American government course syllabus



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COURSE SEQUENCE BY NINE WEEKS:
First Nine Weeks

Democracy in America - Tocqueville

Introducing Government in America Chapter 1



Federalist Papers - Hamilton, Jay, Madison

Constitutional Foundations Chapters 2-3



Madison’s Notes and The Founders’ Constitution Teacher Supplementals

People and Politics Chapters 6-11



Elections of 2004 by Michael Nelson
Second Nine Weeks

People and Politics Cont. Chapters 6-11

Executive Branch Chapter 13

The Congress, President, & Budget: The Politics of Taxing and Spending Chapter 14

Federal Bureaucracy Chapter 15

Constitution - Article II, Sections 1-4 Appendix



Federalist Papers - Hamilton, Jay, Madison

Presidential Powers and the Modern President by Richard E. Neustadt

**Semester Project: Select and research an executive policy and behavior during a recent presidential “crisis”. Paper will be 5-10 pages with bibliography and a 5-8 minute PowerPoint “executive summary” presented in class.
Third Nine Weeks

Constitution - Article I, Sections 1-10 Appendix

Legislative Branch Chapter 12

Civil Liberties, Civil Rights and Public Policy Chapters 4-5



E-Congress Project

Federalist Papers - Hamilton, Jay, Madison

Congress - The Electoral Connection by David R. Mayhew


Fourth Nine Weeks

Judicial Branch Chapter 16

Constitution - Article III, Sections 1-3 Appendix

Constitution - Articles IV-VII Appendix

Constitution - Amendments 1-27 Appendix

Federalist Papers - Hamilton, Jay, Madison

The Supreme Court and Constitutional Democracy by John Agresto

Project Citizen
**Semester Project: Each student must choose and complete one major project. Legislative: Select and research the legislative history of a major public policy issue OR Judicial: Select and research recent Supreme Court decisions on a major issue. Paper will be 5-10 pages with bibliography and a 5-8 minute PowerPoint “executive summary” presented in class.

HOMEWORK:

Textbook and supplemental readings, follow-up questions, study guide worksheets, writing papers, etc. will be assigned each week.


Political Blogs:

Students will establish an on-line blog and each week you will make two entries based on stories in the news. Starting from an article designated by the teacher and other media sources. Students will summarize, comment, and provide links to two (2) other on-line stories relevant to the entry. Each entry should be at least 100 words long and demonstrate accurate knowledge and an application of the concepts of the course. Whenever possible, students should examine the issue of the struggle for power in American government and society. In addition, students are expected to read and comment on the blogs of fellow students. Students should comment on at least four other blogs each week. Blogs will be evaluated each month for: sufficient entries, length, accuracy, connection to course concepts.


You will be required to submit by August 8th a paper regarding your required summer reading assignment. You will also be writing papers on different themes discussed in class as well as various reflections on assigned readings.

PROJECTS and IN-CLASS ACTIVITIES:

You may be required to work in small groups and complete long-term assignments from time to time. These will involve teamwork, cooperation, and creativity on your part. Large-scale projects may be worth as much as test grades and will often involve doing outside research activities for completion.


SEMESTER AND FINAL EXAM:

You will be required to take your mid-term. At the end of the course, you will be given a COMPREHENSIVE exam. In order to successfully receive college credit you must have a C as a final grade.



Please realize that I do not GIVE grades....YOU must earn them. You must pass American Government to graduate from Buckeye Valley High School. I am always willing to help you with questions, problems, assignments, etc. I truly value your opinions and hope that you share them with me.



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