Jackie angel social studies dept. Milton high school

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Course Guide



Milton High School

AP U.S. Gov/Politics

What is AP U.S. Gov/Politics?

    • The equivalent of a college freshman U.S. government course

    • The curriculum is set by the College Board

    • Topics covered: Constitutional Underpinnings of the U.S. government

Political Beliefs and Behaviors of citizens

Political Parties

Interest Groups

Mass Media


Institutions of national government—Congress, Presidency, Judiciary,


Public Policy

How are grades averaged?

    • Class assignments (homework, class work, in-class performance) 10%

    • Performance based assessments (debate, current issues,

enrichment activities) 15%

  • Quizzes 20%

    • Unit Tests 40%

    • Final Exam 15%

The national exam?

    • Thursday May 10th, 2018 morning session

    • Format—60 Multiple Choice questions (45 minutes)

4 Free Response questions (100 minutes)

  • AP Test grades are reported as 1 – 5. Grades 3 and above are considered passing. However, individual colleges make their own decisions regarding giving credit at all or giving credit for certain grades

Will we review in the Spring?

    • Yes, I’ll hold review sessions during the 3 weeks preceding the test

    • Students will be given a review book in class. The review book should be used during the course and to review for the test in May.

  • I also give a practice test prior to the final exam.

What are the keys to success?

    • Keeping up with the nightly reading (pages are assigned almost every night on a calendar given out at the beginning of each unit)

    • Completing the study guide for each chapter while reading at home and adding to it during class lectures/discussions

    • critical thinking skills-digesting the readings and lecture notes and drawing conclusions on your own—no spoon feeding in an AP class

    • paying attention in class—making comments, asking questions, answering questions, being engaged and interested in the subject

    • paying attention outside of class-- regarding government and politics by reading newspaper and magazines, watching political news on TV, etc. This is very important and can make the difference between a grade of 3 and 4 or 5. This can’t be overstated!






reminders: text @apgovsen to 81010
Textbook Info

Edwards, George C. III, Martin P. Wattenberg, and Robert L. Lineberry. Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy, 12 ed.

  • Prentice Hall

  • ISBN# 0321292367

  • $72.97


A.P. U.S. Government and Politics will give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific case studies. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. political reality. Throughout the course, we will examine and evaluate institutions of government, those who run these institutions, the public policies made by these institutions, and the influences of the electorate on policies. The major purpose of this course is to help students gain and display an understanding of American politics, and the processes of government that help shape our public policies. Students will begin to develop a more sophisticated and insightful understanding of majority rule democracy, constitutionalism, civil liberties, and other distinguishing characteristics of the American political system.

Grading Scale

    • Class assignments (homework, class work, in-class performance) 10%

    • Performance based assessments (debate, current issues,

enrichment activities) 15%

  • Quizzes 20%

    • Unit Tests 40%

    • Final Exam 15%

Help Hours

I will be available after school on Tuesdays for conferences. However, appointments should be made with me in advance to confirm my availability.

Classroom Expectations

  • At all times, each student must show respect for his/her classmates and teacher.

  • Each student is expected to attend class, on time, every day. The student should have his/her textbook, notebook, class handouts and something to write with every day.

  • Each student will be allowed out of class only in emergency situations (at the discretion of the teacher).

  • Cell phones may be used during class only at the teacher’s discretion. At all other times, phones must be put away.

  • Headphones are not allowed in class at any time unless otherwise approved by teacher.

  • Each student is expected to comply with the general disciplinary rules as stated in the student handbook. Class disruptions and disciplinary problems will result in detention, referral to the office, and/or parent conferences.

  • Tardies: 1st offense--warning; 2nd / 3rd--private detention; 4th--parent contact and referral to office.

Milton Honor Code

“I understand that academic integrity creates a strong academic and ethical environment at Milton High School. I pledge that I will be personally responsible for upholding the values of academic integrity by being honest and not tolerating academic dishonesty.”

Honor Code Violations

In accordance with Fulton County School Board Policy JCD, when a student is suspected of cheating the following must happen:

  1. The teacher will notify the appropriate administrator.

  2. The administrator will thoroughly investigate the incident in a timely manner.

  3. The student’s parents will be notified.

  4. If the student is found guilty of violating the honor code, the student will either have to repeat the assignment, receive a zero, or have other administrative consequences.

  5. Honor Code violations may result in an entry on the student’s permanent disciplinary record.

Honor Code violations can be issued for, but are not limited to, the following incidents:

  • copying or "borrowing" from another source and submitting it as one's own work

  • seeking or accepting unauthorized assistance on tests, projects or other assignments

  • altering or forging grades, grade books, progress reports, report cards or other academic records

  • fabricating data, signatures or resources

  • providing or receiving test questions in advance without permission

  • working collaboratively with other students when individual work is expected

  • using technology in a manner that gives unauthorized assistance

Social Studies Dept. Testing Protocols

When students are being evaluated for a grade during class times, all students will put cell phones and any other mobile devices in their backpacks and the backpacks will be placed against the walls away from the students for the entire class time. If a student refuses to cooperate with this policy, is found at any time during the class to have the mobile device out, or cheats in any other way, the student will be referred to the principal for disciplinary action.

Late Work

Assignments turned in late will receive points off the grade. This includes reasons such as computer/printer problems, work schedules, last minute conflicts, etc.  For each day late, 10% of maximum points possible will be deducted from earned grade for a maximum of 3 school days.  On the 4th day, the grade becomes a zero.  This rule may be relaxed due to extended illness and/or extenuating circumstances that will be determined on a case by case basis by the teacher.

Make-Up Work

Make-up work is the responsibility of the STUDENT. It is the student’s responsibility to remember to schedule make-up work with the teacher according to the timeframe explained below. Grades for missed assignments will be entered as a 0 in the grade program until the assignment is made up. (policy continued on next page)

If your absence is excused, you have the same number of days to make up your work (including tests & quizzes) as the number of days that you missed. For example, if you missed three days, you have three days to turn in your make-up work (or take your test or quiz). If you do not meet this time frame, you will not receive credit for the work.
If your absence is unexcused, you have the same number of days to make up your work as the number of days that you missed. However, the grade you earn on any make-up work will be reduced by 10 %. Work for unexcused absences submitted after this timeline will not be accepted.

****This make up policy may be amended due to unusual circumstances as determined by the teacher.

Recovery Policy

“Opportunities designed to allow students to recover from a low or failing cumulative grade will be allowed when all work required to date has been completed and the student has demonstrated a legitimate effort to meet all course requirements including attendance. Students should contact the teacher concerning recovery opportunities. Teachers are expected to establish a reasonable time period for recovery work to be completed during the semester. All recovery work must be directly related to course objectives and must be completed ten school days prior to the end of the semester.” An application for recovery must be submitted to the teacher before recovery can be attempted. Form can be found on the class website.

AP Test Date: Thursday, May 10, 2018 (8:00am)

AP Test Format: 60 multiple choice questions (45 minutes)

4 Free Response Questions (100 minutes)

Total time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
Class Assignments: Daily classes will consist of teacher lectures, Socratic seminars, discussions and debates, video clips, role playing, and student presentations. Students should keep a notebook exclusively for AP U.S. Gov/Politics materials. The notebook should include the unit calendar, the completed unit study guides, and all handouts. Your notebook will be a valuable study tool for the test in May. Class performance will also be counted toward the class average.
Quizzes and tests: A quiz will be given after the study of each chapter. A major test will be given after each unit of study (typically covering 2-3 chapters.) Each major test will follow the AP format: multiple choice questions and a free response question. Time limit will adhere to the AP timing. Multiple choice questions will have five answer options.
Current Issues/Debates: We will formally debate government topics on a regular basis. Several students will be responsible for researching both sides of a topic. These students will then make a presentation to the class using evidence to support their arguments. The students will form a panel and debate the topic in front of the class. All students must participate for a grade. Students will also make presentations to the class on current issues. More details to follow with student handouts distributed in class.
Moot Court: From time to time, we may conduct a moot court of a Supreme Court case. Each student will have the opportunity to participate as an attorney, justice, member of the media, or “friend of the court.” Students participating will receive enrichment points, determined at the time of the activity.
Outside Enrichment Activities: Studying government must include an active participation component. These activities will enhance your understanding of government and politics. Attached are activities that you must choose from to earn 100 points toward your final average. For each activity you choose, you must write a summary of your experience, including what you did, time invested, what you learned and how you can apply what you learned to your life.


Unit I: Constitutional Underpinnings of United States Government (5-15% of AP test)

Readings and Activities: Edwards, Chapter 2: The Constitution

Chapter 3: Federalism

Federalist #51

Unit test: 40 multiple choice questions and 1 free response question

Unit II: Political Beliefs and Behaviors and Mass Media (10–20% of AP test)

Readings and Activities: Edwards, Chapter 6: Public Opinion and Political Action

Chapter 7: Mass Media

Political Ideology poll; Voting survey

Analysis of chart showing demographics of political leanings

Discussion and analysis of political polls (Gallup, Pew, etc.)

The Living Room Candidate (website)

Unit test: 40 multiple choice questions and 1 free response question

Unit III: Political Parties, Elections, Interest Groups (10-20% of AP test)

Readings and Activities: Edwards, Chapter 8: Political Parties

Chapter 11: Interest Groups

Political Party platforms

Unit test: 40 multiple choice questions and 1 free response question

Chapter 9: Nominations and Campaigns

Chapter 10: Elections and Voting Behavior

Analysis of charts and graphs showing national party identification trends

Electoral College reading

Analysis of charts and graphs showing recent election results

Analysis of charts and graphs showing PAC donations and role of money in campaigns and elections

Federalist #10

Unit test: 40 multiple choice questions and 1 free response question

Unit IV: Institutions of National Government: Congress, Presidency, Bureaucracy (35- 45% of AP test—including federal courts, which we will study in the next unit)

Readings and Activities: Edwards, Chapter 12: Congress

“Race and Representation” reading

Congressional Committee Hearing simulation

Analysis of charts and graphs showing congressional statistics

Chapter 13: The Presidency

“Imperial Presidency” reading

Chapter 15: The Federal Bureaucracy

Unit test: 40 multiple choice questions and 1 free response question

Unit V: The Judiciary, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (5-15% of AP test)

Readings and Activities: Edwards, Chapter 16: The Federal Courts

Chapter 4: Civil Liberties and Public Policy

Chapter 5: Civil Rights and Public Policy

Supreme Court video clips

Landmark Supreme Court cases

Moot courts—role played by students

“Voting in the Segregated South”

Unit test: 40 multiple choice questions and 1 free response question

Unit VI: Public Policy (5-15% of AP test)

Readings and Activities: Edwards, Chapter 14: The Politics of Taxing and Spending

Chapter 18: Social Welfare Policymaking

Analysis of charts and graphs showing federal budget breakdown (receipts and outlays)

Unit test: questions for this unit will be incorporated into the Institutions unit test

***Articles regarding government and politics from current periodicals will be assigned during each unit. Assignments with the articles will include personal reflections, formal essays, panel discussions, and/or pop quizzes.


  • Attend a City Council meeting (required), 20 pts.: answer the attached questions during the meeting; meeting schedules for Milton can be found at www.cityofmiltonga.us , for Alpharetta at www.alpharetta.ga.us , for Roswell at www.roswellgov.com

  • Work on a political campaign*, 25 pts.: minimum participation is 10 documented hours

  • Participate in a job shadow program* with a City of Milton employee or at the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce 25 pts.: Documentation required; must be scheduled through me

  • Attend a political party/club meeting, 5 pts. per meeting: write a summary of the meeting as part of journal entry

  • Visit the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, 25 pts.: write a summary of the exhibits as part of journal entry; http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov/

  • Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, 25 pts.: write a summary of the exhibits in your journal; http://www.thekingcenter.org/

  • Visit the Atlanta History Center, 25 pts.: Sometimes there are pertinent government exhibits; see me for permission; write a summary of the exhibits in your journal; http://www.atlantahistorycenter.com/cms/Atlanta+History+Museum/148.html

  • Visit the Atlanta Federal Reserve Monetary Museum, 25 pts. Write a summary of the exhibits in your journal; http://www.frbatlanta.org/about/tours/museum.cfm

  • Visit the Centers for Disease Control Museum, 25 pts.: Write a summary of the experience in your journal http://www.cdc.gov/museum/

  • Visit the CNN Studio Tour, 25 pts.: write a summary of the experience in your journal; http://www.cnn.com/tour/

  • Visit the Center for Civil and Human Rights, 25 pts.: Write a summary of the exhibits in your journal; www.civilandhumanrights.org

  • Visit the Booth Western Art Museum, Presidents Gallery, 25 pts.: attached questions to be answered while viewing the exhibit; http://boothmuseum.org/

  • Attend a political/historical lecture* at a college/university, 25 pts: write a summary of the lecture as part of journal entry. This can be done during a college visit also.

  • Attend a political book discussion/signing*, 15 pts.: write a summary of the experience

  • Interview* an elected politician/government worker, 15 pts.: turn in a written transcript or video as part of journal entry; minimum of 15 questions

  • Write a letter to the editor of a periodical you read regarding a political issue of concern, 10 pts.: a copy of the email message or letter must be attached to journal entry

  • Invite a guest speaker* to address our class (elected official, government worker, lobbyist, etc.), 15 pts.: Do a pre-interview so you can introduce him/her to the class; collect and type questions from class in advance; pre-approval through me required

  • Create a political cartoon notebook, 10 pts.: compile a notebook with 10 current political cartoons with analysis for each cartoon; follow instructions attached below

  • Write a movie or TV program analysis, 10 pts.: choose from attached list; use attached format as part of journal entry; instructions attached below

  • Write a book summary from the attached list, 35pts.: use the attached format below

  • Participate in a mock city council meeting* at the Milton City Hall, if offered. More explanation given out in class; points determined at time of assignment

  • Participate in a moot court* in class, if offered: research your role, participate in activity, write a summary of your participation—pts. to be determined at time of assignment

  • Listen to the Washington Post Podcast “Presidential” and/or “Constitutional.” Write a summary of the episode as part of journal entry. 15 pts. per episode.

  • Design your own activity*

*prior permission from teacher required before you begin

AP U.S. Gov/Politics

Enrichment Activities

Journal Instructions

Your Enrichment Activities Journal is due on Wednesday, May 2nd.
Your journal entries should be typed.
You should include a cover/title page with your name, class period, date, and a table of contents that looks like this:
Jane Doe

5th period
Activities: Points attempted:

City Council Meeting 20

CNN Center 25

Carter Library and Museum 25

Martin Luther King Center 25

West Wing episode 10
Total Points 105
The pages following the cover page should be your actual journal, written using the format below. For every activity in which you participated and expect to receive points, you should have a journal entry written in the following format:
A journal should be kept of your activities as you complete them. Each time you participate in any of the enrichment activities, you should complete a journal entry using the following format (typed, 12 pt. font):
A. the activity in which you participated and point value

B. the date and time contributed

C. personal reflection--a detailed account focusing on what you did, what was learned, any insight into government, politics, and/or history that you gained from the experience and how this might impact you going forward. This should include more than just a listing of what you did.

D. documentation of participation for some activities which will include handouts, assignments, written summaries that go with the specific activity (attached to this packet)

Late Work—Social Studies Dept. Policy (Due Wed. May 2, 2018)

Assignments turned in late will receive points off the grade. This includes reasons such as computer/printer problems, work schedules, last minute conflicts, etc. For each day late, 10% of maximum points possible will be deducted from earned grade for a maximum of 5 school days.  On the 6th day, the grade becomes a zero.

This rule may be relaxed due to extended illness and/or extenuating circumstances that will be determined on a case by case basis by the teacher.




Attend a City Council meeting at Milton, Alpharetta, or Roswell City Hall. Stay for the entire meeting, or at least 1-1 ½ hours. You should take notes on this page during the meeting and include in your enrichment notebook.

1. When and where was the meeting held?

2. What board met? (city council, zoning, recreation, etc.)

3. What issue (s) were discussed? Were there concerns having importance to members of the community brought up that were not on the agenda? Explain the issues that were discussed.
4. Who was involved in presenting points of view to the board?

5. How did the officials react to the comments and presentations made?

6. Did the board come to a decision at the meeting? If so, what was the decision? Do you agree or disagree with the decision? Why or why not?

7. If the board did not render a decision, how do you think the board will decide at a later date? Why do you think this?

AP Gov/Politics

Letter to elected representative

Pre-writing exercise


  • Letter topic: ________________________________________ (federal issue)

  • Person writing to: ___________________________________ (Congressman Tom Price or Senators Johnny Isakson or David Perdue)

Address the person appropriately—use their title--Dear Congressman Price, for example.

Close appropriately also—use sincerely or respectfully, then your full name and address.
Be sure to choose a current bill/issue that you know something about or can find info about.
Letter should be sent as an email. Write the actual letter in the body of the email. Attachments are discouraged. Be sure to print a copy for your journal.

  • Very brief introductory information about yourself: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This should be brief. Do not say you are writing the letter as an assignment. You are a constituent of the representative and you are communicating your thoughts.

  • Concerns about the topic: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • Support for your opinion, with specific information for each supporting argument: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Reagan Diaries by Ronald Reagan

My Life by Bill Clinton

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman

Hot, Flat, and Bothered by Thomas Friedman

Peace, Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter

All’s Fair by Mary Matalin and James Carville

My Grandfather’s Son by Clarence Thomas

The Supreme Court by William Rehnquist

Nine by Jeffery Toobin

The Right to Privacy by Caroline Kennedy

The Courage of Their Convictions by Peter Irons

Hardball by Chris Matthews

Life’s a Campaign by Chris Matthews

Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

Decision Points by George W. Bush
*Use the attached book review format for your journal

Book Review

Your book review should be typed, using the following format.
Before beginning each section, type the heading for each Roman numeral as stated on this form. Sections should be single-spaced, with double-spacing between each section. Use 1” margins and 12 point font.
I. Title
II. Author
III. Copyright date; number of pages
IV. Make up a title that you think fits the book and would be as appropriate as the one the author chose.
V. List 10 vocabulary terms that relate to government and politics. Include the word, page number, definition, and context in which the term is being used.
VI. Write a brief summary of the book. Write no more than one full page, including details from each chapter.
VII. A thesis is a point to be proved by showing evidence in defense of the thesis. What do you think is the author’s thesis? Explain how the author supports the thesis. In your estimation, does he adequately make his point? Why or why not?
VIII. Explain, using specific examples, 3 things you now know or understand better about the U.S. government.
IX. Critical evaluation: What are the merits and/or weaknesses of this book? Does the book seem balanced and objective or biased? Support your answer with specific examples.
X. What was your favorite part of the book? Your least favorite part? Why?


Use the attached format for analyzing the film you choose.


All the Kings Men campaigns and political power

All the President’s Men Watergate and the media

The Insider Tobacco lawsuit and the media

Wag the Dog Campaigns and the media

Journeys with George Bush 2000 presidential campaign

The War Room Clinton 1992 presidential campaign

The Candidate campaigns

JFK Oliver Stone assassination conspiracy theory

Nixon presidency

Truman presidency

Primary Colors Fictionalized account of Clinton campaign

Thirteen Days Cuban Missile Crisis; presidential power

The American President lobbying influences; conflict of interest

Apollo 13 NASA; bureaucracy

The Right Stuff NASA; bureaucracy

A Civil Action pollution lawsuit

Dead Man Walking the death penalty

Ghosts of Mississippi delayed trial of civil rights murder

Mississippi Burning 1960s civil rights murder

Thank You for Smoking lobbying

Frost/Nixon Watergate

Recount 2000 Presidential Election

The Ides of March political campaigns

Argo International politics, CIA

Lincoln Presidency/Congress, amendment process

Television Shows

The West Wing

***Some of these films are rated R and may have objectionable content—mostly bad language.

If parents object, then student should choose from the other available activities to gain points. If parents have questions—these movies all have content related to the government that students can learn from—some are inspiring, some are critical, and some use sarcasm to get the message across. Students should think critically about the political content in addition to enjoying the movie for its entertainment value.

AP Gov/Politics

TV/Film Reaction

Complete the following as you watch the film/program. Notes can be taken on this sheet and then typed to be attached to your enrichment journal.

1. Title:

2. Political theme:

3. Plot summary, using details:

4. Examples of political/governmental/legal concepts either expressed or implied in the film/program. Explain each concept and how it was developed/used in the film. Be specific.

AP Gov/Politics

Political Cartoons Compilation

Directions: Choose 10 cartoons from any medium. Include a copy of the cartoon on the page with your written analysis--one cartoon per page. Each entry should be typed.
Answer the following questions:
1. What do you see? Describe the elements listed below.

  • Symbols

  • Historical images

  • Stereotypes

  • Caricatures

  • Captions

  • Humor

2. Explain what is happening in the cartoon.

3. Connect the cartoon to current political topics and events.
4. Explain what the cartoonist is trying to say, and how he/she is trying to get his/her point across.
5. Do you agree with the sentiments of the cartoonist? Why or why not?

Looking for the President”

Booth Western Art Museum

Presidential Gallery (attach a ticket as documentation)

  1. What was George H. W. Bush awarded for his service in WWII?

  1. Eisenhower served his country in what way other than being president?

  1. Teddy Roosevelt was the first president to win………………………………….?

  1. Who was the first son of a president to also be elected president?

  1. Who is the most recent president’s son to be elected president?

  1. Who was president when the size of the U.S. doubled as a result of the Louisiana Purchase?

  1. Alaska was purchased from Russia for $7.2 million during which president’s administration?

  1. What did John Q. Adams keep in the East room of the White House?

  1. During his term in office, who was arrested and had to pay a fine? What was he arrested for?

  1. Harry Truman was the only president to not have …………………………….in the White House.

  1. Which president served the shortest amount of time in office?

  1. James Madison was the first president to wear…………………………………

  1. Who was the tallest man elected president? How tall was he?

  1. Calvin Coolidge was the only president born on……………………………………..

  1. Who was the first president to be born in a hospital?

  1. Andrew Jackson was the first president to be born in………………………………….

  1. Who was the only bachelor president?

  1. Who was Lyndon Johnson sworn in by?

  1. Where was Chester Arthur sworn in?

  1. Who was the first president to live in the White House?

  1. Millard Fillmore was the first president to install ………………………………..at the White House.

  1. Franklin Pierce was the first president to have a ……………………………………in the White House.

  1. Who had the first daughter to be married at the White House?

  1. What was installed in the White House during James Polk’s term?

  1. Who was the oldest person ever elected president?

  1. Who was the youngest person ever elected president?

  1. Who was the youngest to person to serve (though not elected) as president?

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