AP United States Government and Politics Updates and New Resources for 2019-20
To bring you and your students new classroom resources and supports, we’re making updates to AP United States Government and Politics for the 2019-20 school year.Learn More
Below is a diverse selection of supplemental materials, including lesson plans and teaching strategies, from the College Board and your AP colleagues. Look for more classroom resources in the AP Teacher Community.
From The College Board
Analytical Reading Activities
The College Board has developed a suite of analytical reading activities for AP U.S. Government and Politics teachers.
The Analytical Reading Activities were developed by a team of master teachers to help you teach the nine required documents and implement the AP U.S. Government and Politics Disciplinary Practices and Reasoning Processes into your course.
The following features make these activities valuable and flexible resources for teachers and students:
- Paired readings have students practice analyzing other primary sources, news articles, and scholarly works by political scientists.
- Before, during, and after reading exercises help students connect the text to course content.
- Guided questions appear alongside the paragraphs to help students analyze as they go, modeling proven approaches for student understanding.
- Making connections with summative exercises guide students in connecting both readings to our government today.
These activities were designed to guide students in how to properly read, analyze, and annotate a text. And with the emphasis on multiple founding documents, students gain vital practice with complex and college-level readings that political scientists use in their work.
Log into your Course Audit account to access both the student and teacher versions of the following activities:
- Analytical Reading Activity Topic 1.1: Ideals of Democracy
Required Document: excerpts from The Declaration of Independence
- Analytical Reading Activity Topic 1.3: Government Power and Individual Rights
Required Documents: excerpts from Federalist 10 & excerpts from Brutus 1
- Analytical Reading Activity Topic 1.4: Challenges of the Articles of Confederation
Required Document: excerpts from Articles of Confederation
- Analytical Reading Activity Topic 1.6: Principles of American Government
Required Document: excerpts from Federalist 51
- Analytical Reading Activity Topic 1.8: Constitutional Interpretations of Federalism
Required Document: The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
- Analytical Reading Activity Topic 2.6: The Expansion of Presidential Power
Required Document: excerpts from Federalist 70
- Analytical Reading Activity Topic 2.8: The Judicial Branch
Required Document: excerpts from Federalist 78
- Analytical Reading Activity Topic 3.10: Social Movements and Equal Protection
Required Document: excerpts from Letter from a Birmingham Jail, by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
Lessons Developed with the National Constitution Center
Federalism, the Commerce Clause, and the Tenth Amendment:
The Constitution includes language that can be interpreted as supporting a nation-centered view of federalism and other areas that one could argue support a state-centered perspective. In order to help students develop a deeper understanding of the role of federalism, this lesson module uses the National Constitution Center's Interactive Constitution, which presents diverse interpretations of constitutional language, particularly that found in the enumerated powers of Article I, Section 8 and in the Tenth Amendment. Students read and analyze these diverse interpretations and draw conclusions about how federalism has been understood and implemented over time. The Leader's Notes (.pdf/1.43MB) and Student Handbook (.pdf/891KB) are available for your use.
Social Order and Civil Liberties: Examining the Second and Fourth Amendments:
This lesson module investigates how the Second and Fourth Amendments have been understood, especially as they pertain to the desire to preserve civil rights and liberties and the need to ensure the safety and security of citizens. Using the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution site, students will study the historical roots and current understandings described by two experts in their common interpretation of each Amendment. Following this introduction, students will analyze the distinct arguments regarding each scholar’s interpretations of the amendments and how they have been applied in various situations. The Leader's Notes (.pdf/1.29MB) and Student Handbook (.pdf/873KB) are available for your use.
The Development and Application of the First Amendment:
This lesson focuses on the First Amendment, its origins, and how it has been interpreted. Using Writing Rights: The Bill of Rights, the National Constitution Center’s interactive website, students trace the origins of the First Amendment in order to deepen their understanding of the rights it protects. Students then investigate and discuss how the Supreme Court has interpreted and applied the amendment to different conflict scenarios in landmark cases. The Leader’s Notes (.pdf/1.27MB) and Student Handbook (.pdf/924KB) are available for your use.
Special Focus Materials
Note: These Special Focus Materials do not reflect the 2018-19 redesign.