AP US Government
AP US Government and Politics
Fall 2017
Course Overview
AP US Government and Politics is a semester-long course designed to prepare students to earn a top score on the Advanced Placement Exam in May.  While most students will have already completed an Honors level course in Civics and Economics, AP Government and Politics takes a much more in-depth approach to American political processes and culture.  Students can learn more about the specific elements of the course and the exam by visiting the Course Home Page at AP Central.
Course Elements
In addition to the curriculum framework mandated by the College Board for this course, students will be required to complete several outside reading assignments, a long-term civic engagement / activism project, a three-week investigative journalism project, as well as a number of in-class simulations related to voting / elections, party structure, Congressional procedure, the federal bureaucratic structure, the federal judiciary, and public opinion polling.  
Civic Engagement Project
As part of this course, students are asked to complete a semester-long civic engagement project of their own design.  The purpose of this project is to have students experience the rigors and challenges of a community organizing, civic activism or consensus-building task.  The parameters of this project are extremely open-ended.  Students can choose any cause or effort, or can engage in an existing effort, so long as they can make the case that they engaged in some form of civic action that involved organizing others around a common, community-based purpose.  Though this is an AP Government and Politics course, students are not required to selected an overtly political or partisan cause.  Civic engagement and activism are much broader than just partisan politics.  At the end of the semester, students will be asked to make a formal presentation to their classmates regarding their project, what they learned, and how they adjusted to challenges along the way.
Course Schedule, Fall 2017


Topic / Assessment


M, 9/25

Theories of Modern Government review
Seminar: "How American Politics Went Insane"

Chapter 1


The Language of Federalism

Chapter 4


Fiscal Federalism

Federal Grant Simulation



Welfare Reform Case Study


F, 9/29

Barrons, Chapters 1-4

Exam 3

M, 10/2

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Chapter 5


The Bill of Rights and Incorporation (14th Amendment)

Chapter 6


Key SCOTUS Precedents: 1st Amendment elements



Key SCOTUS Precedents: criminal due process


F, 10/6

Barrons, Chapter 5-6
Study Guide

Exam 4

T, 10/10

The Legislative Branch

Congress Simulation

Chapter 7


Checks and Balances

Congress Simulation


R, 10/12

Barrons Chapter 7

Exam 5




WtP = We the People: The Citizen and Constitution text




M, 8/28

Course Introduction



Locke and the State of Nature

WtP, Lesson 1 Review Quiz


Natural Rights and Government

WtP, Lesson 2 Review Quiz


Ancient Influences on Republican Thought

WtP, Lesson 3 Review Quiz


Individual Rights and Liberties

WtP, Lesson 4 Review Quiz

T, 9/5

British Constitutional Traditions

WtP, Lesson 5 Review Quiz


The English Republic and the Glorious Revolution

WtP, Lesson 6 Review Quiz


Unit Review: Exam 1 Study Guide

Unit 1 Exam


Colonial Notions of Rights and Government

WtP, Lesson 7 Review Quiz

M, 9/11

The American Revolution

WtP, Lesson 8 Review Quiz


The State Constitutions (Early Republic)

WtP, Lesson 9 Review Quiz


The Articles of Confederation

WtP, Lesson 10 Review Quiz


Constitutional Convention

WtP, Lesson 11 Review Quiz


The Virginia Plan and New Jersey Plan

Seminar: Read this Atlantic Article

WtP, Lesson 12 Review Quiz

M, 9/18

Legislative Powers

WtP, Lesson 13 Review Quiz


Judicial Powers

WtP, Lesson 14 Review Quiz


Ratification Debate (Lessons 15-17)

WtP, Lesson 15-17 Review Quiz


Civic Engagement Project Presentations

CEP Proposal Due

Unit 2 Exam 


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