US Government Syllabus
This course is an analytical presentation of the government and politics in the United States. It includes the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics with analyses of specific examples. Students are introduced to the various institutions, groups, beliefs and ideas that comprise the U.S. political scene.
This course is designed to enable the student to gain and display an understanding of United States government and politics and the processes of government that shape public policy. It will provide an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States, and will enable the student to become familiar with the various institutions of government and the groups, beliefs and ideas that constitute the U.S. political system. The study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics will be supplemented by frequent analysis of specific examples. It is offered in a one-semester format during the fall, winter, and summer terms.
This is a 1 semester course consisting of 8 units. Upon successful completion students will receive 0.5 credit towards high school graduation.
- Principles of Government
- Origins of American Government/Creating the Constitution
- The Constitution/Federalism
- Civil Liberties/Civil Rights
- The Judiciary
- The Legislative Branch
- The Executive Branch
- The Government Pot Luck
Required Course Materials
Please access the list of course materials from the OC Online book ordering system and order your materials as soon as possible. Oftentimes, course materials are on back order and you may experience a delay in receiving them, causing students to fall behind in their online coursework. When ordering used or rented materials, be careful that online access codes are also current.
Methods of Instruction/ Evaluation
Throughout the course, students will be assessed using the following methods. The percentage is the total percentage that each category will count towards the student’s final grade in the course.
- Tests (15%)
Unit tests will be given at the end of every unit. Generally, there will be two sections to each exam. The first section will consist of multiple-choice questions specifically covering the assigned reading. The second section will consist of a Free Response Question(s) (FRQ) that will cover the major themes from the unit.
- Assignments (40%)
Assignments includes weekly synchronous live sessions, ThinkFast! Activities, Discussion board posts, and other projects. You are expected to be present for each synchronous discussion. They are designed to review for the exam and dive deeper into the topics covered in that unit. If you cannot make it, you must email the instructor prior to the date of the discussion with the reason for your absence. A make-up assignment will be given in place of the synchronous discussion. Please try and make it- it is an opportunity for you to converse with your peers regarding the modern events/ ideas that are relevant to the unit. You will be expected to regularly contribute to discussion board research activities. Each activity will ask you to research a topic on your own and collaborate/ converse with your peers regarding your findings. You will consistently be asked to complete ThinkFast! Activities throughout the course. They are designed to encourage you to dive deeper into thought for the covered material and to hold you accountable for going through the class content.
- Quizzes (10%)
Quizzes will be given periodically to assess student comprehension. They are designed as learning checkpoints throughout each unit and the course. They will not always be given in a traditional format; worksheets and/ or outside work will occasionally count as a quiz grade.
- Participation (10%)
You will complete a participation document at the end of every unit that assesses your engagement with peers in the class, your instructor, and the course material. Attendance at synchronous sessions or completion of notes or an assignment for missed live sessions is evaluated in this assignment. Additionally, your contribution to discussion board posts and interaction with your teacher is evaluated.
- Final Exam (25%)
At the end of the term, each student will take a comprehensive final exam.