Honors American Government 22-23 Syllabus

Honors American Government

Course Name: Honors American Government

Term of Course: Semester

Unit Value: 5 units

Weighted Grading: Yes, on a 4 point scale

Grades: 12th grade students

Prerequisites: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will provide students with an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. The course is both a study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and an analysis of specific examples. Students will understand the workings of various groups, institutions, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. politics. This is an honors course which means that students should expect rigorous reading assignments and assessments. Students must be aware that due to the extensive content that must be covered in this class not all unit material will be discussed in class. Students must read the chapters at length and are responsible for their content.



Primary Materials:

Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy

Supplemental Materials: Various excerpted topical sources


Curriculum and Learning Experiences By Course Unit


Unit 1: Foundations of American Democracy

● Common Core Writing Standards:

Text Type and Purposes

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and

information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Production and Distribution of Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are

appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.9

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. ● Common Core Social Science Standards:

Key Ideas and Details:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.

Craft and Structure:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.7

Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Unit Essential Question: How did ideas throughout history and tension with England coalesce into the founding ideas that formed the basis of the modern American government?

Topics: The Enlightenment, the Great Awakening, Colonial Era, American Revolution, Constitutional Convention, Federalism

Primary Sources: Declaration of Independence (1776), The Constitution (1789), The Federalist Papers, Mayflower Compact, The Leviathan, Two Treatises of Government,

Possible Assessments: quizzes, tests, writing prompts, primary source analysis,

Skills: Distinguish between primary and secondary sources.

● Identify characteristics of different types of primary and secondary source.

● Analyze primary and secondary sources.

● Gather evidence from primary and secondary sources to learn about a time period, events, person, etc.

● Identify examples of plagiarism and practice summarizing, paraphrasing and quotation strategies.

● Compare and contrast helpful vs. suspect resources.

● Properly cite sources.

● Define and utilize content specific vocabulary related to historical resources.

● Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the different schools of historical study and historiography

Unit 2 : Political Participation and Policy Making: Ideology, Socialization, Media and Communications

● Common Core Writing Standards:

Text Type and Purposes

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and

information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Production and Distribution of Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are

appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.9

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. ● California History Standard:

11.1 Students analyze the significant events in the founding of the nation and its attempts to realize the philosophy of government described in the Declaration of Independence

Common Core Social Science Standards:

Key Ideas and Details

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.

Craft and Structure

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.5

Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences,

paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.8

Evaluate an author's premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.

Essential Question: How do people form their political ideologies and how does that transform into policy making?

Topics: Political Socialization, Media Analysis, Policy Making Cycle, Political Spectrum

Primary Sources: Political Compass, Excerpts from news media: Tucker Carlson Show, Daily Show, etc, current event articles, US v. New York Times

Possible Unit Assessments: quizzes, test, writing prompts, primary source analysis, read-write-think summative project

Skills: Analyze primary and secondary sources.

● Use good reader strategies to interpret and analyze historical text.

● Identify and analyze the creation stories of indigenous people in the Americas

● Compare and contrast the the social, political and economic tenets of indigenous societies to that of European societies ● Explain reasons and motivations for New World exploration and eventual colonial settlement

● Evaluate the effectiveness and outcomes for early European colonial settlements

● Analyze the the interactions between the indigenous people and the colonists of early america

● Define and utilize content specific vocabulary related to the exploration, colonialism and indigenous cultures


Unit 3: Political Organizations and Elections

● Common Core Writing Standards:

Text Type and Purposes

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Production and Distribution of Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.9

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. ● California History Standards:

11.1 Students analyze the significant events in the founding of the nation and its attempts to realize the philosophy of government described in the Declaration of Independence

11.3 Students analyze the role religion played in the founding of America, its lasting moral, social, and political impacts, and issues regarding religious liberty

● Common Core Social Science Standards:

Key Ideas and Details:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.

Craft and Structure:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.8

Evaluate an author's premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.

Essential Question: How do people organize themselves into functional political organizations and how do they affect and/or run the electoral system?

Topics: Interest Groups, Political Parties, Electoral College, Presidential Primaries, Local Elections

Primary Sources and resources: Citizens United v. FEC, Federalist 10, Washington’s Farewell Speech, Forward Party, Republican and Democratic Party Platforms, OpenSecrets.org

Possible Unit Assessments: quizzes, test, writing prompts, primary source analysis, read-write-think summative project

Skills: Analyze primary and secondary sources.

● Use good reader strategies to interpret and analyze historical text.

● Identify and analyze the motivations of the colonists to revolt against England

● Compare and contrast the grievances of the colonists to that of the English government

● Explain the main changes to American society, culture, and politics during the revolutionary period

● Evaluate the effectiveness of colonists differing forms of protest and resistance

● Analyze the key tenets of American democracy and Identify how they emerge as dominant strands within the outcomes of the revolution

● Define and utilize content specific vocabulary related to the American Revolution, colonial settlement, political, economic and social structures of the revolutionary period

Unit 4: Legislative Branch

● Common Core Writing Standards:

Text Type and Purposes

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Production and Distribution of Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.9

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. ● California History Standards:

11.1 Students analyze the significant events in the founding of the nation and its attempts to realize the philosophy of government described in the Declaration of Independence

11.3 Students analyze the role religion played in the founding of America, its lasting moral, social, and political impacts, and issues regarding religious liberty

● Common Core Social Science Standards:

Key Ideas and Details:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.

Craft and Structure:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.8

Evaluate an author's premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.

Essential Question: What is the purpose of the legislative branch? Who are the Congressional Members of the Legislative Branch? To what extent has the legislative branch been effective in their purpose?

Topics: Differences between the Senate and Congress, Bill Making Process, Congressional Caucuses, Powers of Congress

Primary Sources: Federalist Papers, National Archive, Federal Registry

Possible Unit Assessments: quizzes, test, writing prompts, primary source analysis, bill simulation

Skills: Analyze primary and secondary sources.

● Use good reader strategies to interpret and analyze historical text.

● Identify and analyze the motivations of the colonists to revolt against England

● Compare and contrast the grievances of the colonists to that of the English government

● Explain the main changes to American society, culture, and politics during the revolutionary period

● Evaluate the effectiveness of colonists differing forms of protest and resistance

● Analyze the key tenets of American democracy and Identify how they emerge as dominant strands within the outcomes of the revolution

● Define and utilize content specific vocabulary related to the American Revolution, colonial settlement, political, economic and social structures of the revolutionary period

Unit 5: Executive Branch

● Common Core Writing Standards:

Text Type and Purposes

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and

information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Production and Distribution of Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are

appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.9

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. ● California History Standards:

11.2 Industry, Rural to urban migration and immigration from South and Eastern Europe

● Common Core Social Science Standards:

Key Ideas and Details

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.

Craft and Structure

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.5

Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.8

Evaluate an author's premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.

Essential Question: How has the power of the Executive Branch evolved overtime?

Topics: Federal Bureaucracy, Roles and Powers of the President, Executive Office of the President, informal powers of the President

Primary Sources: Constitution, Federalist Papers, Nixon v. United States

Possible Unit Assessments: quizzes, tests, writing prompts, primary source analysis, research-based persuasive essay, immigration storyboard, entrepreneur historical figure biographies, Progressive reform informative essay Skills: Analyze primary and secondary sources.

● Use good reader strategies to interpret and analyze historical text.

● Identify and analyze the impact of technological development on American industry.

● Assess the impact of immigration on the growth and development of the U.S.

● Define and utilize content specific vocabulary related to industrialization, urbanization, and immigration. ● Identify and analyze the impact of technology and innovation on western settlement and industrial development. ● Explain how and why westward expansion led to conflict.

● Analyze the impact of westward expansion on the growth and development of the U.S.

● Define and utilize content specific vocabulary related to western growth and development.

● Identify and analyze the changes to American society, culture and politics as a result of the Progressive movement. ● Assess the impact of the progressive movement on the growth and development of the U.S.

● Define and utilize content specific vocabulary related to the Progressive era.

Unit 6: Civil Rights

● Common Core Writing Standards:

Text Type and Purposes

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and

information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Production and Distribution of Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are

appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.9

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. ● California History Standards:

11.2 Industry, Rural to urban migration and immigration from South and Eastern Europe

● Common Core Social Science Standards:

Key Ideas and Details

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.

Craft and Structure

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.5

Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.8

Evaluate an author's premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.

Essential Question: How is the concept of Civil Rights continuing to be shifted in American Society?

Topics: Slavery, Jim Crow, Civil Rights Movement, Modern Civil Rights Conflicts

Primary Sources: Black Codes, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), Gettysburg Address (1863) Emancipation Proclamation (1863) Homestead Act, Jim Crow Laws, Letter From a Birmingham Jail

Possible Unit Assessments: quizzes, tests, writing prompts, primary source analysis, research-based persuasive essay, immigration storyboard, entrepreneur historical figure biographies, Progressive reform informative essay Skills: Analyze primary and secondary sources.

● Use good reader strategies to interpret and analyze historical text.

● Identify and analyze the impact of technological development on American industry.

● Assess the impact of immigration on the growth and development of the U.S.

● Define and utilize content specific vocabulary related to industrialization, urbanization, and immigration. ● Identify and analyze the impact of technology and innovation on western settlement and industrial development. ● Explain how and why westward expansion led to conflict.

● Analyze the impact of westward expansion on the growth and development of the U.S.

● Define and utilize content specific vocabulary related to western growth and development.

● Identify and analyze the changes to American society, culture and politics as a result of the Progressive movement. ● Assess the impact of the progressive movement on the growth and development of the U.S.

● Define and utilize content specific vocabulary related to the Progressive era.


Unit 7: Judicial Branch

● Common Core Writing Standards:

Text Type and Purposes

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and

information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Production and Distribution of Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are

appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.9

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. ● California History Standards:

11.2 Industry, Rural to urban migration and immigration from South and Eastern Europe

● Common Core Social Science Standards:

Key Ideas and Details

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.

Craft and Structure

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.5

Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.8

Evaluate an author's premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.

Essential Question: How has the Judiciary continue to affect the live of Americans?

Topics: Judicial Restraint, Judicial Activism, Warren Court, Marshall Court, Roberts Court, Landmark Court Cases

Primary Sources: 10 Cases Every Teen Should Know, Federalist Papers, Various Landmark Court Cases

Possible Unit Assessments: quizzes, tests, writing prompts, primary source analysis, research-based persuasive essay, immigration storyboard, entrepreneur historical figure biographies, Case Simulation Skills: Analyze primary and secondary sources.

● Use good reader strategies to interpret and analyze historical text.

● Identify and analyze the impact of technological development on American industry.

● Assess the impact of immigration on the growth and development of the U.S.

● Define and utilize content specific vocabulary related to industrialization, urbanization, and immigration. ● Identify and analyze the impact of technology and innovation on western settlement and industrial development. ● Explain how and why westward expansion led to conflict.

● Analyze the impact of westward expansion on the growth and development of the U.S.

● Define and utilize content specific vocabulary related to western growth and development.

● Identify and analyze the changes to American society, culture and politics as a result of the Progressive movement. ● Assess the impact of the progressive movement on the growth and development of the U.S.

● Define and utilize content specific vocabulary related to the Progressive era.