AP US Government and Politics Summer Assignment
Spring Mills High School – Mr. Mease – 2019-2020 School Year
This is a college level course on the United States government which covers the same material as a typical Political Science 101 course in college. The goal of the course is to prepare you for success on the AP exam in May so that you can earn college credit. This course will be taught under the expectation that you take the AP exam in May; the final exam for students in this course is a practice exam provided by the College Board. In order to prepare you adequately for the exam, you need to begin learning and working with material for this course before school starts. To achieve this goal you will be given the below two assignments to complete by the first day of school.
Overview of Assignments
- The 2000 Election – You will be provided a copy of Too Close to Call: The Thirty-Six Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election by Jeffrey Toobin. Over the summer you will read this book and write a series of short 1-2 page essays responding to prompts included later in this packet. There will be a short test on this text in the first week of school.
- Constitutional Analysis – You will need to find a copy of the full text of the U.S. Constitution to read, analyze, and summarize using the form provided in this packet. You will have a short test on the Constitution, and its amendments, the first week of school.
Assignment #1 – The 2000 Election
Directions: Read Too Close to Call: The Thirty-Six Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election by Jeffrey Toobin. The school will provide you with a copy of the text along with this assignment before you leave school. After reading the book you will write a one to two (1-2) page essay answering each of the below prompts. Some prompts will require only the book, others will require additional research. The book will be returned and essays submitted on the second day of school in August. All responses should be formal and not include use of “I”.
- Prompt 1
What factors, other than the final vote count, does Jeffrey Toobin claim led to the loss of Al Gore in Florida and the victory of George W. Bush? Use at least three pieces of evidence from the book and explain their impact on the final outcome of the election in Florida.
- Prompt 2
Who really won the Florida presidential election in 2000? Support your opinion with evidence. You MUST use at least two pieces of evidence from the book. You may use evidence from other sources to support your opinion; if you do you must cite those sources in MLA, APA, or Chicago format.
- Prompt 3
Post 2000, many electorates throughout our nation adopted electronic voting machines to prevent a similar incident from occurring again. Some of these voting machines now appear to have been compromised by foreign actors, impacting the integrity of our democratic voting process. After researching this issue further, explain what you believe the U.S. should do to ensure the itegrity of our elections going forward. Be sure to cite your sources in MLA, APA, or Chicago format.
Assignment #2 – Constitutional Analysis
Directions: Read the U.S. Constitution. There are many copies of the text available online for free. Complete the following worksheet which you will need to keep in your notebook for reference throughout the course. The Constitution is the foundation of our government and will be referenced very frequently!! This section does not need to be in complete sentences.
- The Original Constitution
Read each Article of the Constitution. Summarize the general purpose or subject of each article, and then write down the meanings of any unfamiliar terms (look them up) or bigger questions you have for discussion. This can also be a place for creative “what-if” questions as well.
Big Idea – The Main Topics
Details – Unfamiliar Terms - Questions
Follow up question for assignment #2A: Which is the longest and most detailed Article of the Constitution? Why do you think that is? Answer in the space below in complete sentences.
- Amendments to the U.S. Constitution
The U.S. Constitution has been amended, or changed, twenty-seven times throughout its history. You will read each Amendment and identify its purpose and how it changed the Constitution.
Purpose and Changes
Follow up question for assignment #2B: The Constitution includes directions for how it may be amended. In the space below, describe how the Constitution may be amended using complete sentences in paragraph form. Then, draw a diagram/graphic organizer which shows the process in a visual form.