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Honors and AP Courses » AP US Government and Politics

AP US Government and Politics

A 12th Grade Core Course: AP U.S. Government and Politics

Teacher: Ms. Johansen; E-mail: [email protected]


  •     Students will pass the AP test.


% of Students taking the test

# of students receiving 1’s

# of students passing  with 3+


















  •     Students will understand the theories and reality of how the U.S. Government works.
  •    Students will be able to vote intelligently
  •    Students will understand the news
  •     Students will be able to analyze and make connections between major concepts and will discuss/write about them in a coherent manner.
  •    Students will know how to & will participate politically, above and beyond the act of voting

Comments from Past Students (Class of 2015):

Criteria - “Potential students must…”

  • Overcome procrastination
  • Be on top of due dates (no one is going to remind you to do anything unless you have close peeps in class)
  • Prioritize the class
  • Be interactive within the class to understand more concepts
  • Check grades constantly to make sure you aren’t missing out in good points in any areas (specifically tests)
  • Be able to study in ways that help you retain information
  • Have a genuine interest in the government or politics

How do you know if you are prepared?

  • One should know by their performance in History and English classes, you have to know if you got a D in regular US History, you need not apply. You basically have to have the etiquette of turning in all assignments and actively learning. You will not sit in this class and not do anything. You’re going to be working bell to bell, with no time for day dreaming.
  • If you’re questioning yourself about it being too hard, DON’T, you will find an interest, and you will end up enjoying the class and working hard towards it.

Comments from the Instructor

  • Students, who consistently keep up with all their work, stay on task during class, study 10 minutes a day, and are willing to ask questions, always pass this class with a C or better.
  • This is a year-long course; students will earn both government and economics credit.
  • Your grade in the class is reflective of your ability to pass the AP test. For example an 'A'=5.
  • You will be challenged, you will learn new things on a regular basis, you will know you have learned when you leave the class.


Note: All unit due dates are given on day 1 of the unit. Units last for 1-1 ½ months.

Unit 1 Breakdown from 2014-2015:

Weekly Agenda

Due Dates

8/13- Intro to class

8/14- ISN

8/14- Assemble ISN and review note-taking

8/20- 2nd Treatise Notes

8/15- Vocab Practice

8/21- Unit 1 Vocab

8/16- Ch. 1 Vocab Practice

8/27- McCulloch

8/19- How to court case + preamble

9/2- Unit 2 Vocab

8/20- Review Locke

9/9- Unit 3 Vocab

8/21- Note revision + Madison ppt.

9/11- ISN Check

8/22- 1.1 Quiz + Madison ppt


8/25- Vocab Practice

Homework Description

8/26- Fed/Anti-Fed

Ch. 1 Notes- 11 pages

8/27- McCulloch

CH. 2 Notes- 13 pages

8/28- Note Revision + McCulloch

Ch. 3 Notes- 21 pages

8/29- 1.2 Quiz + Spending Clause

Ch. 1 Notecards- 13 words

9/1- No School

Ch. 2 Notecards- 22 words

9/2- Senior Assembly + Fix/Broke Wksht

Ch. 3 Notecards- 29 words

9/3- Work Day


9/4- Note Revision + Commerce/New Fed. Ppt

Notecards must have bothdefinition

9/5- 1.2 Quiz + finish ppt

and significance.

9/8- How to FRQ


9/9- Test Review


9/10- Test Review


9/11- Unit 1 MC


9/12- Unit 1 FRQ + Vocab Quiz


Sample Test Questions:

Multiple Choice

  1. Which of the following does not contribute to our federal government maintaining the status quo?
  1. Separation of powers                         
  2. The process of creating a law                       
  3. A bicameral legislature
  4. Checks and Balances
  5. The 17th Amendment

FRQ Prompt

Interest groups seek to influence political processes in ways that benefit their members. In doing so, however, they may not act in the overall public interest.

  1. Describe two techniques that interest groups use to influence elections.
  2. Explain how interest groups use each of the following to influence government decision making.
    • Issue networks
    • Amicus curiae briefs
  3. Explain how each of the following serves to limit interest group influence.
    • The media
    • Pluralism

Vocab Quiz

  • Define and explain the significance of the following words: devolution, block grant, pluralism, social contract,South Dakota v. Dole, spending clause