AP American Government
Mrs. Ann Newton
Voice mail-678-494-7844 ext. 439
1. American Government: Continuity and Change, 2008 Edition,
by Karen O’Connor and Larry J. Sabato
2. The Lanahan Readings in the American Polity, Fourth
Edition, edited by Ann G. Serow and Everett C. Ladd.
3. Faultlines, Debating the Issues in American Politics,
Second Edition, edited by David T. Canon, John J. Coleman,
and Kenneth R. Mayer.
4. American Government Readings and Cases, 13th Edition, by
5. We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution,
published by the Center for Civic Education
6. The Courage of Their Convictions by Peter Irons
7. Additional readings assigned by Mrs. Newton from various
texts and on line sources
YOU MUST PASS THIS CLASS TO GRADUATE!!!!!!
Content of the Course: This is a survey course in United States
government. Our study will include the origin of governments,
comparative systems, and American history. There will be
extensive examination of the U.S. Constitution. The three
branches of the U.S. government (executive, legislative, and
judicial) will be studied from their establishment to how they
This course is an in depth study of the structure and organization
of the American system of government. Research is required. This
is a college level course.
Methods of Instruction: Critical thinking exercises, problem-
solving activities, and cooperative learning techniques help
develop intellectual and participatory skills while increasing
students understanding of the institutions of American
constitutional democracy. Daily lessons will consist of lecture,
class discussions and analysis, audio-visuals with specific focus
and insight into topics and governmental and legal procedures,
research and debate. Students will be assigned chapter readings
at the beginning of each unit. There will be some questions on
each test that are covered in the book but not in class lecture,
so please read! Throughout the semester additional readings will
be handed out by Mrs. Newton. Information from these handouts will
also be covered in tests and quizzes. Reading and understanding
current affairs is essential in the study of U.S. Government.
Students must be aware of all important events in domestic and
foreign policy. READ, READ, READ, AND LISTEN TO NEWS BROADCASTS ON
A DAILY BASIS! There may be pop quizzes to check up on your
knowledge of current events.
Political Television: Each student will watch one political
program every two weeks. Dues dates will be posted. Students
will complete a short written commentary (a template will be
provided) featuring who, what, when, where, and why as well as a
summation/what did you question? What did you learn? You will
receive a handout with more information.
Grading: Your grades will be based on a point system. It is your
responsibility to keep up with your own grades and your current
average. You will be graded on grammar and spelling.
Formative assessments and quizzes will be graded on a regular
basis. VOCABULARY, VOCABULARY, VOCABULARY IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!
There will be quizzes included for all terms in the assigned
reading. All work should be turned in on time for full credit.
On time means at the beginning of the class period on or before
the due date. Most of these grades will range from 20 to 60
points. Students will also be graded on participation. This
participation includes organized discussions of current events and
readings assigned by the teacher.
Tests: Each unit will count from 100 to 160 points. A unit test
may cover anywhere from one to four chapters.
Major unit tests and projects will count for 50% of your grade.
Quizzes will count 15%.
Other formative assessments will count 25%.
The Final Exam will count 10%.
Project: This semester each student will be required to do one or
more projects. These projects will have as many or more points
than a major test. These projects may include a written report,
an oral report, illustrations, pictures and maps. An audio-visual
presentation may also be required. (Examples: debates, current
events, essays, and biographies) These projects may involve group
work. Tests will include analysis of charts, graphs, and maps of
data and other information relevant to U.S. government and
The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli
Hardball by Chris Mattthews
Students were to read these books over the summer break. A test
over these books will be______________________. .
Analysis and interpretation of data presented in these books will
A Supreme Court Case Portfolio will be required this semester.
This project will have a specific criteria and organization. You
will receive a handout with more specific information.
A Vocabulary Project will be required in the Spring semester.
Students will not only define terms but also explain their use in
public policy. This project will have a specific criteria and
organization. You will receive a handout with more specific
Notebook: Students are required to keep a notebook in this class.
Notebooks must include all notes, vocabulary lists, film
questions, and other formative assessments. The notebook is to be
a three ring loose leaf binder. Notebooks may be checked in the
form of a quiz using only your notebook.
Make-up work: School policy will be followed according to the
Course Outline: Students will receive a detailed course outline.
At the teacher’s discretion pacing, materials presented, and
products may change based on the needs of individual students
BE SURE TO USE MY AP GOVERNMENT BLOG. HELPFUL OUTLINES FOR ALL
CHAPTERS IN THE TEXTBOOK WILL BE POSTED THERE.
ALSO, STUDY GUIDES FOR EACH UNIT WILL BE POSTED.
PRINT STUDENT’S FULL NAME________________________________
AP American Government
Mrs. Ann Newton
AP American Government
Mrs. Ann Newton
Voice mail 678-494-7844 ext.439 Emailfirstname.lastname@example.org
Fall and Spring 2010-2011
I want to welcome you back to Kell High School! I am looking forward to
working with your child to insure that his/her academic growth reaches its full
potential. I consider my classroom a team effort incorporating teacher,
student and parent. Communication is key to success. This is a college level
course. The curriculum is very rigorous and based on the standards set by the
If you are new to the area, you will find that an on-line program called
Pinnacle allows you to monitor your child’s progress in all of his/her classes.
I use a point grading system. Your student should be able to tell you from
their own records in their notebook what grade they have in this class at any
time during the semester.
My e-mail address is email@example.com Please feel free to contact me if
you have any questions or concerns. I will reply as quickly as possible. We
have a limited number of phone lines at Kell making phone contact difficult but
if you do not have e-mail, you may call me at the school number 678-494-7844,
Thank you for your support as we look forward to this semester.
As a way of supplementing material in the classroom, there may be some documentaries,
political commentaries or historical movies that are shown in class. It is possible
that this material may have a PG-13 rating. These movies or clips may contain some
violence and adult language. The audio visual supplementary material will be accompanied
by a writing assignment for the students to complete. Should you wish for your student
NOT to watch this material, an alternative assignment will be provided for him/her in the
media center. By signing below, you are granting permission for your student to view a
supplemental movie, documentary, or political commentary for this course of study that
may be rated PG-13.
I have received and read the course syllabus and classroom procedures. All of the
material was fully explained and I understand what is expected in this class.
I know that I must PASS THIS CLASS IN ORDER TO GRADUATE!!!!
Student’s Name____________________Parent/Guardian Names___________________
Home Phone Number__________________ Work Number(s)_______________________