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U.S.

Government
Mrs. Johnson
Kathryn.Johnson@mnps.org (615) 291-6600 x101
http://mrskatejohnson.blogspot.com/

Overview
Welcome to Government! As soon-to-be-adults, this class is meant to give you the tools to
become positive contributors to our society. We will try to discover why we need governmental
structure, learn about the different branches of government, determine how we individually feel
about certain issues, and establish ways we can be proactive in our government. As you know,
in democracies, the power lies in the people- if this government runs on the power you give it;
you need to know the basics about it!

Methods
In order for students to grasp the information they will need to know for this course, students
will be required to do outside reading (textbook, newspaper, and other selected works), group
and individual projects, and community service. Students will be expected to reason, observe,
listen and evaluate as well as identify bias and identify cause and effect.

Class Expectations
1. Be in class! (you learn more when you’re actually in class)
2. Be on time! (four tardies and I write you up )
3. Be prepared to learn!
Please see website for specific classroom policies.

Grading
Grades are important, they measure how much a student is improving and understanding the
material. Students will be given official grades for the following:
1. Homework
a. Homework is always due at the beginning of the period.
b. Any work turned in after class is done is considered late.
c. Late work is accepted up to two days after the assigned date for less points (1
day late = -25 points, 2 days late = -50 points)
d. Each student will have one late pass a semester (they may turn the assignment
in within two days with no point penalty)
2. Class work
a. All work assigned in class is due at the end of the period unless otherwise
stated.
b. If students do not turn the assignment in at the end of the period, the assignment
will be counted as a 0.
3. Community Service
a. Students must complete 5 hours of community service by the end of the
semester to get full credit for this assignment.
b. Students will log their hours with the signatures of any supervisor on the sheet
provided.
c. Points: 5 hours = 100, 4 hours = 90, 3 hours = 80,
2 hours = 70, 1 hour = 60
d. If students want a challenge and complete 10 hours of community service, they
will be able to drop their lowest test grade for the semester.
4. Projects
Students will be assigned one project for the semester- information to follow
5. Unit Anchors
a. For each unit of study, students will have the opportunity to choose three of
nine activities that compliment our unit.
b. Students will have the entire unit time to complete the tasks independently.
c. Students will be given some in class time to work on the tasks but will also be
expected to do some work outside of class.
6. Assessments
a. throughout the semester- some formal, other informal.
b. Students will have one large assessment for each unit as well as a final exam.
c. Seniors may qualify to be exempt for the exam. (see page 21 in planner)
Scale
Grade GPA
A 93-100 D 70-74
B 85-92 F 0-69

C 75-84
Tentative Semester Syllabus

January 5-8 Principles of Government, The Formation of Governments, & Types of Governments
Democratic Governments, Authoritarian Governments, Economic Theories, Capitalist and Mixed
January 11-15 Economies, The Colonial Period, & Uniting for Independence

January 18 MLK Holiday- No School!


The Articles of Confederation, The Constitutional Convention, & The Structure and Function of the
January 19-22 Constitution Three Branches of Government, Amending the Constitution, & The Amendments
National and State Powers, Relations Among the States, Developing Federalism, Anchor Work
January 25-29 Day, Review Day , U1 Test, U1 Anchors due, & Congressional Membership
The House of Representatives, The Senate, Congressional Committees, Constitutional Powers,
February 1-5 Investigations and Oversight, Congress and the President, How a Bill Becomes a Law
Taxing and Spending Bills, Influencing Congress, Helping Constituents & President and Vice
February 8-12 President

February 15 Inservice- No School!


Electing the President, The Cabinet, The Executive Office, Presidential Powers, & Roles of the
February 16-19 President
Styles of Leadership, Bureaucratic Organization, The Civil Service System, & The Bureaucracy at
February 22-26 Work
Powers of the Federal Courts, Lower Federal Courts, The Supreme Court, The Supreme Court at
March 1-5 Work, Shaping Public Policy, Influencing Court Decisions, Anchor Work Day
Review Day, U2-U4 Test, U2-U4 Anchors due, Constitutional Rights, Freedom of Religion, &
March 8-11 Freedom of Speech

March 12- 19 Spring Break- No School!


Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Assembly, A Nation of Immigrants, The Basis of Citizenship,
March 22-26 The Rights of the Accused, & Equal Protection of the Law
Sources of American Law, Civil Law, Criminal Law, Anchor Work Day, Review Day, U5 Test, U5
March 29-April 1 Anchors Due

April 2 Spring Holiday- No School!


Development of Political Parties, Party Organization, Nominating Candidates, Election Campaigns,
April 5-9 Expanding Voting Rights, Voting 101, & Influences on voters
Interest Group Organization, Affecting Public Policy, Shaping Public Opinion, Measuring Public
April 12-16 Opinion, How Media Impacts the Government, Outfoxed, & Regulating Print and Broadcast Media

April 19-23 Control Room, The Internet and Democracy, In-class Essay, Project Presentations
Raising Money, Preparing the Federal Budget, Managing the Economy, Social and Domestic Policy
April 26-30 Overview

May 3-7 Social and Domestic Policy Overview continued & Foreign Policy Overview

May 10-14 Healthcare, Middle East, & Current Issues

May 17-21 Study Guide work time & Senior Exams

May 20 Graduation!

May 24-27 Review & Exams

May 28 No School!