AP US Government
AP US Government and Politics
Fall 2017

AP Comparative Government Independent Study,
Spring 2018

Watch this space for information about
AP Comparative Government independent study modules and schedules.

Session 1
: Wednesday, 14 March, after-school from 3:00-3:40 pm
Please read the China section of your textbook (linked below) on pp. 59-82.  Let's get together and discuss what you've learned about China, and some current events that shed some additional light on the reading.  I will also have some sample FRQ items from past AP exams related to China that we can discuss.  For a more in-depth look, I also recommend you review the China chapter in this more recent and comprehensive edition of your textbook (2015 Edition).

Session 2: Friday 30 March, before school from 7:20-7:55 am
Please read the Russia section from the textbook linked above (pp. 191-256) and bring your notes, questions, and ideas for productive comparison among the systems we have studied thus far.  

Session 3: Tuesday 10 April, before school from 7:20-7:55 am

Please read the UK / Britain section (pp. 94-157) over Spring Break and be ready to discuss your notes, questions, and ideas for comparison.

Course Schedule, Fall 2017



 Assignment / Assessment


Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve System

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid: Case Studies in Social Policy and entitlement programs
Barron'c Chapter 15

Social Security: Explore this website and its links.

Medicaid: Explore this website and its links



SNOW DAY (1/8):  Please note that I have posted the Final Exam FRQs below.  Please for on these.

Final Exam Review

AP Comparative Government
Here is your textbook.

Decision Time:
Schedule for Independent Study and AP Exam Review in April.
Review Modules:
The Constitution
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Checks and Balances
Institutions of Government

A full length AP Practice Exam will be given, graded, a reviewed. 


Final Exam on Thursday 1/18, FRQs are posted in the next column - please prepare for them.

Civic Engagement Project Presentations will be made on 1/19, 1/22 and 1/23.

SNOW DAYS 1/17-18: I found this dude on YouTube who does a series of short AP Government Exam review modules.  Since you have all of this time on your hands, I want you to watch it and give me some specific feedback relative to the questions in the next column.

Your Final Exam for this course will be a full length AP Exam with 60 MC items and 4 FRQs.  Those 4 FRQs will be drawn from this list... I encourage you to study and be prepared for all of them.

YouTube Review Evaluation:
1. Pick 5 of these short episodes that cover those topics that you feel least confident about.

2. For each of those episodes, was the presentation too simplistic and elementary?  Did it help?  Did it hold your interest?

3. Do you feel that these episodes were helpful enough that you will watch more than 5?

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.


Topic / Assessment



Follow-Up on the tougher material from your reading in the Barron’s textbook (Chapter 8 “The Presidency”)

Presidency Odds and Ends

Checks and Balances Chart

F, 11/3

Chapter 13 (Edwards)

Presidential Powers

FRQs on the Presidency

Be ready for FRQ 1

M, 11/6

Presidential Roles

Be ready for FRQs 2-4

W, 11/8

“Effective” Presidents

Be ready for FRQs 5-7


Follow-Up on the tougher material from your reading in the Barron’s textbook (Chapter 9 “The Judiciary”)

Judiciary Odds and Ends


M, 11/13

Chapter 16 (Edwards)

Structure of the Federal Judiciary

FRQs on the Federal Courts

Be ready for FRQs 1 and 2

W, 11/15

The powers of the SCOTUS… over time

Be ready for FRQs 3 and 4

11/17 – 11/21

SCOTUS Simulation

Directions and Assignments for SCOTUS Simulation.


Federal Bureaucracy

Bureaucracy Project (due 11/30)
Student Assignments



Bureaucracy FRQs (exam 12/1)


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

M, 10/23 - 10/27

The Legislative Branch

Congress Simulation Directions (House)

Chapter 7


Checks and Balances and the Senate Rules
Congress Simulation Directions (Senate)


T, 10/31

Barrons Chapter 7 (Legislative Branch)
Congress Study Guide

Exam 5

W, 11/1

Read Barron's Chapter 8 ("The Presidency")


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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