AP United States Government Syllabus – Home – FMSAS

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AP United States Government Syllabus

                                                                                   Mr. Klein
                                                                  John Marshall High School

The Teacher
        My name is Mr. Klein and I have been a teacher here at Marshall for the past
twelve years. I earned my Bachelor's Degree in History from California State University
Long Beach. I also possess a Master's Degree in Educational Administration, and plan to
go back to school in the near future for my Doctorate in either History or Education.
        I love teaching social studies and in my career I have taught almost every
subject a social studies teacher can teach. I very much enjoy teaching Social Studies
and often find myself in the role of not only teacher but also a student as there is so
much interesting information to process and retain from this wacky world we live in.
        Besides teaching social studies here at Marshall I have coached both football and
track and field. At this time I am also the co-chair of the Social Studies Department, a
position I have held for the past four years.
        On a personal front I am married to my high school sweet heart who I met at
the age of 16 (I am 35 now) and have been with her ever since. My wife and I have an
almost three year old daughter named Samantha and a one year old daughter named
Melanie, feel free to look at pictures of them at my family shrine wall!
        I very much enjoy teaching government and I look forward to a great year with

Course Expectations
    Take the AP Government Examination in May.
    Read, read, read!
    Attend all classes on time, be prepared with appropriate materials.
    You will need the following;
           o One three ring binder (preferably 2 inch)
           o Loose leaf notebook paper
           o Pens  all work must either be typed or written neatly in ink.
           o Textbook.
    You are expected to actively participate in class discussions. Be prepared to share
       insights with the class each week that are shaped by the readings. Your participation is
       important not only for your own growth and learning but also for the learning of others.
       Our discussions serve as a forum in which you sharpen your thinking, test your ideas,
       exchange insights and perceptions with the instructor and each other, and contribute
       towards others thinking. As a result, we must all try to work hard at providing
       opportunities for all perspectives to be voiced and listened to in order to maximize the
       learning potential of this course. We will all strive to be tolerant, patient, and respectful
       of diverse viewpoints.
    Make up missed work in a timely manner.
    See me if you are having problems. I am available for extra help and to make up missed
       assignments/test during lunch on Thursdays, and we can set up another time on other
    Be aware of my after school office hours: Monday 3:30  4:00 and Thursday 3:30  4:00
General Course Information

        AP Government is a college level introductory course on United States
Government and Politics, designed for 12th grade students. While the content of
general US government courses varies from college to college, this course will focus on
the Constitution; political beliefs and behaviors; political parties, interest groups, and
mass media; the Congress, presidency, bureaucracy, and the federal courts; public
policy; and civil rights and liberties. Course material will be taught through a variety of
means including: lecture and note taking, class discussion, intensive reading, group and
individual projects, and current events.

Course Outcomes: These are the general goals:

   1. Prepare students for the responsibilities of citizenship including voting and
      positive participation in the local community
   2. Prepare students for the AP Government exam
   3. Analyze the history and interpretations of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
   4. Examine the roles, powers, and relationships between formal and informal
      institutions in the United States
   5. Recognize typical patterns of political processes and behavior and their
   6. Know important facts, concepts, and theories pertaining to U.S. government and

 Requirements for students: Bring pencil or pen, and a 3-ring binder devoted strictly
to AP Government to class every day. You will be issued a textbook to take home, and
rarely will you need to bring your book to class. Expect about 5-6 hours of homework
every week. Readings of fifty pages or more per week will be the norm. In addition,
essays, projects, and presentations will be assigned on a regular basis. Participation and
attendance are extremely important. Students are responsible for turning in all work on
time. No late work will be accepted unless work is missed due to an excused absence or
prior arrangements are made with the instructor. Missed work, including tests,
must be made up promptly for credit.

Please set your binder up with these tabbed divisions:

AP Government Binder

These sections must be TABBED and labeled. You will not need to bring this to class
very often.

        Section 1:       Syllabus and reading schedules

        Section 2:       Key Terms  significant people, places, & events

        Section 3:       Chapter outlines

        Section 4:       Classroom notes
        Section 5:       Essays and projects

        Section 6:       Tests/quizzes

        Section 7:       Handouts

Grading: Grades are determined by the percentage of total course points earned by the

                                    90-100%                    A
                                    80-89%                     B
                                    70-79%                     C
                                    60-69%                     D
                                  Below 60%                    F
                          Class Attendance/Participation:   20%
                         Classwork/Homework:                20%
                         Tests/Quizzes:                     30%
                         Projects:                          30%

Textbook: Government in America: People, Politics and Policy 12th edition.

Other Reading Sources: Supplemental selected readings including Supreme Court
cases, news articles, the Constitution, the Bills of Rights, the Declaration of
Independence and primary source documents.

 Conduct and Expectations
       Aside from the rules of JMHS, there are five simple classroom rules that you are
expected to follow. Here are the rules that I insist you abide by:
       1. Be seated
       2. Be quiet
       3. Be prepared
       4. Be polite
       5. Be honest


         Plagiarism or dishonesty of any kind will not be tolerated! This includes turning
in information from the Internet as your own work. Consequences of plagiarism include
earning a score of "0" on the assignment, involvement of the principal and your parents,
possible suspension and/or failure of the course, or a report of you cheating to the
College Board which WILL go on your permanent record and WILL follow you to
While you were out...

         If you are absent from class for any reason, excused or unexcused, it is your
responsibility to check the class assignment box for any missing work. You can see
what we did each day by checking you two week class schedule. Check the schedule for
the days you missed, check for any handouts, and talk to me at an appropriate time if
you still have questions. If you miss a test, it must be made up promptly. You
need to schedule the make-up test with me in person.

Course Calendar

Unit One: Constitutional Foundations (Chapter 1-5)

Week 1  Introducing Government in America (Ch. 1)

      Objectives: basic terminology, security vs. liberty, forms of government, types of
democracy, the political spectrum/grid, demographic trends in the U.S.

Readings:     Read Chapter 1 outline and complete study guide

              Read Paine and answer questions (in class)

              Read Locke and answer short essay questions

              Read Federalist #10 and answer questions

              Visit politicalcompass.org

Week 2  The Constitution (Ch. 2)

       Objectives: Plymouth and the social contract, circumstances leading to
Revolutionary War, British and taxes and the colonial response, natural rights and the
consent of the governed, motivations/reasoning of the founders, Madisonian model and
the Separation of Powers, Bill of Rights

Readings: Read Chapter 2 outline and complete study guide

              Read The Constitution and answer questions

              Read and outline the Constitution

              Read the Declaration of Independence (shared Inquiry)

              Teacher guided case brief of Marbury v. Madison

              Read Federalist #51 and #78 and answer questions
               Should Government be limited or Absolute?

               Federalists vs. Anti-federalists

               Free response essay on Bill of Rights

Week 3  Federalism (Ch. 3)

       Objectives: Unitary, Confederal, and federal relations of government; historical
arguments for and against federalism; division of powers, national, state, and concurrent
powers; Constitutional questions posed in McCulloch v. Maryland and Gibbons v.
Ogden; commerce clause; Civil War amendments; dual Federalism, cooperative
Federalism, and "new Federalism"

Readings: Read Chapter 3, outline and complete study guide

              Case brief of McCulloch v.

              Case brief of Gibbons v. Ogden

               Free response essay on Federal vs. State powers

Week 4 and Week 5  Civil Liberties and Public Policy (Ch. 4)

       Objectives: Bill of Rights with emphasis on the Fourteenth Amendment, current
law and religion, freedom of speech, abortion, privacy, criminal rights, death penalty, and

Readings:      Read Chapter 4 outline and complete study guide

               Case brief of Mapp v. Ohio

               Case brief of Gideon v. Wainwright

               Freedom of Religion

               Student Newspapers

               Freedom of Speech

               Banned Books

               Search and Seizure

               Freedom of Religion
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