Chapter 6: Civil Rights Part 2 : Due MONDAY

Scalia Interview

8th Hour: Please read this in Preparation for Joey Riley's Presentation on Monday. It is VERY QUICK!

Civil Rights: Part 1 is due on Wednesday. I WILL COLLECT AND EVALUATE so please be neat, clear and complete!

Grading Rubric: Cases

15 Minute Libya Background Video

The Court


The Cases Project

I will post links, messages, directions, the schedule , etc. HERE.

Um. You might want to start here.
The Court

The Go To Site: Especially for an introduction
Here you will find the BRIEF background of the case, oral arguments, and a karaoke -like transcript of the case. Please EXPLORE! Make sure you LISTEN TO THE ORAL ARGUMENTS AND/OR OPINION!

The In-Depth Site: Here you will find majority and dissenting opinions (which you will READ!)

You can also TYPE your case name into Google and follow it to the Cornell University Law School Website.

Only if you are lucky
Landmark Cases
Some of the cases are dealt with in depth here!

How to present:
You will need to open an account . Make sure you open one AS A STUDENT!
If you HATE Prezi (as you might) you can use EMPRESSR
or Google Presentations.


Tuesday February 15th

The Watergate Story: In Preparation for Frost/Nixon
The above link is from the source that broke the story- I suggest you read it - but read SOMETHING before you begin the film or you will be lost.

Friday February 11th

The TWO Presidency "essays" are put off till Friday.
The group test will be Monday (Chapter 14)

Wednesday February 8th

Signing Statements Article:
Signing Statements

For 8th

1. Identify an act of the President that was an example of an explicit Constitutional Power.
2. Identify an act of the President that was an example of the President using an “extra- constitutional” (outside of the Constitution ) power
Which of the Presidential roles was the strength of your President , why

Tuesday February 7th

1. Go to this website and click in the "Quiz" that is linked on the bottom right of the page.
Civics Quiz
Take the quiz, get your results, COPY THE RED TEXT ON THE RESULTS PAGE (it says which questions you got wrong) and EMAIL THEM TO ME by the END OF 2nd Hour on Wednesday.
Your "score" will not "count"- but your ON TIME completion of the task will.


2. For Class on WEDNESDAY
Review Ch. 14 and come to class with
A. Facts that were new to you, but you thought relevant
B.Concepts or "Big Ideas" that you think are important to understand about the presidency and are worth exploring.
C. Questions about the Presidency that still remain for you.


Thursday January 27th

Here is the link for the Egypt Story.
Egypt Protests

Video of Protests

Wednesday January 26th

Here is a link for you to access the Republican response (both by Paul Ryan and by Michelle Bachmann)
Republican Response

Tuesday January 25th

Today, we graded and reviewed the AP Sample test that you took. (Yikes)
Also, you were introduced to Tools of Rhetoric as we prepared to watch President Obama's "State of the Union Address" (He will deliver in tonight, but we won't watch it until Wed/Thurs IN CLASS: Feel free to watch it twice) We will anaylze not only the CONTENT of the Speech, but the STYLE as well.

In class, you received "Tools for Rhetorical Analysis"
You need to read President Obama's Innaugural Address (link) and find examples of the Rhetorical devices, as well as examples of LOGOS, PATHOS and ETHOS.

Obama Inauguration Speech

Or you could WATCH it.

It is not just the House.

Mitch McConnell

Wednesday December 15th

Today we discussed(quizzed) the Boehner interview and I introduced Tuesday's 1.1 Trillion $ Spending bill. In small groups, you discussed your reaction to the new Speaker, and , in light of what you learned yesterday about "earmarks", evaluated the spending bill.


Read and Digest the Chapter on Congress by Next Tuesday.

Tuesday December 14th

I was not here but you had the glorious opportunity to be introduced to the concept of "earmarks" and "pork barrel spending".


Finish the in class assignment.
Make sure to watch John Boehner

Monday December 13th

The Next Speaker: 60 Minutes

Friday December 10th

Congress Resources: 4 minutes per site.

THOMAS (Library of Congress- THE Nerve Center)

Politico: Best Politics!

How A Bill Becomes a Law HABBAL

The Center on Congress

The Hill (for "insiders")

Open Congress: Bill Tracker

United States House

United States Senate


"Too Representative Congress" Due Monday

Thursday December 9th

Introduction to Congress: Powerpoint


"Too Representative Congress?" : Due MONDAY

The Federal Reserve, Wha?

Time: Quick Fed
HOMEWORK:Bernanke: 60 Minutes
FED and Foreclosures


Death and Taxes

Thursday and Friday December 2&3

We spent these two days in small and large group conversation processing the information that you absorbed through your study of the Federal Budget. You also looked at the recommendations of Obama's Deficit Reduction Panel and make some judgements on the viability of the options.
The Federal Reserve Packet: Due Monday

Wednesday December 1st

Today you will continue to explore the challenges of the federal budget. Make sure you are making either mental or written notes about observations and questions and clarifications as you work your way through the process. Here is ANOTHER challenge from the NY times. This time DON'T PRINT. See me for a copy of the grid after you complete it online.

This is a resource on spending. No need to do anything with it.
Death and Taxes: Where your budget dollars go?

Do this NYTIMES simulation

The New York Times: Fix It.

Finish the Article from the Economist (see below for PDF: Here is the link)
Budget Article: Confronting the Monster

I will make a copy of this for class on Thursday.
Obama's Bipartisan Deficit Commission Plan

The Federal Reserve: Due Monday.

Tuesday November 30th

We wrapped up some Q ans A in class before you attempted to balance the federal budget using this simulation.
Budget Hero


Highlight, underline, comment upon, digest, formulate questions. DO NOT DISAPPOINT!

Monday November 29th

We finished up (finally) my lecture on The Budget Basics. I will take questions tomorrow -


Finish Social Security for tomorrow.
I will check that off, as well as Chapter 8 and 18.

Thursday November 18th

The test will be on Tuesday. So today we finished up with campaign finance BASICS.

And check this out for further information


Wednesday November 17th

I was not in school today - and those who WERE here ...worked on Chapters 8 and 18...

Monday and Tuesday November 15th and 16th

We spent time working on Federalist #`10.

Thursday November 11th

We finished watching recount, and in your NEW foursquare , you began addressing the following questions
What was your response to the content of the film? What did you learn? What questions do you have (still?) \
Had you been Katherine Harris, would you have made different decisions regarding the Recount?
Had you been on the US Supreme Court, would you have voted to stop the recounts (as they did) or would you have allowed the Florida Court Decision to stand?
What should the “standard” be for recounts (like in Alaska) Adherence to regulation or voter intent? If you were a judge in Alaska - would you affirm Miller’s lawsuit claim?
Finish Federalist #10
Please be prepared to write about Election 2000-and to evaluate the legitimacy of the election from the perspective of BOTH candidates. What were the issues and legalities?

Wednesday November 10th

You got a schedule of in-class/homework for the next three weeks. We briefly talked about the "recount" situation in Florida and continued to watch "Recount" (almost there)I collected your Electoral College assignment


Federalist #10 for Monday
Tomorrow- Be Prepared to write in class about Election 2000

Tuesday November 9th

Continue Watching "Recount"


THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE: ONE notecard (front and back) for WEDNESDAY, please.

CLEARLY Identify ONE strength and ONE weakness of the Electoral College system.
Is the system outdated? Should we move to determining the Presidency by popular vote? Or another system? Or is the E.C. overall the best possible way of choosing the Chief Executive?

Monday November 8th

Hopefully, the Electoral College and the controversy surrounding it is clear. Today we began watching "Recount" - This week you will be asked to write both about the Electoral College (see below) and, when the film is over, you will be asked to write about the 2000 vote. If you miss class - please arrange to watch the parts of the film that you missed.


For WEDNESDAY, do some exploration on the Pro's and Con's of the Electoral College using this site . It has articles and arguments that address both side of the question of the EC. I'd like you to form your own understanding and perspective on this , and I will ask you to write about it in class on Wednesday - using information that you gleaned from checking out these sources.

The Electoral College: Both Sides
Check this video out if the Electoral College still eludes you.

Friday November 5th

Electoral College Day! We explored the purposes and workings of the electoral college - here is a link to historical electoral maps for your perusal.
Electoral Maps: Historical


Political Parties Chapter for Monday

Thursday November 4th

We continued or look at the Presidential Election Process- Primaries, Caucuses and Conventions.
We will finish up tomorrow with the General Election and the Electoral College.

Chapter 9: Political Parties- For Monday.

Wednesday November 3rd

Election Debrief.

Tuesday November 2nd

We started class out by watching Jon Stewart's speech at the end of the Rally to Restore Sanity. Here it is in case you missed it.
Jon Stewart
I then STARTED my PowerPoint on the process of electing the president.This is kind of a long one. Be patient. I'll post it once I finish with it. Which could be a few days!

Watch the returns tonight beginning at 7pm

Monday November 1st

You shared your final predictions for the US Senate races in your small groups, and then spent the rest of the time responding to the following prompt:

What is the difference between reapportionment and redistricting?
Why is this process important ? Why are the issues surrounding redistricting politically relevant?
If you were a resident of California, would you support Proposition 20 or Proposition 27. WHY?

Friday October 29th: BOO!

You spent much of the class in your Foursquare- first discussing your experience with the gerrymandering site, and with the concepts of reapportionment and redistricting. I'd like you to investigate the Propositions in California dealing with this issue and be ready to write about it on Monday. Here are a couple of links.
LA Times
OR you can Listen
Radio Props 20 and 27
Or you can look them up on your own.

We then Spent lots of time exploring the provisions of Proposition 19. If you want to review the specifics you can find them here.
Prop 19

Be prepared to do your election update.Here is a helpful link.
Politico Election Analysis
Also be ready to write about the CA Propositions for redistricting.

Thursday October 28th

We'll start by watching this together

CNN Story

CBS Video: Gerrymandering

You can play the "game" here....

The Redistricting Game

Use this to find TWO districts that appear to be "gerrymandered".

Congressional District Map

Find TWO districts that look gerrymandered. You want to tell me the STATE and DISTRICT and DRAW the district within the context of the state. (This requires minimal drawing skills)

Wednesday October 27th

Today was all about reapportionment, redistricting and gerrymandering. If you missed class, you have much to catch up on! Tomorrow you will crack, pack, kidnap and hijack in a simulation to create congressional districts. Read here to catch up a bit.
Gerrymandering: The Movie Deifinitions
The Trailer
Make sure you understand the fundamental principles. Bring questions to class.
Election 2000 Due on Monday

Tuesday October 26th


In Class Part 1: You will use the laptops to make predictions about the 2010 races. I will collect them and hand them to you next Tuesday so you can take them home, watch the results and see how well you fared.... An "extra credit" grade of "A" will be given to the student in each class that makes the closest predictions in terms of winners AND margin of victory.


Finish Predictions and print out and submit

Monday October 25th

I was absent today - but you had a few minutes to catch each other up on the mid-term races, and finish your chart/graph questions.


Thursday October 21st

Today I asked you to complete a short written response that required you to SYNTHESIZE information from your readings, class notes, candidate research, and open secrets investigations. Imagine you are given THREE minutes on CNN to discuss the Mid Term elections. What would you cay? What trends or observations or insights can you make about the significance of November's vote?

After that, you worked with a partner to draw conclusions from some of the charts and graphs in your text. This is a challenging skill that you need to master- particularly for the AP exam.

Wednesday October 20th

In light of the recent conversation on the Establishment Clause and the Separation of Church and State- I took the class today to examine some of the history of the interpretation of the first clause of the first sentence of the Bill of Rights.

Here is the video where the Delaware candidates disagree over the Establishment Clause- and the Separation of Church and State. Watch the WHOLE THING in order to gain context..


Text: Chapter 10 (I will CHECK THIS IN ON MONDAY- I will not be assigning additional HW over the weekend beyond asking you to prepare to give an update on your Mid-Term Race.

Tuesday October 19th

Today, the groups should QUICKLY finish up the introduction to key mid-term races. We will spend the rest of the class looking at a great WEB resource. Please spend your time EXCLUSIVELY on this site, and jot down thoughts and PARTICULARLY questions about the information at Open Secrets. Take your time exploring. I have attached the guide below.

Open Secrets Site


Chapter 10: Elections- Due THURSDAY

Tomorrow, we will be reviewing Mid-term Election information, as well as Chapter 4 (I will check it in )
We will be doing some chart/graph interpretation - before entering in to a more detailed exploration of Elections and Voter Behavior next week.

Monday October 18th

Today we started the first of FOUR election 2010 updates that required each of you to share a little knowledge about your candidates and races. Please make sure that you are keeping up with the races during the week. Please feel free to post on the Discussion Board about the races.


Chapter 10 (Elections and Campaigns) due Thursday

Friday October 15th

AP English Field Trip.

Thursday October 14th

Today we started our exploration of the Mid-Term Elections. We took a general look at the Electoral Map- and tried to understand the overall landscape.

NYTIMES: Politics
The Washington Post Politics
Real Clear Politics
All Politics
Fact Check
Election Projection

PART ONE: Each of you was assigned either a Congressional Race, or a Governor's race on which you will become an EXPERT (I mean this!- no lazy analysis) On Monday the 18th, 25th 1st and Wednesday the 3rd- YOU will be responsible for updating your classmates on the race with a THREE minute (or so) update.
Who is Running?
Why is it so close?
What are the primary issues?
What do the polls say?
Is there any controversy?
Why is the race important?
PLEASE KNOW YOUR INFORMATION COLD. Watch the ads, check the polls. You may use notes. But don't sound like a bumbling fool. Be confident. Be secure in your understanding of the race.

PART TWO: Go to the above NYTIMES link. Choose ONE article and READ it and be ready to write on it for MONDAY.

PART THREE : If you will NOT be here tomorrow, PLEASE watch ONE of these videos over the weekend.

Wednesday October 13th

Today, I gave a quick quiz on Political Philosophy- JUST CHECKING IN to make sure that everyone is on the same page as far as understanding ideology is concerned.
We then played Ideology SPEED DATING. I asked you to partner up, share your ideology and then answer a politics related question. When the whistle blows, it is time to SWITCH partners and discuss another question.
Chapter 4 for Tomorrow.

Tuesday October 12th

We finished reviewing the chart on Issues and Political Parties.
If you missed the class- please check out somone's chart.
Chapter 4 for Thursday

Monday October 11th

Today we spent some time "de-briefing" after the Invisible Children presentation.
external image moz-screenshot.png

1. THREE things that I now KNOW.
2. What RESPONSE did the presentation elicit in me? (what struck you the most?)
3. How will I ACT?
I’ve done enough by just learning
I’ll donate money
I’ll buy something from here or the Website
I’ll participate in the Schools for Schools Team at TG
I'll "Fan" their Facebook Page

I’ll talk about this to someone who wasn’t there
I’ll pay attention via the news, The Enough Project and Resolve!
I’ll add the people of Northern Uganda to my prayers
I’ll POST A LINK or STATUS on Facebook

Also, you worked in your Foursquare on the specific issue grid - political parties.
I checked off Chapter 2.


Please finish Chapter 4 by Thursday.

Friday October 8th

In preparation for our visit by the Invisible Children Team on Monday, Here are some links to catch you up on the situation.

Invisible Children: Trailer

Who are They?

The LRA Today

Who Else is Inspired?

Learn a Bit More

The US's Role

Learn About Invisible Children


Please complete the "missing" page 2 from Chapter 1 in your text.

Thursday October 7th

We took time today to look at the Moral Matrix as postulated by Jonathan Haidt. I asked to to create TWO Pie Charts - one which showed YOUR personal moral matrix as based upon the values of FAIRNESS, HARM AND CARE, AUTHORITY, LOYALTY and PURITY. The other pie chart should represent your IDEAL government in terms of the values above. We then watched Haidt's TED Video on the topic. Here it is!

Wednesday October 6th


Tuesday October 5th

Today you took ONE MORE Ideology test in class. Hopefully, at this point you have a sense of whether you are conservative or liberal; authoritarian or libertarian. We spent the end of class trying to clarify some ambiguities. If you have questions, PLEASE FIND ME AND ASK!
Due Friday: PLEASE start before Thursday's class.

Monday October 4th

Brought the laptops into class today so that you could take some time to complete ideology tests- Where do you fall on the political spectrum?

Take a notecard and divide it into SIX sections- three on the front and three on the back.Label them as follows....

Beyond Red and Blue
The Political Compass
FOR THE NEXT QUIZ, GO TO THE WEBSITE and then click on "EXPLORE YOUR MORALS". Scroll down to find the quiz titled "Moral Foundations Questionaire" This is LEGIT research - so sign up and register - you can use your TG student email.
Your Morals
Ideology Quiz (Hard Copy I will give in class on Tuesday)

After you take each quiz, take time to comment on the result, questions you have, vocabulary you need clarified. Try to determine WHERE you fall on the political spectrum. We are not done yet. Even after ALL this.


Finish Ideology Quizzes and Notecard
Chapter 1 Due tomorrow.

Friday October 1st

In groups, you addressed questions raised by the Western MA articles. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN ADDRESSING THE PROBLEMS THAT WERE EXPLORED IN THE ARTICLES? Ultimately, that is the question that you need to be able to answer for yourself.


Chapter 1 Due Tuesday.

Wednesday September 29th

Today I asked you to examine the "Principles of Liberalism" readings. You began by writing on the BACK of yesterday's notecards responses to the liberal philosophers. After that , you continued your discussion in the 4Square. I then gathered everyone together to continue working on the chart of the philosophical differences between the two ideologies.


For Friday, please read the series of articles on Western Massachusetts. Think about the following:
What are the problems addressed?
What are the root causes of the problems?
What (if any) role should the government play in addressing these problems?
What are some possible solutions to these problems?
Where does the responsibility lie?

Tuesday September 28th

Today, I asked you to write, on a notecard, your response to the readings.

You then broke into groups to discuss the readings.
I handed out a chart for your to tape in to the notepack- and we began BRIEFLY to discuss the conservative view of human nature and the role of government.

"Principles of Liberalism": Questions

Monday September 27th

Introduction to Political Philosophy: Principles of Conservativism

OK, so there was a mix-up with the sub- The questions will be due on TUESDAY.

Friday September 24th

I was absent from class- but you should have begun reading "Principles of Conservativism" and answering questions that are due on Monday.

Principles of Conservativism

Thursday September 23rd
In your groups, you created a Cause and Effect chart addressing the COMPLEX relationships between the people, the states and the federal government as explained in the reading on the 1957 Crisis in Little Rock. The emphasis is on understanding the JURISDICTION of each actor in the crisis and the COMPLEXITY of the system of checks and balances and separation of powers and federalism.

Grades are up on Powerschool.

5th Hour: You wrote about your Constitutional insights.

You will have a chance FRIDAY during class to work on this. BE RESPONSIBLE DURING CLASS TIME, please.
I will have HARD copies of this for you in class. Use the PDF if you want to get started.

Wednesday September 22nd
UPDATE: DADT filibuster
DADT Filibuster

Today we began to wrap-up our initial look at the Constitution. I encouraged you to review your notes and assignments to see if there are any questions you would like answered before we move forward. Our final task will be to APPLY the knowledge to a problem - in this case - the Crisis in Little Rock in 1957.

PERIOD 5: We watched this quick video background, I gave you a task in your groups to either read about the FEDERAL, STATE, Or POPULAR actions in regard to this situation. Be prepared to work with this information in class on Thursday.

PERIOD 6: I asked you to write TWO ways in which your understanding of the Constitution has deepened over the course of the last two weeks. I hope to get a sense of some profound insight on your part! Tomorrow, we will start the case study. Please feel free to watch this video.

Tuesday September 21st
Today we spent some time briefly examining the DADT repeal status in the Senate , and the politics of the filibuster. We will get back to the intricacies of Congressional politics at a later date. For an update on what happened, click here.
DADT Filibuster

Find the NAME of your Representative in Congress
Create a notecard chart with FOUR columns: Federalism, Checks and Balances, Separation of Powers, Limited Government
Find TWO SPECIFIC examples from the Constitution to illustrate each principle.
Make sure to JOIN THE WIKI.

Please watch this for MONDAY.

Monday September 20th
Period 5: The Structure of the Constitution Lecture

Period 6: After reviewing Constitutional Structure, you got in your "Four Square" to find TWO examples FROM the Constitution in each of these areas -





You Might be Interested: Morning Joe: Tea Party
Finish Chapter 2 for tomorrow.

Friday September 17th


Period 5: We watched C-Span video of political figures discussing aspects of the Preamble and its application to political reality. If you are in PERIOD 5 and YOU MISSED IT. Watch here.

Preamble on C-Span

Period 6: I gave notes on the STRUCTURE of the Constitution.
1. Preamble
2. Articles (1-7 and their topics)
3. Amendments (1-10: Bill of Rights; 11-27)
You asked some GREAT questions and we addressed some difficult issues- if you have questions, email me.

Ch. 2 for Tuesday

Thursday September 16th
Today each group presented their insights into the clause of the Preamble that you discussed yesterday. After that, I asked you to , on a notecard, prioritize the Preamble based upon your personal value system.

Wednesday September 15th
Today I talked (and talked- sorry folks) about the Primary results, how primaries work, the upcoming Mid Term elections, the Tea Party movement, and the strategies of the fall campaigns. Please read the article below if you missed it!

Primaries and the Tea Party

Federalist #51 (p. A26 in appendix of textbook)
Here are the questions.

Tuesday September 14th
I handed out the Textbook Workbook. Please DO NOT LOSE IT!
Today we began our look at the Constitution with a conversation about the Preamble. You broke up into groups and each group was given a clause to discuss, dissect, interpret and analyze. On Wednesday, one representative from each group will share with the class some of your insights. BRING YOUR BOOK TO CLASS TOMORROW.

Chapter 2 in Workbook Due TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 21ST.
Please bring your book to class on WEDNESDAY.

Monday September 13th
Today we briefly discussed questions about the paper.
Below is the presentation "Thinking About Thinking" - its purpose is to make you more honest and reflective when you are discussing controversial issues. Ta
ke a look at it again!

Paper is due on TUESDAY.

Friday September 10th
We had short classes today! You took the opportunity to discuss your paper topics in small groups with other people who are approaching the same question. Ultimately, I need you to show me that you have somehow PROCESSED the information and subjects in the summer reading.
Work on the Essay.

Thursday September 9th
Today, you took the Summer Reading Objective Test and we then practiced HEALTHY discussion skills with the article "How Facts Backfire".
Make sure you CAREFULLY examine your words and behavior- so that you can become a more precise, skilled communicator!

You might find this article helpful as we head in to the election season. It addresses Obama's economic plan and the Republican response.
Obama and the Tax Cuts

Please bring to class
1. Your notecards
2. Your folder
3. Your works cited and your articles.

Wednesday September 8th

Today we moved into the "4 Square" and began to explore the characteristics and behaviors that contribute to a healthy discussion. Sometimes, we are not aware of the way that we engage with others in a public sphere. BE SELF-REFLECTIVE. Here are some reminders.

Thanks to those of you who volunteered to exhibit "bad behavior". Also, please remember that "tuning-out" and not participating at all is just as destructive to conversation as the person who hijacks.

Quiz on Summer reading tomorrow.
Paper due Tuesday.
Topic and Works cited and IDEAS in class on Friday!

Tuesday September 7th

1. Please pick up a package of 5X8 index cards and a two pocket file folder ASAP. (Friday is the deadline)
2. Please review "How Facts Backfire" for WEDNESDAY. Please be prepared to engage in a thoughtful, mutually respectful,
dialogue (NOT monologue).
3. I have replaced the "Hawaii" reading for those of you who didn't get a chance to read it.
4. The Summer Reading Objective Exam is THURSDAY. 25 Multiple Choice.
5. The paper is due NEXT Tuesday (see above)- for part of the class tomorrow you will process ideas , so READ the assignment tonight and come in with some thoughts. For FRIDAY you need to have your topic chosen and your works cited (the articles that you will use in your paper)