Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics

March 12, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science, Government
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Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics Summer Assignments As a student of Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics, you will be completing three assignments prior to the start of school in August 2014. Please bring these assignments with you on the first day of school. The purpose of the AP United States Government and Politics course is to give students a critical perspective on politics and government. Students will be studying, interpreting, analyzing and synthesizing the concepts of American government along with looking at specific case studies from both political history and the present. Students will become familiar with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that make up the American political realm. In addition to learning about the various political institutions and thinking, students will also be developing and perfecting their critical writing and speaking skills. The following summer assignments have been designed to prepare you for a fun-filled year of study of United States Government and Politics. My goal is for you to earn college credit through the achievement of a score of a “4” or “5”on the College Board administered U.S. Government and Politics exam. The exam, taken by students in May 2015, is 2 hours and 25 minutes long. It includes a 45-minute multiple-choice section consisting of 60 questions and a 100minute free response section consisting of 4 questions. Assignment #1: Book Socratic Seminar Students will be choosing to read one of the books listed below. You may obtain the book from the Plain or North Canton Library, Books a Million,, etc. Plain Branch Library does have several copies of each of the books set aside for you to check out. If interested, please see Mr. Callahan and tell him you are checking out the book for Mrs. Palmer’s AP U.S. Government and Politics: The Future of Freedom by Fareed Zakaria Hardball by Chris Matthews Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis NOTE: If you read Founding Brothers last year for AP U.S. History, choose one of the other two books listed above. As you read the book, you must write one Socratic Seminar question for each chapter of the book. These questions should be HANDWRITTEN. Each question must include the following: 1. Give a quote or chapter background sentence or two as a prelude to each question. 2. Each question should be open-ended and open to interpretation by others in the class through a discussion, but based upon the chapter read and applicable to government, politics, history, or economics. Example: Chapter 1: “What happened next is an even greater mystery. In fact, the contradictory versions of the next four or five seconds of the duel might serve as evidence for the postmodern contention that no such thing as objective truth exists, that historic reality is an inherently enigmatic and endlessly negotiable bundle of free-floating perceptions” (Founding Brothers 25). In this statement, Ellis is referring to the different versions of what happened at the duel between Hamilton and Burr in 1804. What other historical or political events/issues are also open to such interpretation in America today? You will be graded on both the quality of questions and your participation in the Socratic Seminar during the first week of class. Bring your questions the first day of class as they will be collected and graded.

Assignment #2: Summer 2014 Political Hero or Hack? Students will be creating a record political “heroes and hacks” from U.S. political institutions for each week of the summer. As we learn about the major federal institutions of government this year, students will discover their powers, checks, and balances, and responsibilities. Within the institutions (branches of government) politicians and civil servants often become heroes for their actions, or hacks due to mistakes and blunders. Please complete the attached chart indicating the following: the week of the hero/hack, name of person and position, if a hero or hack, type of political institution, main reasons for designation/summary of actions or person, and source of information. You may choose any prominent leader or group from any of the following federal political institutions each week: executive (including president/vice president, cabinet, executive agencies and independent agencies, or military), legislative (House of Representatives or Senate), and judicial (district courts, courts of appeals, or Supreme Court) for each week. This assignment should be completed individually. Sources of information may include The Repository, online news sources (such as,, print or online news magazines (such as Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report). Please choose reputable, reliable sources.

Assignment #3: U.S. Constitutional Amendments Students will be learning the Amendments to the Constitution. Please create a HANDWRITTEN flash card for each amendment (27 total) in the format below: FRONT



Freedom of speech, press, assembly, petition, and religion

Study the cards as you will have a quiz over ALL amendments the first day of class and the flash cards will be collected for a grade as well. An online copy of the Constitution (including Amendments) is available at or

Please contact Mrs. Palmer at [email protected] with questions. I will be checking my e-mail periodically throughout the summer.


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