American Government

American Government deals with civics, national, state and local governments; historical and philosophical bases for today's governmental systems; and the student’s role within that system. Most material deals with the federal level of the government, with a unit of study devoted to state and local government. Additional ongoing activities stress awareness and participation in current governmental issues. More>>

Daily Activities

  • June 4 Day 81--Today is your final test. It's a regular 50 minute period, and the test is 50 questions long, so get your notes out, open, & ready. Here we ...
    Posted Jun 4, 2013, 5:18 AM by Peter Knowles
  • June 3 Day 80--Tomorrow is your final test. Today you may want to take time to:Complete back assignments that you haven't finished yet, especially from this unit (about 1 ...
    Posted Jun 4, 2013, 5:17 AM by Peter Knowles
  • May 31 Day 79--What will I be able to do when I've finished this lesson?How will I  accomplish this task?  How will I show that I have done this ...
    Posted May 31, 2013, 5:15 AM by Peter Knowles
  • May 30 Day 78--What will I be able to do when I've finished this lesson?How will I  accomplish this task?  How will I show that I have done this ...
    Posted May 30, 2013, 9:13 AM by Peter Knowles
  • May 29 Day 77--What will I be able to do when I've finished this lesson?How will I  accomplish this task?  How will I show that I have done this ...
    Posted May 29, 2013, 4:44 AM by Peter Knowles
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The main content covered in this class is divided into six different units, each lasting approximately 3 weeks. They are:

1.     Foundations of American Government – Where does government in general, and ours in particular, come from, and why do we even need it?

2.     Civil Rights & the Constitution – What rights do you have, how do you know, and how does the court system help answer those questions?

3.     Presidential Elections / Electoral College – How is the chief executive chosen every 4 years, why is it done that way, and what are his powers once elected?

4.     Laws and lawmakers – Why do we have so many laws, why are they sometimes so confusing, and who is responsible for making them?

5.     State and Local Government – How does the system of federalism play out at the state & local level, and who does what for you close to home?

6.     Voting Behavior and Political Parties – What’s your role in all this, and how do political parties help, or hurt, the entire process?

Each unit consists of textbook readings, classroom discussions and activities, a take home written essay or report, and an in-class unit test based on basic understanding of the unit’s main ideas.

Current Events: Understanding the government around you requires an understanding of the world around you. Consequently, this class will devote a significant amount of time to learning about and discussing current events that help shape our current public policy. Students are encouraged to be active consumers of the daily news, through whatever sources are available to them, to create a changing and varied view of the world events that shape our democracy. Various current events based activities and assignments are required.

Public Meetings: Students are required to attend a local, public, governmental meeting during the semester and complete a short written report about their experience and/or make a short presentation to the class. Reminders will be provided during the semester of suitable meetings, but students need to plan to spend part of one evening attending one. For students whose work, sports, or other schedules make this impossible, an alternate assignment will be made available, but they must make arrangements with the teacher by midterm to complete it.

Finals: A cumulative course final will be taken on the last day of class, covering (potentially) all the material presented since the first day of class. Students will have ample opportunities and guidance to identify key concepts to help them study and learn the material. 

American Govt Calendar