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    From 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 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:

    1. Analytical Reading Activity Topic 1.1: Ideals of Democracy
      Required Document: excerpts from The Declaration of Independence
    2. Analytical Reading Activity Topic 1.3: Government Power and Individual Rights
      Required Documents: excerpts from Federalist 10 & excerpts from Brutus 1
    3. Analytical Reading Activity Topic 1.4: Challenges of the Articles of Confederation
      Required Document: excerpts from Articles of Confederation
    4. Analytical Reading Activity Topic 1.6: Principles of American Government
      Required Document: excerpts from Federalist 51
    5. Analytical Reading Activity Topic 1.8: Constitutional Interpretations of Federalism
      Required Document: The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
    6. Analytical Reading Activity Topic 2.6: The Expansion of Presidential Power
      Required Document: excerpts from Federalist 70
    7. Analytical Reading Activity Topic 2.8: The Judicial Branch
      Required Document: excerpts from Federalist 78
    8. 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

    More Activities

    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. Additional free resources from DoSomething.org are available through the links within the project guides.

    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.