AP resources are designed to support all students and teachers—with daily instruction, practice, and feedback to help cover and connect content and skills—in any learning environment.
AP Course Pacing Guide: January–April 2021
Download Guide (.pdf/160.35 KB)
The new course pacing guide, designed for classrooms that have only completed approximately 25% of typical course content by January, can help students develop their knowledge and skills by May. This guide can help you assign the AP Daily videos and topic questions necessary for student-led learning each week, using the reports generated by these topic questions to focus your limited, direct class time on the areas where students need more help. The guide shows how students can make up the pace by completing approximately 30 minutes of AP Daily videos and topic questions per night, in lieu of or in addition to teacher-led learning and other class assignments.
If your students are ahead of this pace, you’ll be able to incorporate additional days or weeks to spend more time on challenging topics, practice course skills, or begin reviewing for the exam.
Watch how you can use these pacing guides in this short video.
Sign in to AP Classroom to access AP Daily.
- Made for any learning environment, AP teachers can assign these short videos on every topic and skill as homework alongside topic questions, warm-ups, lectures, reviews, and more.
- AP students can also access videos on their own for additional support.
- Videos for units 1–5 are available now in AP Classroom, on your homepage under the unit tabs.
AP Daily Release Dates for U.S. Government and Politics: 5 Units
September 1, 2020
September 28, 2020
October 8, 2020
October 22, 2020
November 10, 2020
AP Daily Instructors
Expert AP teachers across the country can support your course virtually:
- Lead teacher: Jenifer Hitchcock, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Va.
- Michelle Briscoe-Greene, Suncoast Community High School, Riviera Beach, Fla.
- Janette Sierra, Pinecrest Preparatory Middle-High School, Miami, Fla.
- Sam Biglari, The Galloway School, Atlanta, Ga.
- Ashley Vascik, Boonsboro High School, Boonsboro, Md.
Higher Education Faculty Lecturers
Supplement your instruction with 30-minute videos on each unit hosted by college or university professors. Guest lecturers include:
- Howard Ernst, United States Naval Academy
- Eric McDaniel, University of Texas at Austin
- Stephen Meinhold, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
- D'Andra Orey, Jackson State University
Sign in to AP Classroom and explore these resources:
- AP Daily videos are short, searchable instructional segments you can:
- Assign to students before or after class to maximize time for discussion.
- Assign alongside topic questions to address misunderstandings.
- Encourage students to take advantage of on their own, on mobile devices or computers.
- Track to see which students are watching each video in each class.
- Topic questions are formative questions to check student understanding as you teach. Assign topic questions to reveal student misunderstandings and target your lessons.
- Progress checks help you gauge student knowledge and skills for each unit through:
- multiple-choice questions with rationales explaining correct and incorrect answers, and
- free-response questions with scoring guides to help you evaluate student work.
- The progress dashboard highlights progress for every student and class across AP units.
- The question bank is a searchable database of real AP questions. You can:
- find topic questions and practice exam questions, indexed by content and skills.
- search for any question, passage, or stimulus by text or keyword.
- create custom quizzes that can be assigned online or on paper.
- Share real-time strategies, ask questions, and collaborate with teachers worldwide.
- Search, add, and rate teacher resources with your peers in the resource library.
- Daily or weekly digests help you keep up with your community, wherever you are. Select all discussions or just the topics and discussion threads you choose to follow. You can also reply to discussion posts through email.
Additional Resources for AP U.S. Government and Politics
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 in to AP Course Audit and navigate to the Secure Documents section under the Resources menu 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
AP U.S. Government and Politics teachers will be notified when the skill development activities for data analysis, argumentation, and SCOTUS case analysis are available.
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.
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.
Resources from Civic Knowledge and Action Project
The Civic Knowledge and Action Project is a collaboration of College Board and DoSomething.org, a nonpartisan nonprofit focused on youth-led volunteering initiatives, to develop opportunities for students to make a difference in their local communities. Through this project, we’ve created optional classroom materials to make it simple for AP U.S. Government and Politics teachers to help students participate in the real-world application of their course content.
Below you’ll find an applied civics lesson plan and related handouts as well as two project guides that align with the content and skills listed in the AP U.S. Government and Politics Course and Exam Description. Visit the Civic Knowledge and Action Project page to help your students run online voter registration drives.
Civic Knowledge & Action in AP U.S. Government & Politics: Teacher ResourceThis teacher resource offers a lesson plan and related student handouts. In this lesson, students examine data (Practice 3: Data Analysis) related to registration and voting.
Civic Knowledge & Action in AP U.S. Government & Politics: Student HandoutsThese student handouts go with the lesson plan on registration and voting.
Civic Knowledge & Action Project: Voter Registration DriveThis guide outlines an optional applied civics project—running a voter registration drive—that AP U.S. Government and Politics students can choose to complete as the course project requirement.
Civic Knowledge & Action Project: Census Participation Campaign
This guide outlines an optional applied civics project—running a census participation campaign—that AP U.S. Government and Politics students can choose to complete as the course project requirement.
Special Focus Materials
Note: These special focus materials were developed before the 2018-19 redesign, but they still provide relevant information about teaching AP U.S. Government and Politics.