Teaching AP Government in a Shortened Semester- Week One- The Declaration, Brutus I, and Fed 10

Week 1, Days 1-4 (No school on Monday, teacher “workday” aka meetings, but we have 2 block days)


What was covered this week:

Day 1: Administrative and housekeeping items. New kids.

Day 2/3 (Block Days): Readings (Hobbes, Locke, and Jefferson) and the Analytical Reading that includes Federalist 10 and Brutus I from AP Classroom. The lecture was just from me, with no actual notes given. (1.1, 1.2, 1.3)

Hobbes and Locke were under the optional readings and illustrative examples

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Day 4: Infographic Project

In our classroom, we also use Albert.io and students had a quick 16 question multiple choice practice for the Declaration. They did well which means their US History teachers are amazing and set the foundation for me.


Outside the classroom work: Federalist vs. The Anti Federalists– 55 minutes with a Google Classroom Assignment.

After listening to the podcast, CHOOSE ONE of the following questions to respond to in an original post. Then, respond to a classmate who responded to the other question. The posts should show your application of knowledge gained in the podcast as well as in class. Your original post should be a few solid paragraphs. The response can be a few sentences but must have sustenance and add to the conversation.

1. Explain how Federalist and Anti-Federalist views on central government and democracy are reflected in US foundational documents. *This should include a link to a current article that illustrates the tension of dispersing power between state and federal government*

2. Explain how models of representative democracy are visible in major institutions, policies, events, or debates in the US. *This should include a link to a current article that illustrates how the model of representative democracy is visible*.


Successes: I’m loving Google classroom, and the way I taught the lesson on block day. It’s a hard thing to unteach myself that I don’t have to cover every single aspect of the Declaration of Independence, because, for 16 years, I taught history too. I’m trying to focus on what I am being asked to teach, instead of what I want to teach. I don’t have that luxury this semester and I am trying to focus on what I need to teach and expand from there. I know that these students took US History last year and I don’t want to repeat myself.

Another success is that my students and I were on the local news this week talking about the conflict in Iran and how students are feeling. 

Lastly, I was interviewed for the Government Gurus podcast about professional development and I’m excited for it to come out!

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Overall reflection: I ended up teaching my second block day a little different as I reflected on having students read Hobbes, Locke, the Declaration, Fed 10, and Brutus I. I split up the class for Hobbes, Locke, and the Declaration with the focus question: Why do we need government according to the author? After the class discussion on this, we partnered up and one partner took Federalist 10 while the other read Brutus I.

Next week, we will start with a quick Progress Check from MyAP to assess this week.


Days Left Until the AP Test: 60 class days


Current Mood: Hopeful.

Questions: Please see the FAQ section of the page.

About Elizabeth Schley, NBCT

AP Government and Politics teacher making the world better one person at a time while working through the 2018 redesign.

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