• American Studies, 2019-2020, Mrs. Morrow

                                 405-735-4800          Conference:  3rdHour            10:26-11:24

     “If you expect a nation that is free and ignorant, you expect something that never has been nor ever will be.”  Thomas Jefferson

     “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” J. Madison                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

    Course Description:

         As an introductory, survey course on various United States government topics, this course includes study of the origin and development of the U.S. Constitution; the structure and powers of the national government, including the legislative, executive, and judicial branches; federalism; political participation; the national election process; public policy; and civil liberties and civil rights. Through this course, students will prepare for contemporary challenges by developing and demonstrating the following core objectives: critical thinking skills, communication skills, social responsibility, and personal responsibility.

    • Critical Thinking Skills: to include creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information.
    • Communication Skills: to include effective development, interpretation and expression of ideas through written, oral and visual communication.
    • Personal Responsibility: to include the ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making.
    • Social Responsibility: to include intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage effectively in regional,national, and global communities.


    Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: 

    1. Explain the origin and development of constitutional democracy in the United States.
    2. Demonstrate knowledge of the federal system.
    3. Describe separation of powers and checks and balances in both theory and practice.
    4. Demonstrate knowledge of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government.
    5. Evaluate the role of public opinion, interest groups, and political parties in the political system.
    6. Analyze the election process.
    7. Describe the rights and responsibilities of citizens
    8. Analyze issues and policies in U.S. politics.

    Classroom Setting:

    In this classroom everyone has the opportunity to learn and is part of the process.  Respecting the process is reflected in how we conduct ourselves as a community (classroom) of active learners, listening to each other, respecting-although we might not agree with each other, no put downs, supporting the collaborative process of learning and articulating what we learn or reflect upon.  Reading, doing the assignments, being an active learner and building each other up are reflective of respecting the learning process.

     The classroom is a microcosm of the world.  If we want a better world, it begins with each of us with our manners, our treatment of each other, here and now, our respect for learning and each other, as well as ourselves. 


    Students are expected to:

           BE PRESENT!!  Attendance is very important.

           Be in their seat when the bell rings-not dashing over classmates to get there.

           Be ready with pen, paper, and materials assigned for the class that day.

           IF YOUR cell phone is out, it should be turned off, and turned over in the top left front of your space.  The first infraction is detention, second is office. 

          Raise your hand to speak, or use the sign.  Do not get out of your seat randomly. 

         No Food or drinks (exception water)in classroom.

         Do not line up at the end of class.  This is a safety issue.  Teachers dismiss classes, not bells. 

          Letme know if you have any comments or questions. Communicatewith me. Let me know when you need something.  I will work with you.  I believe in you and what you can accomplish.

           Keep a Notebook and have writing materials. Notebooks will be graded. Keep up with materials given for notebooks.  Follow guidelines for notebooks.  EASY GRADE!

    Let me know if you have questions, communicate with me.  Learn from each other, the materials presented.  Learning begins with you.

    Youare the catalystin the process of learning!    

      Consequences to learning distractions

    1. Teacher will give a verbal warning, which may result in an email and/or call toguardian, counselor, or/and administrator in reference to the need of a warning.
    2. Written detention slipfor before, after school, or lunch, and guardian, administrator, and counselor will be informed of misbehavior.
    3. Officefor further direction of future; all parties impacted will be contacted.

     No one has the right to interfere in another classmates learning experience.  If there is an issue, it will be handled immediately.   We will visit, then follow up from there with whomever we need to visit with.

    Grades and Assessments

    Your grade is based on your total earned points divided by the total possible points at any given time according to the percentage of the individual areas of assessment.  Exams are worth more points and binders with notes are worth 1 test grade.  Example: Exams-usually 100 points, Quizzes/Daily Work-10 points and up, projects etc.

     Exams- 40%

    Quizzes/Daily Work/projects-45%

    Semester Exam-15%

     DistrictGrading Scale

    90 -      100    -   A
    80 -        89    -   B
    70 -        79    -   C
    60 -        69    -   D
    59 -                 -  F 

    Late Work—I believe you should complete your work, every assignment is given for a reason and is foundational to learning.

    Plagiarism and Cheating

    Do your own workor you will receive a zero on assignment.  Students are expected to exhibit honesty and integrity in their work submitted, both in the testing format and the written, research and analysis assignments.  Cheating and plagiarism or aiding another studentin cheating can result in severe penalties. No watches or other digital devices are to be used during exams.

     Course Outline

    Students are expected to READ each chapterand additional readings that support what we are studying.  Textbook:  Magruder’s American Government. There will be many controversial cases and topics in the course of studying American government and issues.  We will agree and disagree.  It is essential that we respect the right of each individual to have thoughts and express them without retaliation.  Fanatics do not allow questions or free thought, we will. Jefferson said that you do not know what you believe until you have argued both sides of an argument.  Sometimes I will argue the opposite of what I believe to provoke thought, not controversy, thought. 

     Federal Government Course Outline for Magruder’s American Government Textbook

     Unit 1-Foundations of American Government

    Chapter 1: Forms of Government/Who governs and to what ends?

                    American Political Culture-Citizenship

    Chapter 2: American Beginnings-Origins of American Government

    Chapter 3:  The Constitution:  Anti-Federalist, Federalist, and Constitution

    Chapter 4: Federalism

     Unit 2: Civil Rights, Liberties, and the Judiciary Process:

                 Bill of Rights and Supreme Court

    Chapter 19, 20: Civil Liberties

    Chapter 21: Civil Rights

    Chapter 18: Judiciary

     Unit 3:  Democratic Politics/Public Deliberation

    Chapter 6:  Public Opinion/Political Participation

    Chapter 9:  Interest Groups (Pigs)

    Chapter 5:  Political Parties

    Chapter 7:  Elections and Campaigns

    Chapter 8:  Mass Media

    Unit 4:  Governing Institutions

    Chapter 10,11,12: Congress

    Chapter 13,14:  The Presidency

    Chapter 15: Bureaucracy/Administrative State

    Reference Chapters: 

    Chapter 16:  Social Policy and the Welfare State-Domestic Policy(Congress)

    Chapter 17:  National Security and Foreign Policy-Presidency-War Powers Resolution

    Unit 5-Global, State, and Local Politics

    Chapter 22:  Comparative Political Systems

    Chapter 23:  Comparative Economic Systems

    Chapter 24:  State and Local Government