Mr. Udell Fall 2013 American Government Purpose of the Course This course is designed to introduce you to the foundation of the U.S. Government including the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, your rights and responsibilities as a citizen, public opinion, political parities, interest groups, voting, and the three branches of government. In addition, the class will focus on the everyday impacts of politics. As a matter of fact, government is so involved in your lives that I bet you can’t name one part of your life where government or politics in not involved. Course Requirements There will be homework most nights involving reading and questions to answer –I will not cover the textbook information word for word. This reading is meant to give you a general background and help you follow the class discussion. In addition your grade will be based on tests, concept papers, and any other assignment I see fit. Assignment weights are as follows: Tests Marking period project Daily homework Concept papers = = = = 50% 10% 10% 30% You are juniors and seniors, I expect you know what it takes to pass a class (coming prepared, studying, doing your class work, etc.), and want to remind you that you must pass this class to graduate. In addition to these general requirements, there are two more specific ones: 1. Over the course of the year students will write about 8-10 short concept papers related to concepts from American Government. These TYPED concept papers will take the following form: The assignment should include a proper citation of the news source, and a two part written section: a. A one to two paragraph summary of the event in your own words b. An explanation of how the article in questions is an example of the assigned topic. The purpose of these papers is to give you feedback on your comprehension of important topics from class before the test. They will be graded as, excellent (A), fair (C), or poor (E) and may be rewritten and resubmitted anytime before the related test for improved credit. They may be handed in any time during the marking period after the related test for late credit. 2. First Semester Project—Choose 1 1. A 2-3 page report on a meeting of the school board, borough council, or other local government meeting which I approve. You must attend the meeting, summarize the events, and describe what you found unique or interesting. Making connections from the meeting to concepts from the class or attempting to make interesting observations are what will earn you a better grade on this paper. 2. A 2-3-page report on a problem facing local government. You will be expected to talk to local government officials or find sources of information about the problem you discuss (local newspaper articles or information from town meetings). This should be in the format of a research paper and not a summary of single article. 3. Come up with your own idea for a paper related to government and politics and convince me it is a good idea before you do it, then do it. You must complete this project by October 25, 2013 American Government Homework Unit 1 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Topic Early US Politics Articles of Con. Constitutional Debate Constitution I Constitution II Amendment Process Informal Amendment Pages/Questions pp. 28-32 1,2 pp. 44-47 1,3,5 pp. 48-54 2,3 pp. 56-58 1,2,4,5 pp. 64-70 2,3,4 pp. 72-77 1-3 pp. 79-82 1,5 American Government Unit 2 Homework Topic Pages /Questions 1. Freedom Defined 532-536 1, 5, 6 2. Freedom of Religion 537-544 1, 3, 4 3. Freedom of Expression 546-553 2, 6 4. Democratic Freedoms 555-559 1-3 5. Rights of the Accused 576-583 5-6 6. Civil Rights 601-606 3-4 7. Citizenship 613-619 1-4 American Government Unit 4 Homework 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Topic Congressional Basics House of Reps. The Senate Membership Congressional Power Leaders in Congress Lawmaking I Lawmaking II Pages /Questions 262-265 1,5,6 267-273 1,4,6 275-278 1-5 279-284 1-5 290-292 1-4 320-327 1-4 334-340 1,2,5 342-346 1-4 American Government Unit 5 Homework 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Topic Selecting the President Presidential Roles Presidential Power Problems for Pres. Bureaucracy Cabinet/Advisors EOP Pages /Questions 377-384 1,2,4,6 354-358 1,2,5 390-392 1-5 Newsweek Articles 414-418 1-3 419-422 none 423 1-4 American Government Unit 3 Homework 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Topic Public Opinion Role of Parties Two Party System Minor Parties Interest Groups Types of Groups How they Work Pages /Questions 208-213 1,3 116-118 1,2,6 119-124 1,3,4 132-135 3,4 236-240 1,2,4 242-247 1,3,4 249-254 1,4 American Government Unit 6 Homework 1. 2. 3. Topic National Judiciary Inferior Courts Supreme Court Pages /Questions 506-511 1-4 512-515 1-3 517-522 2-4 HOMEWORK SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE—ITEMS MAY BE ADDED OR DELETED.