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U.S. Government

The U.S. Government course provides an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. We will study both the general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific case studies, and will become familiar with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. political reality.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS:

1. What is power? Who has power within American government and society?

2. What is the role of government and is it necessary?

3. Is the U.S. Constitution the most effective method for organizing the government?

4. What is a citizen and what are their responsibilities?

5. What allows the government to continue evolving?


CURRENT EVENTS will be used as much as possible to bring the concepts of politics alive in our discussions.

One of my main personal objectives in this class is to give you honest, accurate information regarding how the U.S. government and society, with all its different factors, came to be what it is today. However, once you have this information, I want you to form a solid opinion based on the facts! Your opinion can be whatever you want, but you must be able to substantiate it!

An educated opinion is a powerful tool that will earn you respect!

 Please remember that you are in control of your success in this class.

 Take responsibility for your work and be accountable for your actions.

DATECLASS CALENDAR / INFORMATION
Wednesday
September 5
TOPIC: INTRODUCTION

1.
CLASS WEBSITE
2. EVALUATION
3. APPROACH 

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT:
Choose an ONLINE NEWS WEBSITE / REVIEW CURRENT EVENTS (World - U.S. - Business - Technology - Culture) / Come to class ready to share your QUESTIONS & OPINIONS 
Thursday
September 6
FRIDAY CLASS SCHEDULE
TOPIC: So WHY do we have to study this stuff?
       
CLASS ACTIVITY: Using current events topics, we will analyze how & why "GOVERNMENT" and "POLITICS" affect our lives.
 
CLASS PRESENTATION: TRADE [Last Week tonight with John Oliver]

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT:

 READ
Principles of Government Outline 
- SECTION 1, GOVERNMENT & THE STATE
- SECTION 2, FORMS OF GOVERNMENT
 
-- Bring to class any questions you have on vocabulary and concepts

[IF THERE ARE NO QUESTIONS, I will assume you understand everything AND give you a quiz (so you can get an "A")]

IF you are interested - I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration - (This is NOT normal)
Friday
September 7
TOPIC: PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT 

CLASS PRESENTATION:
American Political Culture 

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: READ
Principles of Government Outline - SECTION 3, BASIC CONCEPTS OF DEMOCRACY
Monday
September 10
TOPIC: PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT

 CLASS ACTIVITY: iCivics - BRANCHES OF POWER
Tuesday
September 11
NO CLASS
Wednesday September 12TOPIC: CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS - Example #1 
       
CLASS PRESENTATION: Please Vote for Me

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: Complete 
Please Vote for Me Questions
Thursday
September 13
**TOPIC: CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS - Example #2 
       
CLASS PRESENTATION: FRONTRUNNERS  
 
ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: Complete
FRONTRUNNERS Questions
Friday
September 14
TOPIC: WINNING ELECTIONS
       
CLASS ACTIVITY: iCivics - WIN THE WHITE HOUSE  
 
ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: READ Seven Deadly American Sins ARTICLE and COMPLETE REACTION SHEET
Monday
September 17
TOPIC: Problems - and maybe Solutions - in the U.S. Electoral/Voting Process  
       
CLASS PRESENTATION: Dude, Where's My Ballot!?!

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: READ
Will Donald Trump Destroy the Presidency? - [LONG article - DON'T WORRY about details ... read for basic ideas / opinions] 
Tuesday
September 18
NO CLASS
Wednesday September 19TOPIC: ELECTIONS IN THE U.S. 
       
CLASS PRESENTATION: Voters and Voter Behavior 

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: READ
We Vote, But Who's Counting - Article on problems with Computer Voting Machines   
Thursday
September 20
**TOPIC: INVESTIGATION INTO VOTING PROBLEMS IN U.S. 
       
CLASS PRESENTATION: Hacking Democracy 

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: Complete
Hacking Democracy Questions - DUE AT START OF CLASS ON MONDAY 
Friday
September 21
TOPIC: ELECTIONS / VOTING PROCESS  IN THE U.S. - Catch-Up Day 
       
CLASS PRESENTATION: 
1. Dude, Where's My Ballot!?!
2. Voters and Voter Behavior

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: Complete Hacking Democracy Questions - DUE AT START OF CLASS ON MONDAY
For Monday's Current Events discussion we need EXPERT BACKGROUND INFORMATION on the following topic: TALK OF ETHNIC PARTITION REVIVES OLD BALKAN GHOSTS    
Monday
September 24
TOPIC: CAMPAIGN ADVERTISING 
       
CLASS PRESENTATION: Understanding Elections

CLASS ACTIVITY:
LIVING ROOM CANDIDATE COMPUTER ASSIGNMENT

NOTES:
THE LANGUAGE OF PERSUASION 

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: ANALYSIS OF FOUR CAMPAIGN ADVERTISEMENTS DUE AT START OF CLASS ON WEDNESDAY
 
Tuesday
September 25
NO CLASS
Wednesday September 26TOPIC: SPIN - The Media and Election Campaigns   
       
CLASS PRESENTATION:
1. The Mass Media and American Politics
2. Wag the Dog 
Thursday
September 27
**TOPIC: SPIN - The Media and Election Campaigns  
       
CLASS PRESENTATION: Wag the Dog

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: Wag the Dog
Question Sheet - DUE AT START OF CLASS ON FRIDAY 
Friday
September 28
TOPIC: EXPERIMENT IN "EQUALITY"???

CLASS ACTIVITY: 2081 /
REACTION-RESPONSE QUESTIONS 
Monday
October 1
TOPIC: THE MEDIA  
       
CLASS ACTIVITY: CURRENT EVENTS VIA REVIEW of TOP 15 MOST POPULAR POLITICAL WEBSITES

INTERESTING ARTICLE: Blasey Ford, White Male Privilege and the Reckoning to Come
Tuesday
October 2
NO CLASS
Wednesday
October 3
TOPIC: THE MEDIA

CLASS PRESENTATION: BRETT KAVANAUGH [Last Week tonight with John Oliver]

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: PROJECT CENSORED - Top Censored Stories of 2016-2017 -- DUE AT START OF CLASS ON FRIDAY
Thursday
October 4
**TOPIC: The Political Climate

CLASS PRESENTATION:
1. Trump Voters One Year On
2. Angry, White and American


ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: PROJECT CENSORED - Top Censored Stories of 2016-2017 -- DUE AT START OF CLASS ON FRIDAY 
Friday
October 5
TOPIC: POLITICAL PARTIES
       
CLASS ACTIVITY: MEASURING POLITICAL AFFILIATION
- Complete the 4 ONLINE TESTS
- SUMMARIZE + EVALUATE YOUR RESULTS
- DUE AT START OF CLASS ON MONDAY
      
Monday
October 8
TOPIC: POLITICAL PARTIES
       
CLASS PRESENTATION: Political Parties

NOTES:
1.
POLITICAL PARTIES Summary / Outline
2. History of U.S. POLITICAL PARTIES

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT:
Political Parties Webquest - DUE AT START OF CLASS ON MONDAY  
Tuesday
October 9
NO CLASS
Wednesday
October 10
TESTING: PSATs in MORNING

Community Service in AFTERNOON
Thursday
October 11
ARIZONA STATE FAIR 
Friday
October 12
Ms. Workman
TOPIC:
POLITICAL PARTIES

PLAN A        
CLASS ACTIVITY: 
iCivics - ACTIVATE 
PLAN B        
CLASS ACTIVITY: Work on 
Political Parties Webquest - DUE AT START OF CLASS ON MONDAY
Monday
October 15
TOPIC: CONGRESS - OVERVIEW / INCUMBENCY

CLASS PRESENTATION:
CONGRESS - Part 1

NOTES:
CONGRESS NOTES - PART 1 

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT: READING -
The Legislative Branch 
Tuesday
October 16
NO CLASS
Wednesday
October 17
TOPIC: CONGRESS - HOW IT WORKS
     
CLASS ACTIVITY - iCIVICS:
1.
LAW CRAFT
2. REPRESENT ME!
3.
BUDGETING - PEOPLE'S PIE

INTERESTING ARTICLE: 3 Colliding Problems Leading to a New Economic Disaster
Thursday
October 18
**TOPIC: GOVERNMENT vs. INDEPENDENT MEDIA

CLASS PRESENTATION: All Governments Lie

ASSIGNMENT/ASSESSMENT:
THE LIES - Pick ONE and write a short summary [IN YOUR OWN WORDS] of:
1. the issue/event
2. the investigation by journalists
3. your reaction/opinion
- DUE AT START OF CLASS ON FRIDAY
 
Friday
October 19
TOPIC: CONGRESS - HOW TO GET ELECTED
       
CLASS ACTIVITY:
Instructions for The Redistricting Game

ASSIGNMENT / ASSESSMENT - CHOOSE ONE:
1. READING -
How Laws Are Made
2. How a Bill Becomes a Law (chart)
3. 
How a Bill Becomes a Law (ppt) 
Monday
October 22
TOPIC: 
Tuesday
October 23
NO CLASS
Wednesday
October 24
TOPIC:
Thursday
October 25
TOPIC:
Friday
October 26
END OF FIRST QUARTER

TOPIC:
Monday
October 29
TOPIC:
Tuesday
October 30
NO CLASS
Wednesday October 31TOPIC: 
Thursday
November 1
**TOPIC: 
Friday
November 2
TOPIC: 
Monday
November 5
TOPIC: 
Tuesday
November 6
NO CLASS
Wednesday November 7TOPIC:
Thursday
November 8
**TOPIC: 
Friday
November 9
TOPIC:
Monday
November 12
TOPIC: 
Tuesday
November 13
NO CLASS
Wednesday November 14TOPIC: 
Thursday
November 15
**TOPIC:  
Friday
November 16
TOPIC: 
Monday
November 19
TOPIC: 
Tuesday
November 20
NO CLASS
Wednesday November 21TOPIC: 
THANKSGIVING BREAK
Monday
November 26
TOPIC: 
Tuesday
November 27
NO CLASS
Wednesday November 28TOPIC: 
Thursday
November 29
**TOPIC: 
Friday
November 30
TOPIC: 
Monday
December 3
TOPIC: 
Tuesday
December 4
NO CLASS
Wednesday
December 5
TOPIC:   
Thursday
December 6
**TOPIC: 
Friday
December 7
TOPIC:
Monday
December 10
TOPIC: 
Tuesday
December 11
NO CLASS
Wednesday
December 12
TOPIC: 
Thursday
December 13
**TOPIC: 
Friday
December 14
TOPIC: 
WINTER VACATION
Tuesday
January 8
NO CLASS
Wednesday
January 9
TOPIC:
Thursday
January 10
**TOPIC:
Friday
January 11
TOPIC:
Monday
January 14
TOPIC:
Tuesday
January 15
TOPIC:
Wednesday
January 16
TOPIC:
Thursday
January 17
TOPIC: 
Friday
January 18
TOPIC: 
Monday
January 21
TOPIC: 
Tuesday
January 22
NO CLASS
Wednesday
January 23
TOPIC: 
Thursday
January 24
**TOPIC: 
Friday
January 25
TOPIC: 
Monday
January 28
TOPIC: 
Tuesday
January 29
SEMESTER EXAMINATIONS
Wednesday
January 30
SEMESTER EXAMINATIONS
Thursday
January 31
SEMESTER EXAMINATIONS 
Friday
February 1
POST-EXAM BREAK: NO CLASSES