the exam before taking it!


  Due for Wednesday 4/11 The Judiciary

    1) Finish reading Chapter 14.  Be ready for Katy's and Carmen's presentation. Finish answering these questions

        and expect a Quiz based on these terms.

    2) Here is the powerpoint used in class.  A tad dated but still excellent information. Look it over!

   Due for the Spring Break 

    1) Complete the questions and vocabulary for the 2 attached packets: 

             Unit 1 Review                    Unit 2 Review  

        You are down to your last 10 classes before the exam so make them count!  Below is a summary of our

        remaining time.

    2) The remaining calendar is subject to change. but lists remaining chapters left to cover  We have continuously

          analyzed Domestic, Economic, Foreign and Environmental Policies over the course of the year but 

           will recap major vocabulary on the schedule below.
               Chapter 14 - The Judiciary Part 1  (pgs. 326-346)        Monday April 9
               Chapter 14 - The Judiciary Part 2  (Pgs. 346-362)       Wednesday April 11             Katy/Carmen

               Chapter 14 - The Judiciary Wrap-Up and Test            Friday  April 13                     Marie and Reilly
               Chapter 15 - Bureaucracy Part 1 (408-424)                   Tuesday April 17                  Maya/ Ryan
               Chapter 15 - Bureaucracy Part 2  (424-438)                  Thursday April 19                David and Emily
               Chapter 15 - Bureaucracy Wrap-Up and Test              Monday April 23                 Grace / Daniel

               Chapter 19 - Domestic/Social Policy                            Wednesday April 25          Marie/ Reilly
               Chapter 18 - Economic Policy                                         Friday April 27                    Francesca/Zach
               Chapter 20 - Foreign/Military Policy                              Tuesday May  1                  Mike/Larson

               General Review                                                                  Thursday May 3

               General Review                                                                   Monday May 7

               General Review                                                                   Wednesday May 9

               AP GOVERNMENT EXAM                                                 Thursday  May 10 (7:30 AM)

   Due for Tuesday  3/26    The Presidency  Test    (Chapter 14)
   1) Finish the Chapter 14 Reading and Packet before today's test.
   2) Complete an outline for the Presidency by watching the following 3 videos and then drafting a guide. for each.

        Powers of the President         Roles of Pres.    Pres. Cabinet 

   3) Consider this list prepared by a prior student who got a "5" on last year's exam. Chose at least 2 vids & create a

       list of 8 questions for each video which focuses on important issues discussed by its author. For each additional

       video you do beyond the required two, I will add 10 points to your last test grade of the Quarter for a maximum

       of 30 bonus points points. Your questions must be useful and demonstrate you understood the video.

      Video A)

       This one is 20 minutes long with a nice teaching style including  notes and graphics (I know this video is
       technically civics but the information is still good) 

      Video B) This one is 11 minutes long and provides plenty of historical examples.
      Video C)
      This one is 9 minutes long and includes Q&A, Constitution info and a guest expert. (Something for everybody)
      Video D)
     This one is 17 minutes long and covers the electoral college for 8 minutes before analyzing the powers of
     the presidency.  The comment about either Trump or Hillary being president made me a little sad.

      Video E)
     Finally enjoy this 14 minute long Gem which starts out with the very basics (the AOC and why 
       checks and balances exist) but don't let that fool you...  the lecturer later goes into great detail about the 
      presidency with great quotes and historical examples.

    3) Browse through the following powerpoint for the Presidency.  It covers what was discussed in class.

  Due for Friday 3/22    The Presidency (Chapter 14)
    1) Read chapter 14 in the Wilson Text.  Make sure you have answered the following questions and defined
       the following terms.
    2) Complete the following Presidency Chart, matching early presidents to events in their administration.
  Due for Wednesday 3/20 Presidency and Executive Branch Ch. 14
    1) While introducing the presidency, consider the dirty tricks often played on candidates during an election. 

        Check out this hilarious trick Rubio supporters allegedly played on Bush last election in Iowa. 
          (I love the part when a tricked voter interrupts JEB! and demands to be paid 2 hours into the rally. )

    2)  Enjoy this article about Dick Tuck, the most famous political trickster of the Nixon Era.  He is
        one of only a few American dirty trick heroes to outsmart Richard Nixon, albeit for the wrong reasons.

    3) And now ... Know key Executive branch vocabulary by completing pictionary for the key terms.  

  Due for Thursday 3/15    The Presidency and Executive Branch

    1) Bring all your "stuff" for the DC trip to school.  We are leaving right afterwards so be ready to roll.

    2) Make sure you have your questions for the lobbyist call today.

     3)  Answer the following questions in short paragraphs (Short Answer format).  While writing, use complete
       sentences in short answer form!  Write as if this were an AP prompt for an AP test.
    a. What do the authors offer as the cause of divided government and how does it "cure" supposed ills of uniform
        party control of the presidency and Congress?
    b. Identify executive actions by Jackson, Lincoln, FDR, LBJ and Bush (or others) expanded Presidential powers. 
        Hint-Hint: Pay special attention to those taken without the authorization of Congress.
    c. Explain how the electoral college works, how many votes are needed win and what happens if no candidate
       receives a majority of electoral college votes.
    d. Identify 5–6 powers of the president and briefly explain each.
    e. Describe the three ways that presidents can organize his personal staff. In doing so, address the strengths
        and weaknesses of each approach.
    f. What is executive privilege and how has the Supreme Court has ruled on this issue?
    g. What are “signing statements” and what are the arguments both for and against their use?
    h. What do the authors identify as the major checks/limits on the president’s power? (Detail at least 5)

    4) Finish outlining Chapter 14.  (All sections) Make it your own.  (Due on Monday!)
    5) Find a good review video... it shouldn't be hard after the terrible ones we saw today.  The best Executive
         Branch AP Gov video will be rewarded,  If its really good I'll show it right before the test and your
         classmates will adore you... (more than before).  But you must find something you like.

  Due for Tuesday 3/13 The Legislative Branch TEST and the Presidency

    1) We watched the following documentary about Obama's first term legislative push for Healthcare.

       Note the interaction between the President, Congress and interest groups portrayed in the documentary.

    2) Study for the Legislative test today.  No more delays.  If you cannot be here for today, you will take the test

     during your drama class period.

    3) Read pages 364-388 in the Wilson Text. (Chapter 14)  Answer the following questions and define
       the following terms.

    Due for Friday 3/9  The Executive Branch  

    1) Begin Reading Chapter 14 on the Presidency.  Watch this Crash Course video and answer these questions.

    2) Begin working on the outline for the Presidency by watching the following 3 videos and write out a summary

       of each.
         Powers of the President         Roles of Pres.    Pres. Cabinet  

  Due for Wednesday 3/7 Congress Test

    1)  Study for the test on Congress.  Seriously... this may be the most important chapter in the entire book for AP Gov

        Exam purposes.  Those of you missing class for the play will take it on Monday, either before or after school or

        during your Theater class period.

    2) Prepare at least 10 questions about Interest Groups for our phone call with the lobbyist firm.  You will be directly

         connected with a lobbyist to ask about their job, clients and concerns.  Take advantage and write thoughtful


    3) Get your forms to me ASAP... today!

  Due for Monday (3/5)    - Congress

    1)  Create a GOOD Outline of Ch 13 and HIGHLIGHT the key terms.   A sample video outline looks like this

    2) ) Please read the following series of articles on the Filibuster, Cloture and the Nuclear Option and consider how
      it affected the ability of the Party in power to assist the Presidency on Appointments, and legislative initiatives.

    3) If you are attending the DC trip on 3/16 to 3/18, please have your initial deposit of $150 by Friday, 3/9.  Also

        fill out the attached permission forms and return in class today!

  Due for Tuesday  (2/27)     - Congress

    1)  Watch the following videos and  make an outline for each that is based on you watching each video.  
        An outline that does not reflect the videos will not be permitted to be used for the test next class. Note some
         of these 7 videos are really short (2-3) minutes. and none more than 9 minutes.

       Congress,                      Congress 4.2,                 Congress 4.3,              Congress 4.4,       

                      Congress 4.5                      Congress 4.6,               Congress 4.7 

   2)  Finish the packet for Chap. 13 vocab. No excuses, unless you can make it really entertaining..  
   3) Watch the following video assignment  about Congress and complete its questions. Hint, Congressman Weiner

        is in rare form in one clip.  You'll love the rider attached to the  9/11 responder vote.
   4) Powerpoint for Congress #1  Enjoy.

  Due for Friday 2/24     Congress

     1) Now that you have gotten to know your district and worked with other congressmen/women, begin thinking
        about what (if any restrictions) you want to make regarding immigration of underage minors.  You will have to
        answer two  major concerns:
       A)      i) Do you think the Federal Government should enforce a uniform Immigration policy or allow each state
                     to craft their own immigration requirements?  
                 ii) What specific restrictions would you like to see in your  proposed Immigration law with regard to minors?
                      Give concrete ideas... should children receive education, a chance at residency or a plane ticket home?
                      Have 3-4 concrete proposals  to suggest.
      B) If you need inspiration, read this article from Forbes magazine suggesting some pretty avant-garde ideas.  
           Even if you don't, read this article.  Are any of these ideas worth trying?  Can you find other articles
           with anything better?
    2) Make sure you answer the questions on this handout, front and back.  Then be ready to draft a sample bill
         using this template:    Word            PDF

    3) Research a client who matches your political ideology on the immigration debate.

    4) We will watch the following three Crash Course Videos on Congress and answer these questions.  

          Congressional Committees                Congressional Leadership         How A Bill Becomes a Law


  Due for Wednesday 2/22    Congress

    1) The Congressional District Assignments for our simulation are listed below.  Please fill out your
       constituent form and research your district so that you can lobby for their interests.  Recommended sites are     and      and   but other reputable sites are fine.  
Try looking up your representative on Youtube for news stories.  Some politicians are quite colorful.  (One last

        year had several mistresses and encouraged them to get abortions despite his strong pro-life stand.)  You may
        as well have fun with the identity you are assuming.

    2) The class will debate Immigration Policy using the"Kid Act" in the following brief.
         Familiarize yourself by reading through this handout.   It will help you understand what we are doing.
         Note the first 2 pages discuss a proposed law to deport immigrant minors and the next 6 pages discuss 
         3 possible outcomes you may select based on your beliefs and your district's voters. Chose the outcome

         closest to your district's constituency.

    3) Finish the research worksheet on the senators from Florida.  If you did it in class on Friday, thank you.  If not, do

         it now. 

    4) Most of you expressed strong feelings about school violence using guns. Given the tragic events in Fla, write

       an email to your local congressman before next class.  We will be able to visit their office

       and surprise them next month to ask them or their staffers in person about their response to school safety. 

       This only works if you show up with an e-mail draft ready to go.  Write with care...  When you don't work

      enough to make it matter, outrage is just for show and you're no different than the leaders who say the right

      thing and do nothing to provide a solution.

   Due for Tuesday 2/20 Congress  
  1) Finish reading and outlining Chapter 13-Congress.
    2) Answer the following questions from Chapter 13.
      a. Discuss the relationship between ideology and civility in Congress in recent years.
                            b. Identify the factors that help to explain the way a member of Congress votes.
                            c.  Describe the formal process by which a bill becomes a law.
                            d. Explain the ethical problems confronting Congress.

                            e. Explain what a “filibuster” is and how “Rule 22” applies to filibusters.
                            f. Generalize about the social characteristics of the typical member of Congress and describe

                               recent trends in membership.

                            g. What are some explanations for why congressional seats have become deeper Red/Blue?

                            h. Identify and explain the three views of congressional voting.
                            i. Why are members of Congress strong liberals and conservatives while the American people are

                               usually somewhere in the center?
                            j. Explain the three types of resolutions that Congress can pass.

                           k. Explain the four procedures for voting in Congress.
                           l. Identify 5-6 rules with respect to Congressional ethics.

    3) Classroom roles will be assigned next class for the Congressional simulation we will participate in over the next
        few classes.  Please  research your role as a Representative in the House.  Your Assigned Districts are: 

            Katie- 2nd District of Tennesee 
      Carman- 2nd District of Alabama
  Zach - 8th District of Illinois
    Larson- 24th District of Texas
      Grace- 11th District Ohio
   Francesca- 2nd District of South Carolina

           David-  South Dakota

           Reilly- 22nd District of New York
 Marie- 3rd District of Nebraska   

           Mollie- 5th District Michigan
  Josiah - 7th District of Missouri
  Maya - 5th District of Maryland
  Daniel- 2nd District West (by God )Virginia
    Ryan- 3rd District of Louisiana

          Emily- 11th District of Georgia

         Complete the following Distict infromation sheet about your representative and their district.  This is due on

         Tuesday, 2/20!

    4) Watch the Schoolhouse Rock classic: a  Bill going to Capitol Hill is here.  The SNL Executive Order version.

       Here are the articles about  Congress's Unpopularity, and  14 Reasons Why Congress Fails.

    5)   Congress PPT's                     1     2       3.   Try one.  or more.  

  Due for Friday 2/16 (In Class)

    1) Complete this exercise about Congress using information from the actual website.

  Due for Wednesday 2/14   Finish Take Home Test

    1) Finish the take-home test on the Media.  There are two sections and while you should use your textbook if

       you have questions, please don't collaborate without prior approval.

    2) We are about to begin the most critical part of the course... Congress, The Presidency, the Courts and the

         Bureaucracy.  Be ready to focus on what may likely amount to about half of your AP exam by starting  

         reading chapter 13 pgs. 326-342.  Answer the questions and be ready to define the terms before Friday's class.

          Be ready for a Quiz on Wed!


  Due for 2/12 Media, Interest Groups, Quarterly Review 

    1) Finish the term matching review for Media Terms.  Its a word doc.  Here's the PDF.

    2) Study for the Unit Review Exam on Media, Interest Groups, Elections, etc. 

    3) Thanks to those of you who came in for make-up tests.  

    Due for Thursday 2/8   The Role of the Media 

    1) Finish watching the video about the Media by FRONTLINE which examines the political, cultural, legal, and

        economic forces challenging the news media today and how the press has reacted in turn. Then answer these


    2) Study the Chapter reading for the test next class.

    3) Listen to examples of Conservative Talk Show Host Rush Limbaugh or Alex Jones and consider why he

       appeals to so many conservative radio listeners.  Then listen to a liberal Television show hosts  Steven Colbert 

       and Trevor Noah and consider why they appeal to liberal viewers.  Also consider Fox News and MSNBC feeds

       of the same event at Davos.  Lastly consider the watchdog role with regard to the upcoming 2020 census.

​​  Due for Tuesday 2/6    The Role of the Media

      1) Finish reading Chapter 12. 

      2) Finish answering these questions.

      3) Read the following article from a website documenting US media issues. Its short & well written. 

      4) Some powerpoints analyzing the role of media can be found here and here and here.

     5) Soundbites have gone from about a minute to only 9 seconds on news broadcasts.  Here's why.

  Due for Friday 2/2 Interest Groups Wrap up

   1) Scores for the Interest Group test were not as high as I hoped for.  I am sure the fault is partly mine, as I

       should have prepared you better.  Perhaps you should have more closely read the text. Either way, if you'd like to 

       re-take a similar test, I will work with you to do so over the next week.  Regardless, this is today's test (with

       answers and brief explanations for  each question)    The good news... an AP score above a 60% is considered

       passing and the class's short answers were solid. Let me know how I can help if you struggled.

    2) Sadly, we cannot stop and must begin Ch. 12 on Media (pg. 298 -314).  Read it closely... given the past year, I'd

      expect a detailed question on the Media on this year's exam.  We'll have a quiz next class with questions

      pulled directly from the reading.

    3) Begin answering these questions, which will be due on Tuesday 2/6

    Due for Wednesday 1/31 Interest Groups

    1) Study for the TEST on Interest Groups today.  Watch the State of the Union if possible.  Its rumored to be a long

      one, filled with self-congratulatory language & guests highlighting the President's beneficence. If so, what policies

     or concerns are missing (besides humility)?

    2) An interesting article about a teacher who may have gone too far. Optional, but worth the short read. Thoughts?

  Due for Monday  1/29 Interest Groups

    1) Finish reading Chapter 10 and answer the following questions.

      a) How do interest groups employ “ratings?” What are some examples of groups who employ such devices

          and why are they also problematic?
      b. Summarize what political scientists know about trends in PAC activity and what we know about the influence

         of PACs on congressional voting.
      c. Identify three restrictions on former executive branch employees who want to represent clients before

          government agencies.
      d. What three regulations were placed on lobbyists and lobbying activity in March of 2007?

     2) Learn the following terms and draw a picture for each showing you understand its significance.

     3) Finish watching the class video about interest groups.


  Due for Thursday 1/25 Interest Groups

    1) Read Chapter 11 pgs. 270-283 on Interest Groups.  Then answer the following questions:

       a. Discuss the four reasons identified by the authors for why interest groups are so common in this country.
       b. Explain how government policy contributed to the rise of interest groups since the 1960s.
       c. Identify some of the defining characteristics of institutional and membership interests.
       d. Identify and explain the three types of incentives which mass-membership organizations offer.
       e. Describe the three types of feminist organizations.
       f. Discuss the rise and fall of the union movement with attention given to causes of decline and recent trends in

          union membership.
       g. Why are federal grants and contracts a topic of interest in relation to interest groups and how have recent

           administrations attempted to affect the relationship between them?

  Due for Thursday 1/18 ---> Moved to Tuesday 1/23: Your long awaited Midterm!!! 

    1) A champion will be crowned.  Study for your midterm.  Remember the guide? Its perfect to recap what's on

     the Exam. If you want to know what not studying looks like, enjoy the impending government shutdown. Its a lock

    after the Conservative wing of the GOP known as the "Freedom Caucus" (Caucus as in group of politicians,

     not election) derailed a deal with Democrats on DACA.  GOP Speaker Paul Ryan has claimed it would be

     unconscionable to shut down government because "it would hurt our troops".  I fear it will hurt a lot more

     than our troops:  poor children, government employees, handicapped services, etc.  What's odd is that the

     GOP already has far more than the 218 votes needed to pass a House spending bill.  The political posturing

     is a sure sign the GOP leadership is so weakened they may be incapable of reaching a deal w/ moderates

    even if leaders like Ryan wanted to. The lesson from all  this? STUDY.  Something in America should be working

    this weekend, even if its' not your government.  Seriously... take a moment to review the budget scenario by

     reading an article or two. or three.  Note the reporting will be different in each as the  WSJ  is a more Trump

     friendly periodical owned by Fox. and the NYT and WP have been targeted for offering a contrarian view. Know

     what's behind  the shutdown well enough to explain it on an exam and be sure you understand the 

    CONSEQUENCES of  what will happen when our government does shutdown.    Then go impress you parents

    with your knowledge.  Then run for office... I'll vote for you. depending on your grade on the midterm.

  Due for Tuesday 1/16 Elections Wrap Up

    1) Be ready to tackle the Elections Test today by reading the following guidebook section. Seriously read through it

        and decide if you think a guide book is worth it.  It does break things down using straightforward language. 

        Pay close attention to the chart showing Campaign Finance limits.  

    2) Watch this comic video by Stephen Colbert about PAC's.  Colbert made a comic 2016 run for office and created

      a PAC. Later, he transferred the funds to a SuperPAC to demonstrate how broken the system has become. 

      In doing so, he demonstrated how easy it is to spend money on whatever you want and secretly coordinate with

      candidates using PAC money.  His work explains how Trump, Gingrich and Palin use hundreds of millions of

      dollars for anything they want, even paying for their lavish lifestyles years after the election was over.  It also

     explains how easy it is to flout the Federal Commission because of political gridlock. The video melds clips from

     various Colbert shows. Enjoy.... even if it's impact on our political system is kinda scary. Thanks Citizens United (2010)!

    3) Watch this video by another AP Gov teacher... its a little dry but it does a nice job analyzing the themes you must

       know for the Elections test today.

  Due for Thursday 1/11 Elections

    1)  Make sure your team is ready to submit a 10 question (or less) poll. It's due today to allow it to be  answered

        by students in your target audience.  Also chose which 5 "planks" you may want to select for your platform.

       They are formally due next class for each candidate.  

    2) Once we get poll results back, you will be given time to craft a message campaign using $50 (monopoly dollars)

       to run a 1 week campaign.  You will also be asked to record a 3 minute speech which will be played for the target 

       audience immediately before they vote next week.  Each of the four activities, ( 1) Poll, 2) Platform, 3) Message

       Campaign and  4) Final Address) will be graded.  Any member not contributing will be penalized.

     3) Make sure you study for the test on Elections next class.  Expect identifications , a short and a long

          essay question about elections in the AP GOV format.  What could be more fun? A midterm?

     4) Watch the following Crash Course # 6 and #36 and answer these questions and these questions.   

  Due for Tuesday 1/9 Elections

    1) The class will be divided into campaign teams as follows:

        Candidate Katy                               Candidate Mike                         Candidate  Daniel

         Election Team                                 Election Team                            Election Team

                Ryan                                                 Zach                                         Emily

                David                                              Francesca                                  Maya

                Reilly                                                Gavin                                         Larson

                Grace                                              Morgan                                       

               Carmen                                            Mollie

   Your mission will be to put together a short campaign targeting another class.  You will be given time in class to

     develop a poll, craft your campaign's message, and design a way to communication with your voters. 

    2) Watch this video on Elections and answer the following questions.

    3) Define the following terms from chapter 10.  You can refer to the chapter, the powerpoint or another resource.

  Due for Winter Break

    1) I strongly encourage you to get involved in the political system by volunteering locally with a campaign.  It is

     easy and fun, and will pay dividends in both this class and your career ahead.  Simply put, the contacts you will

    make can be life changing.  Just ask students from the last two years.  An opportunity to do this with Senator Jeff

     Jackson can befound hereIf you chose to sign up for a time, let me know so I can add extra credit to your grade

     before the gradebook closes.  

    2) Complete thisexam packet!  It's like a little ball ofholiday cheer landed on your desk. Please don't let it roll off

        with a tragic excuse like "I didn't have enough time" or "I decided I want to work the fry machine for the rest of my

        life".  Most of last year's class received college credit for US Government from their university... lets be honest,

        it was because you all know how to take care of business!  

    3) Read Chapter 10.  Its called "Elections" so you can imagine its importance in a course about democratic

       government. Then answer the following questions:
        a.  Explain four major ways in which presidential and congressional elections differ.  Explain each!!!
        b.  The local orientation of legislators have what three important effects on how policy is made?
        c. List the qualifications for members of the House and members of the Senate.
        d.  Explain the role of ideology in primary elections and in the general election. Why do the authors suggest a
             candidate has to run two different elections to win and what must they do during the main elections.  
        e. Explain the difference between valence and position issues and discuss the use of each in our campaign.
        f.  Explain how presidential candidates can qualify for matching funds in primary campaigns.
       g. Describe three important changes in the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002.
       h.. The text suggests money does not make much of a difference in who wins or loses the general election
            because all of the major candidates have it. What are four other things that don't make much of a difference?
        i. What are some ways that campaigns do make a difference? 

    4) Here's an interesting political protest video adapted for the current era.  It borrows from the legacy of the

        Vietnam protest era and provides an interesting example of political culture.  Watch it now before net

        neutrality is gone. Besides the song is both catchy and one of Mr. King's favorites.    

  Due for Monday 12/18 Political Parties Test

    1) Study for today's test on political parties!!!  (Last Test of the YEAR!)

    2) Consider this amazing Blog known for combining statistics with political analysis.  This article discusses what

        2018 may hold for the Democrats and Republicans.  Midterm elections have always been difficult for the party

       in charge but Trump's polarizing stances on immigration, taxes and heathcare may make for some rough

        weather ahead for the GOP. Its a fascinating read and I don't think Republican voters understand the wave that's

        building. The article is short, easy AND fair game for the test.  

    3) Please read this short follow up regarding how the Jones win will change the way the GOP will operate and

         helps explain why Republican leader McConnell doesn't want to seat Senator-elect Jones in 2017.  This site

         is easy to understand and has superb analysis.  If you have dropped the ball on readings of late, pick it up here.

         With semester grades around the corner, you could use some easy points. I added a little mood music to fit

         the news of the week.  

    4) I'll post a holiday packet for the break.  It will not be difficult but it will "set the table" for your midterm,

        scheduled a week after you return from the holidays.

  Due for Thursday 12/14 Political Parties

    1) Finish the Fiorina article...and the attached questions

    2) Watch the following videos #40 and #41 on Political Parties in the USA and answer these questions.

    3) Look over the Powerpoints for Parties.   #1            #2              #3 

   4)  Here is the Pictochart for the Democrats and Republicans.

    5) Here are the predictions for tonight's Election:

         Roy Moore                           Jones

             Vitale 54%                       Ryan- 36%

             Marie  47%                     Daniel- 73%

            Josiah 52%                       Katy   -52%

            Grace  58%                       

            Zach   60%                       

            Franc.  65%                       

            Mollie  64% 

             Reilly- 51%

             Maya  80%

            Emily   78%

            Larsen 53%

             Gavin 63%

  Due for Tuesday 12/12  Political Parties

    1)  Read the following article... its about 20 pages but well written and detailed stuff.  It's considered to be one

       of the pre-eminent articles about the state of the political system. Then answer these questions. (The questions

        go in order and will be due by Thursday, 12/16.)

    2) In a  display of audaciousness, the GOP tax plan has touted the support of "hundreds" of economists.  I have

       had difficulty finding any prominent economists who supported the GOP claims on behalf of their plan.  This

       SHORT article may explain why.  If this is true, why has there been so little outcry about the tax plan, still in


    3) Read the following article analyzing the viability of the current tax plan.


  Due for Friday 12/8    Political Parties

    1) Answer the following questions about Political Parties in chapter 9:

       a. Describe political parties in the second party (or Jacksonian) system.
       b. Identify some of the reforms & causes  by the Progressives and assess their impact on political parties.
       c. Explain the two types of political realignment and identify the three clearest examples of such alignments.
       d. What are the 2 major explanations scholars employ to explain the presence of the two-party system in USA?

    2) Read the following list of platform positions and identify which party you think provided each by marking

        Democrat or Republican for each provision.

    3) Colleges have long been considered a liberalizing influence.  In last years election, there was an overwhelming

        correlation between the amount of education completed and a voters chance of endorsing a Democratic

         candidate. Conservatives hypothesize this is because college professors tend to be more liberal.  Experts

        suggest it is because the educational experience exposes students to new ideas and people which conflict

        with Conservative narratives.  For  example, educated Americans are more likely to challenge the recent

         tax plan which has been debunked by most respected economists, including the government's accounting

        office. Regardless of why college graduates tend to be more liberal, This article highlights the way legislatures are

          now dealing with public college funding. Read it and consider what this means for the nation.

   Due for Wednesday 12/6 Political Parties

    1)  Finish reading Chapter 9 on Political Parties.  

    2) Find a political advertisement you found to be effective and be prepared to bring the link in to explain its


    3)  Read this additional short reading.  I know it was posted a bit late but will offer extra credit to those who

        can read and discuss its short text.


  Due for Monday 12/4  Political Participation

    1) Prepare for today's test by memorizing every word of Chapter 8 like it was the Gettysburg Address. 

        Then finish the term matching handout given out in class for Chapter 8.

    2) Read through the powerpoint on political participation.

    3) Start the reading for Chapter 9 pgs. (202-212) Then answer these questions:

​      a. Identify the three political arenas in which political parties exist.
      b. Describe how American political culture affects the power of political parties.

      c. How do Americans differ in their attitudes about parties from Europeans?
      d. Explain why some of the Founding Fathers were so negative about political parties.

    4) The term "Dog Whistle" means a symbol or phrase that a candidates' political followers identify, even if their

      candidate didn't actually spell it out for them.  An example might be a Dixiecrat politician showing  an image of

      a black criminal in handcuffs to stoke racial fears or a liberal politician showing wealthy Wall streeters to stoke

      class consciousness.  Watch this commercial and see how many symbols or phrases act as GOP "dog whistles". 

      (If you find 5 or more, you're getting it!)

  Due for Thursday 11/27 Political Participation

    1) Please define the following vocabulary pictionary for Chapter 8 with a definition and a picture for each term:

          a. Australian (Secret) ballot             b. campaigners               c. communalists       

          d. complete activists                        e. Democrats                   f. inactives

           g. motor-voter law                           h. parochial participant   i. registered voters

           j. Twenty-sixth Amendment           k. voter apathy                 l. voting-age population

          m. voting-eligible population         n. Voting Rights Act of 1970   

          o. voting specialists                          p. white primaries 

    2) The test  on Chapter 8 will be on Monday, 12/4.  To help prepare, watch this 6 minute video by another teacher.  

        We will have a quiz to start next class and this video will be  tremendously helpful.

    3) To make you smile, I wanted to include 4 real campaign ads that actually ran for real candidates.  Enjoy 

         the idiocy of a 30 second spot.     #1          #2       #3      #4 


  Due for Thanksgiving Break - 

    1) Read chapter 8 on Political Participation.  THEN outline it.  Please use your own words.

    2) Answer the following questions:

      a. Explain what the motor-voter law is. Describe its impact on registration, turnout and election outcomes.

      b. What are the four most important changes that have occurred in elections since the founding?

      c. Identify ways that African Americans were kept from voting after ratification of the 15th Amendment. 

      d. Describe trends in the voting behavior of 18–21 year olds from 1972 to today.

      e. What is the difference between the VAP and VEP?  Explain how these measures affect our thinking about the

          apparent decline in voter turnout.

      f. Summarize the results of the classic study of political participation in the United States by Verba and Nie.


  Due for Tuesday 11/17 Civil Rights

    1) Study for the Civil Rights Test. today  Remember material from prior chapters are fair game to be included.

    2) Have a great Thanksgiving Break, but don't forget to do the take home work in Chapter 8. 

  Due for Friday 11/17    Civil Rights

    1) Finish the questions for Chapter 6 on Civil Rights.  Please ensure you wrote in Complete Sentences.

    2) Something else to come which will ruin your Thursday evening.

  Due for Wednesday- 11/15    Civil Rights

    1) We will continue with our analysis of Civil Rights using the PowerPoint for Chapter 6.

    2) Finish Outlining Chapter 6 (all pages) on Civil Rights.  As before, make sure you are using your own words 

        and avoid copying the work of others.

    3) Begin working on the following Chapter 6 questions.

  Due for Monday 11/13 Civil Rights

    1) Watch this student made video which lists a handful of important Civil Rights cases.  Watch it.  It's creative.

       Afterwards, list each case/event mentioned and add a description for it.  Even the one about CMS.

    2) Read and outline Chapter 6, (pgs 130-145) on Civil Rights.  Outlining should be done in your own words and

       cover each paragraph's high points. Read it in detail... especially the part about nearby Harding High. We will

       begin quizzes each day at the start of class.

    3) We will use this powerpoint for class today.


  Due for Wednesday 11/8 Pol. Culture & Civil Liberties Test 

    1) Read the following article and answer these questions.  Did answering these help you understand the

        issues laid out in the article or would you have "gotten it" without them?  

    2) Prepare for the test by answering these questions.  Please do not neglect these.  They will be graded.

    3) Don't forget about the guest speaker,  tomorrow at the gym at 1:30 -2:30 pm if you can make it! Her

        controversial Video is here.

    4) Please remind your parents to vote in today's local bond election!

  Due for Monday 11/6 American Civil Liberties

    1) Please review the video on Civil Liberties and answer the following questions.

    2) Answer the following AP Exam question in Short Answer Format, making sure to answer the entire question!!!

     The Fourteenth Amendment protects civil rights and civil liberties.

           (a) Describe the difference between civil rights and civil liberties.

           (b) Identify the primary clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that is used to extend civil rights.

           (c) Describe a specific legislative action that extended civil rights to each of the following.

                   • Women

                   • Persons with disabilities

           (d) Identify the primary clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that is used to extend civil liberties.

           (e) Explain how civil liberties were incorporated by the Supreme Court in two of the following cases.

                  • Gideon v. Wainwright

                  • Mapp v. Ohio

                  • Miranda v. Arizona

    3) We will wrap up Civil Liberties and Political Culture today and test on Thursday, 11/9. Know your vocabulary.

    4) In Class we will review this article on Tax incentives.  Then watch a commentator's recent video.

    5) We will have the option of seeing this speaker tomorrow. at NWSA  Research her and prepare a few GREAT

         questions for her!  A video appears here but do your own research.

  Due for Thursday 11/2 American Civil Liberties

    1) Take a look at the following powerpoints.  Let me know which appeals most to you and why.  We will wrap up 

       Civil Liberties next class and test on Civil Liberties and Political Culture next week.

         Powerpoints:     #1           #2            #3             #4

    2) Complete the following quiz on Chapter 5 concepts.  

    3) Read the following article to find out the strange Red State Blue State Origin.  Its a term you have to know...

       now understand where it came from. 

    4)  (Optional) Read the NYT article on Gun Control at the following link.  Investigate the links included in the article

        to get a better sense of what laws apply and why the problem is not going to go away.

  Due for Tuesday 10/31 American Civil Liberties

    1) Finish reading Chapter 5 and answer the remaining questions g-k. below  Make sure you define the following

         vocabulary on either index cards or a well written vocabulary sheet:

     “Clear and present danger” test        Conscientious objector        Creationism         Establishment clause

     Exclusionary rule        Free exercise clause          Giltow v. New York          Good-faith exception       Incorporation

       Libel/Slander       Mapp v. Ohio         Miranda           Preferred position           Prior restraint      Probable cause

      Red scare      Symbolic speech        Wall-of-separation principle           Sauron, the Dark Eye ( j/k)

    2) Read this interesting article about student intolerance on college campuses written by a LIBERAL professor...

      but criticizing the left.  I find myself moved by her concerns... and note she is not the only person to notice the

     tactics of students on the left who seem unwilling to tolerate opposing social or political views.  When I attended

      a decent campus in the 1890's, this behavior would not have been tolerated.  I am curious to know what

       YOU think of this recent transformation in American political culture. Please include your thoughts in a 1/2 page

       free write on the topic and whether the student's behavior is justified.  I'd appreciate it if you are 1) honest,

      2) put serious thought into the assignment and 3) are ready to share it with a college professor on a live

      conference call during class.  

  Due for Thursday 10/26 American Civil Liberties

    1) Read the first half of Chapter 5 and answer questions a-f.  (The remainder are due on Tuesday 10/31 if you

        want to get ahead of the game.)  

       a) Explain the "incorporation process whereby the Fourteenth Amendment extended the protections of the

           the Bill of Rights to give individuals protection from the states. Give specific attention to the Supreme Court’s

          decisions in the Gitlow and Palko cases.

      b. Explain the facts of the Schenck case, and the "Clear and present danger" test that emerged from it. 

      c. Identify four types of speech which are not automatically granted full constitutional protection.

      d. Define libel and explain how libel laws are applied to public figures in the United States.

       e. Explain how the issue of flag burning played out in Congress and the Supreme Court.

       f. Identify 7-8 practices which the Supreme Court has not allowed under the Establishment clause.

      g.  What are the considerations in the Court’s three part test for potential violations of the Establishment clause?

      h. What are two ways court systems can handle evidence seized illegally by law enforcement officers?

      i. Summarize the story of Miranda and the Supreme Court’s decision in his case.  (This one is not a happy ending)

      j. Identify some examples of ways in which the Supreme Court has “relaxed” the Exclusionary Rule in recent years.

      k. Describe 4-5 provisions in the USA Patriot Act.  Do you feel safer because of these restrictions?

    2) The test for Chapters 4 and 5 will be on Thursday 11/02.  Watch the following short videos, answer the

       questions and send them in the form to

    3) While on the subject of videos, check out this hilarious and catchy Trump protest video. The age of the band 

       members surprised me but it was clever enough to make the cut.  Consider what it takes to compile the closing


  Due for Tuesday 10/24 American Political Culture

    1)  Make sure you know the terms from last week and be sure to have read Chap. 4.

    2) Complete the following vocabulary matching.

    3) Ryan and Daniel are both due to give presentations.  Please take the time to look up a reputable source on

       the Right To Die. 


    Due for Friday 10/16 American Political Culture

    1)  Define the following terms from Chapter 4:

       a. Blue states v. Red States       b. civic competence      c. civic duty        d. class consciousness

      e. Congregational           f. equal opportunity         g. Individualism           h. liberty        i. opposition party

        j. political culture            k. political ideology          l. political tolerance      m. inequality of outcome 

       n. inequality of opportunity

    2) Take a moment to read through this excellent outline of Chapter 4, Political Culture.  Highlight relevant sections!

    3) Then try tackling this quiz.  how did you do?

  Due for Wednesday 10/14 American Political Culture 

    1) Read Chapter 4 and answer the following questions.

          a. Identify and briefly comment on the five elements of American political culture.

          b. What are some things that you have learned in this chapter about political culture in Sweden and Japan?

          c. Summarize the findings of the study of political culture in the USA & Britain, Germany, Italy and Mexico.

          d. Discuss some ways that religion has played an important role in American political culture an

          e. Discuss 4-5 of the sources of American political culture.

          f. Identify the two sides in the culture war and contrast their beliefs, giving at least 5 examples for each.

          g. What is political efficacy and what is the difference between internal and external political efficacy?

          h. What are some explanations for why some highly unpopular groups continue to survive in our culture?

     2) Emily will give a talk on the Death Penalty.  Zach, Gavin, David Francesca and Josiah should read this.

         Katy, Marie, Larson, Reilly and Daniel should read this.  Grace, Mollie, Carmen, Maya should read this

         Frodo, Samwise, Sauron and Gandalf should read this

     3) Please take a moment to thank Senator Jackson for taking the time to visit the class last Thursday.  He actually

         reads his e-mail and would like to hear from you. His e-mail address is    Please CC. me

         on your e-mail. (

    4) The article we read today from the NYT about gun owner's voting patterns was here.

  Due for Monday 10/12 Test on The Critical Period History 

   1) Make sure you review the events from the early American Critical Period (Articles of Confederation through Early

       Nation)  for today's test.  It will be short but challenging.

   2) We will resume class presentations with Grace and Emily both presenting today, before the test.

   3) Thank you for a great class with the Senator last Thursday.   I know several of you were interested in finding out how

       you can take part in the political process you are learning about and will discuss this in class today. The class 

       picture is here

  Due for Tuesday 10/10 History of American Government

    1) We have a rare opportunity to have a personal conversation with one of the most energetic and bipartisan

      senators in NC on Thursday.  I sincerely respect Senator Jackson.  One of the key issues he points to is the

      growing democracy deficit created by Gerrymandering, both in NC and across the USA.  It has been used by both

      parties but thanks to data analytics and a lack of public awareness, it has reached epic proportions and is

      responsible for a government which is sharply skewed in outlook and representation.  I have assigned 4 SHORT

     articles and videos. Please invest the time to make sure you can dig in and discuss the issue (among others) on

     Thursday.   I will wrap up Constitutional History on Tuesday in class... no reading needed. 

    2) Please watch this 6 min  HBO documentary on Gerrymandering.. It's part of a the "Vice" series.

    3) Read this editorial article from the leading analytical newspaper on politics:  The Washington Post.

    4) Watch this short CNN story on how badly NC is handling Gerrymandering. 

    5) There are solutions to gerrymandering. Read this interesting piece and this article about using statistics

        to resolve the problem.

    6) Last class, we discussed the status of US territories. Could it not be said we apply gerrymandering to them

        as well?  As you ponder that, please finish test corrections on the Federalism Test.  (I'll post test copy shortly).


  Due for Friday 10/6 History of American Government 

   1)  Start a governmental chart  which matches faces and names  of current government leaders to their jobs.

       You can have fun and find funny pictures of them in awkward situations. Add a short description of each job

       (What do they do?)
    2) We talked about the problems federalism creates for Drug Enforcement. Read the implications of drug

        legalization and the resulting federal Constitutional conflicts. 

   3)  We will run through a quick history of the AOC and Constitution next class, using this timeline. The terms

        should look familiar from APUSH.

  Due for Wednesday 10/4 Federalism.

    1) Test scores today were fine although a couple of you struggled a bit.  We will finish recapping the Federalism 

      ppt. Please make sure you read the chapter and take the time to look through the ppt and outlines assigned.

      (There will be more such ppt's to follow to help if you prefer them). 

   2) Expect an ungraded practice exam to gauge your general knowledge during the next class. It will help me plan

      what works best for you so don't worry about marking the wrong answer.

   3) Watch this comedic commentary on Puerto Rico & consider how it relates to Federalism.  It's funny but useful.

        Seriously, watch it and consider what Puerto Rico has done to raise money and how it has paid off.

    4) I am going to discontinue the mass shooting search because I am saddened by what it represents and wish 

      for change. I am sure our nation would do something if it had been an Al-Queda or a North Korean shooter

      but even this HORRIFIC event will end with bag checks and nothing else.  I'm sorry and hope to be proven wrong.  

  Due for Monday, 10/2 Federalism Test

    1) Nice job on Thursday's presentation Mr. Saxon.  It was short & well thought out.  After Riley's presentation, 

       we will take our Chapter 3 Federalism test.  To prepare review the chapter 3 outline and  know your terms.

   2)  Watch this video to prepare... its a good summary of the chapter's issues. It's well worth your time and notes

        you take on this video can be used on Monday's test.  They must closely follow the video to be usable though!

   3)  Using Rock the Vote’s Election Center, compare voter regulations in your state and answer the following:

         Select your state on the map and answer the following:

          a) When is the registration deadline for the next election?

          b) How far in advance of the election is this deadline?

          c) Does your state offer early voting?

          d) Does having committed a felony affect eligibility to vote in your state?

     Now choose another state... perhaps one you or your parent were born in:

          a) When is the registration deadline for the next election?
          b) How far in advance of the election is this deadline?
          c) Does your state offer early voting?
          d) Does having committed a felony affect eligibility to vote in your state?

    What are the advantages of each state having flexibility in how elections are administered? Are there drawbacks?

  Due for Thursday - 9/28 Federalism

    1) Watch this 30 min documentary on Federalism.  The information is good despite the documentary's

         age as it uses Federal programs to make its points.  Then answer these questions

    2) Using Chapter 3 on Federalism, answer the following questions:

       A. Explain the differences between political systems which are unitary, confederal or federal.

       B. Summarize the views of federalism held by Hamilton and Jefferson. Which view appears to have won out?

       C. Summarize the facts which led up to McCulloch v. Maryland and the importance of the Court’s decision.
       D. Explain what “nullification” refers to and note two examples of “nullification” politics in American history.
       E. Discuss at least 2 recent S. Ct. decisions which suggest the doctrine of dual federalism is not 100% dead.
       F. What are three reasons federal grants were initiallyquite attractive to state officials?

      G. Explain what the terms “second-order” and “third-order” devolution refer to.

    3) There is real value in our discussions and we are mulling over material which will show up on the exam.  

        For example, today's talk about protests was an excellent analysis of Civil Liberties and the Title IX was 

        another way to  view Federalism.  Even so, I'll have to tighten up on timing and will introduce a couple

        of minor changes. to facilitate this  The test on Federalism will be on Monday!

  Due for Tuesday 9/26 Federalism

   1) Make sure you review the bolded terms on Federalism.  I promise to have an entertaining game ready but

      it only works if you do.  Needless to say, there will probably be a quiz. (I have to pretend to teach you something

      after all).

   2) Watch the following Crash Course on Federalism. Then answer these questions.

   3) Based  on the documentary we watched on Wednesday, List at least 3  mistakes made by each of the following:

                 Local Government               State Government               Federal Government

     If you doubt whether Congress should have known about the danger, watch this short PBS documentary.  Why did

      nobody pay attention? Its a shockingly clear warning!  Worse yet, does it imply other US cities are in danger? 

​​  Due for Wednesday 9/20      Federalism and More Constitutional Review
   1) Go back over Chapter 3 on Federalism (here) and then complete the following term matching.  Take time to learn

       the bolded terms you don't know. A quiz is watching you from the corner.  You can't see it but it knows what you

       don't know and it lives in MC463.  
   2) Complete the Constitutional Scavenger Hunt page 2.  It's Constitution Week after all. but you can think of it

      as your best friends birthday if that helps you. Once again, you can use this annotated Constitution for reference.

    3) As a teacher, I recognize we all have legitimate difference of opinion on social issues.  However, I worry about

        people who make up facts or operate without researching economic truths. For example, read this analysis of

        the costs/benefits of immigration to the USA and ask whether most Americans are aware of it.  What counter

        arguments facts can be marshaled in response? Go ahead and conduct a fast search to find a reliable source. 

    4) Don't forget to  complete the Constitutional study guide... a Fun challenge awaits on Wednesday, (This week's


  Due for Monday 9/18       Federalism and a bit of Constitutional review

   1) Read chapter 3 on Federalism here or you can read from it straight from the book.  Then answer the

       following questions.   

   2) Complete the Constitutional Scavenger Hunt page 1.  You can use the annotated Constitution for reference.

    3) Good news... The Wall Street Journal issues will begin arriving today.  I am going to ask you to start reading

        and commenting on political news stories.  When we do this, it will be important to have a sense of humor and

        avoid personally berating those you disagree with, even when they use foul and personally offensive language. 

        Someone using my name attempted this last year on the Charlotte Observer discussion boards.

        Feel free to read. You will have to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the "COMMENTS" link

        to see them but they give you an idea of what is written. Interestingly, several of the posts my alias responded to

       subsequently deleted their original posts, which I guess is a win.

    4) More Good News... following our appeal to the Zone Admin, we have been allowed to re-invite

        Senator Jackson to visit the class. Hope he can re-commit.

  Due for Thursday 9/14 Constitution Test

    1) Study for the Constitution test.  You should know the Amendments, and the major points of the 7 Articles  of the


     2) Complete the Constitution quiz given in class.

  Due for Tuesday 9/12 Constitutional Analysis

    1) The basis for the US Government is the Constitution.  Despite that, many "PROUD" AMERICANS don't recognize 

        our founding documents.  We sometimes forget the drafters of the Constitution were also error prone.

        Despite that, we have a pretty good government, the longest running Republic in the modern era.  (The Romans

        beat us for longevity but I haven't heard much from them lately)  To review the summer assignment and prepare

        for your 1st test, on Thursday, 9/15 complete the following chart analyzing Articles 1-7 of the Constitution.  It and 

        the Amendments chart are a big part of what you need to know.  

    2) Have a go at this matching exercise from Chapter 2.  Its going to be a blast.  If you want to do more of them,

        e-mail me and for a small donation, I'll assign another set.  

    3) Don't forget about the short 10-15 minute debates which begin this week.  Names & dates are found here.

  Due for Friday 9/8 Constitution

    1) Complete the following worksheet listing the Constitutional Amendments.  Take some time to add illustrations

      for each... after all, its an Arts School, right?  A quiz on the Amendments will follow.

    2) Finish Reading Chapter 2 and answer the following questions: 

           a) How did James Madison’s notions of human nature play an important role in the framing of the Constitution?

           b) Explain why the Constitution did not include a bill of rights. Then explain why one was added.

           c) Discuss whether “women were left out of the Constitution.” 

  Due for Wednesday 9/6- Introduction to the Constitution

   1) From Friday's class: Read the Background to the Constitutional Convention and find the answers to the
      following questions about the Constitution.  More background can be found by watching this documentary.  

   2)  Get to know your textbook... It is waiting at home for you, ready to become your most loyal friend.  Read pgs

        20-36 and answer the following questions: 

      a)  List and discuss the shortcomings of government under the Articles of Confederation.

      b. Discuss the backgrounds of the writers of the Constitution, and explain why these men tended to be

          mistrustful of the notion of democracy.

      c. Compare and contrast the Virginia and New Jersey plans, and show how they led to the Great Compromise.

      d. Explain why the separation of powers and federalism became key parts of the Constitution. Hint: the Framers’

          intention was NOT to make the system more democratic, nor efficient. 

​  3) Don't forget to bring the election analysis of 2016 assignment from last week... We're going to dissect the rise of

      Trump.  and of course,     Have a great weekend.

  Due for Friday 9/1/16- AP US Government 

    1) Begin picking out a discussion topic you would feel comfortable leading a 10-15 minute class discussion

       on over the course of the fall semester.  Topic choices and date selection will occur next class.  Possible

       ideas can be found in the discussion link to the left. 

    2) Complete the 100 question Civic Immigration test... Please play it straight (dont' cheat) and print out your final

         score.  I'm curious to know how what the national average would be if this test were given to Americans.

    3) The fact check for Ted Cruz's reasons for not voting against Hurrican Sandy's relief were thoroughly debunked. 

        Does that make his current request for Texas relief funds hypocritical?   

    4) Get ready to begin the readings and formal classwork this weekend... its been a nice first week!


  8/30/16- Welcome to AP US Government with Mr. Vitale.  Your first assignment will be:

  1) Read the 2016 Election Analysis in preparation for next class.  Highlight relevant parts and prepare at least 3 

      questions you want to ask. 

  2) Return your signed copy of the Syllabus.

  3) Complete the first 2 Political Ideology Links .  Print out your "findings" page for each so we can discuss in class
       on Thursday.

  4) Ask your parent to fill out the Parent handout survey.  It's fast and may tell us a lot about you too.

  5) Find a newspaper story that involves an issue that involves  the Constitution, read it and come in prepared to

       discuss it. Good places to look include the New York Times,  Wall Street Journal,  Washington Post,  Charlotte

        Observer, etc



AP US Government