Friday, January 13, 2017

Month 5 week 3: Final Review of Key Terms: Due 1/18

Final Review of Key Terms

Finals are on Tuesday 1/17/17. 
Directions: Please find below key terms to review for the final. Look up the key term in your text book, read, define and study for the final. Post the definition to 5 key terms. Respond to the atleast 2. The due date for this assignment is 1/18 but get this post completed sooner as in before the final to help each other out. 

  • Constitution
  • Founding Fathers/Framers
  • sovereignty of government
  • seperation of powers
  • limited government
  • judicial review
  • concurrent powers
  • expressed powers of national government
  • the formal amendment process
  • the purpose and start of the political parties
  • the role of a national convention
  • compare the nomination process verses the formal election
  • note the trend in suffrage rights over the course of history
  • public policies
  • comparison of public opinion verses political poles
  • comparison of interest groups verses lobby groups
  • note the length of terms for the 3 branches of government. 
  • note some of the differences allocated in the constitution to determine the number of senate members, congress members and Supreme Justices
  • Congressional meeting
  • Session 
  • the process to impeach the President
  • Necessary and Proper Clauses
  • foreign relations power
  • House Rules Committee
  • the process of a bill becoming law
  • Presidential Succession Act of 1947
  • electoral vote and the body of electors
  • ordinance power verses to executive power 
  • Executive Office Agencies
  • the process of the appointment of Federal Judges
  • the role of the Supreme Court

Monday, January 9, 2017


Snack and Studies 1/12

Attention Seniors:
WHAT: Snack and Study Session
WHERE: Parkview Room 704
WHEN: This Thursday, JAN. 12TH
TIME: 5:30-8:30



Friday, January 6, 2017

Month 5 week 1 and 2: Current Events due 1/11/2017

Current Events 

Obtain an article from a reputable news source ( O.C. Register, LA Times,,, that deals with a government-related event on either the federal, state, or local level. Some possible topics might be: ballot initiatives, judicial cases, legislation under consideration, world affairs, campaigns and candidates, etc.

Use good judgement in your selection. The article subject may be different from what I suggested as long as you can justify how your article relates to government. 

After you select an article, you must summarize the story in the following format in at least on full paragraph.

  • Title of Article                                            
  • Source, Date,Section and Page
  • Aspect of Democracy to which the article is related
  • Summary of article-
  • What is it about: How does it pertain to Democracy? Finally, what is your opinion on the article?

Please post on 1 other student's post...Thank you and have a great week! Mrs. Bernstein

Monday, November 28, 2016

Month 4 Week 3: Due by 12/14 Ch 13 The Presidency

Chapter 13 – The Presidency

Directions: Familiarize yourself with the information in your textbook, chapter 13 sections 1-4. Be sure to fill in your study guide for chapter 13 sections 1-4. Remember you can turn in your completed study guide the day of the final for points. Answer the following questions and post your answers on the discussion board

Section 1
Identify the 7 roles of the President. go to the following website to interact with the 7 Hats the President must wear while in office.

1. What are the 7 roles of the President? Describe each of the 7 roles in your own words. You may use pictures to help explain the 7 roles and to add visual interest to the discussion. 

2. What are the qualifications to become President and how long is the President's term?

Biden 2013.jpg  
 3. Explain how the Constitution provides for presidential succession.
 4. Who does the Presidential Succession Act of  1947 act provide as a line of presidential successors?

5. What is the role of the Vice-President?

Joe Biden

since January 20, 2009
Office of the Vice President
StyleMr. Vice President
The Honorable
Mr. President
(When presiding over Senate)
His Excellency
(Diplomatic, outside the U.S.)
Member ofCabinet
National Security Council
ResidenceNumber One Observatory Circle
SeatWashington, D.C., U.S.
AppointerElectoral College
Term lengthFour years
Constituting instrumentU. S. Constitution
FormationMarch 4, 1789
First holderJohn Adams
(April 21, 1789)
SuccessionFirst in the Presidential Line of Succession
Salary$230,700 Annually

Month 4 Week 2: due by 12/7-How a Bill Becomes a Law

Chapter 12 – Congress in Action
How a Bill Becomes A Law
Directions: Please refer to your textbook chapter 12 sections 3 and 4, and view the website How a Bill becomes a law
Then answer the following questions. Note the following questions are taken from the Government Final study guide that is posted on the discussion board. 
1.Identify the types of bills and resolutions that can be introduced.
2.Explain what happens to a bill once it is referred to a committee.
3.Explain how House leaders schedule debate on a bill.
4. Explain happens to a bill on the House floor, and what is the final step in the passage of a bill in the House.
5.Explain how a bill is introduced in the Senate.
6.Compare the Senate’s rules for debate with those in the House.

  This government video will help you answer #6:

Month 4 Week 1: Due by 11/30-Bill of Rights

The Five Freedoms

Blogging the Bill of Rights

Directions: Imagine that you lived during the writing of the Bill of Rights. Even though it is 1789, you have access to modern technology, and therefore you have a computer and Internet access. You have decided to start a blog to get people thinking and talking about a bill of rights — and especially to
get your point of view heard.

Your job is to design a "hypothetical" Web page template and write the first entry of your blog. You don’t want your readers to get bored, so make sure your Web page looks appealing and user-friendly. You should also keep your entry short, no more than two paragraphs.

Post the following on our discussion board describing the following details about your "hypothetical web page"
1.A title.
2. A specific URL (for example,
3. A symbol or image, which you will explain.
4. A two-paragraph entry explaining your point of view on how freedom is maintained in our democracy and the importance of: protection for free religion, speech, press, assembly and petition in the form of a bill of rights.
5. Post a repsonse to a classmate's post.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Month 3 Week 4: Study Guide initial post due by 11/16

Gearing Up For Your Government Final:

Save the date for midterms/final 
The early bird gets the worm....begin preparing for you government final today!

Directions: Please find below your Government Study Guide. Print the study guide and begin filling completing the guide as you read through your future Government assignments.  A completed study guide with handwritten answers can be turned in the day of your final in order to earn extra credit on the final. For this week's post, answer the following questions taken directly from your study guide. Post by Wed. 11/16 and comment on a classmate's post by Friday 11/18.


Chapter 13 - the President

  1. Explain the original provisions for choosing the President.
  2. Identify ways the presidential election process change as a result of 1800.
  3. Describe the role of conventions in the presidential nominating process.
  4. Explain the role of presidential primaries.
  5. Explain the role of the caucus-convention process.
  6. In your opinion, what are the flaws in the electoral college.

Final Exam Study Guide

* You may use one 81/2 X 11 page of handwritten notes on your final
* Turn in the completed study guide and online chapter quizzes before the midterm to earn 10 extra credit points.
* Note posts on the discussion board are designed to focus on some of the key concepts covered on the final.

Government Study Guide
Chapter 1 – Principles of Government
Section 1
Define government and the basic powers every government holds.
Identify the four defining characteristics of the state.
Section 2
Explain the difference between democracy and dictatorship.
Explain the difference between a unitary, federal, and confederate government.
Explain the difference between a presidential and parliamentary government.
Section 3
Identify and explain the five basic concepts of democracy.

Chapter 2 - Origins of American Government
Section 1
Identify the three basic ideas of government that influenced government in the English colonies.
Explain the significance of the following landmark English documents: the Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, the English Bill of Rights.
Section 2
Explain the essential ideas in the Declaration of Independence.
Summarize the common features of the first State constitutions.
Section 3
Describe the structure of the government set up under the Articles of Confederation.
Explain the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.
Section 4
Compare and contrast the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan for a new constitution.
Summarize the major compromises that the delegates agreed to make and the effects of those compromises.
Section 4
Explain the Federalists and Anti-Federalists positions on the Constitution.

Chapter 3 – The Constitution
Section 1
Identify the important elements of the Constitution.
Explain the six basic principles of the Constitution.
Section 2
Identify the four different ways by which the Constitution may be formally changed.
Explain the purpose of the Bill of Rights.
Section 3
Explain how the Constitution has been changed by legislation, executive action, and court decisions.

Chapter 4 – Federalism
Section 1
Define federalism and explain why the Framers of the Constitution chose this system of government.
Identify powers delegated to and denied to the National Government.
Identify powers reserved for and denied to the States.
Explain exclusive and concurrent powers.
Section 2
Identify three obligations that the Constitution places on the National Government for the benefit of the States.
Section 3
Explain why States make interstate compacts.

Chapter 5 – Political Parties
Section 1
Define a political party.
Describe the major functions of political parties.
Section 2
Explain why the United States has a two-party system.
Section 3
Explain the origins of political parties in the United States.
Section 4
Identify the types of minor parties that have been active in American politics.
Explain the importance of minor parties.
Section 5
Identify the main elements of major party organization at the national level.

Chapter 6 – Voters and Voter Behavior
Section 1
Summarize the history of voting rights in the United States.
Explain the constitutional restrictions on the States’ power to set voting qualifications.
Section 2
Identify the universal requirements for voting in the United States.
Section 3
Describe the 15th amendment and the tactics that were used to circumvent it in an effort to deny African Americans the vote.
Explain the major civil rights laws enacted since 1950.
Section 4
Identify people who do not vote.
Explain factors that influence voting behavior.

Chapter 7 – The Electoral Process
Section 1
Explain why the nominating process is a critical first step in the election process.
Describe the ways to nominate a candidate.
Section 2
Explain how the administration of elections helps make democracy work.
Identify the various ways in which voters can cast their ballots.
Section 3
Describe the various sources of funding for campaign funding.
Identify ways that campaign financing is regulated.
Explain hard money and soft money.

Chapter 8 – Mass Media and Public Opinion
Section 1
Explain public opinion and identify factors that shape it.
Section 2
Identify the steps of the polling process.
Section 3
Explain how mass media influences politics.

Chapter 9 – Interest Groups
Section 1
Describe the role of interest groups in influencing public policy.
Compare and Contrast political parties and interest groups.
Section 2
Describe four categories of groups based on economic interests.
Identify other types of interest groups.
Section 3
Explain interest groups’ three major goals in influencing public opinion.
Explain how interest groups use propaganda.
Explain how lobbying is used to influence public policy.

Chapter 10 – Congress
Section 1
Describe a term of Congress and the different types of sessions.
Section 2
Describe the size and the elective terms of the members of the House.
Explain how House seats are reapportioned among the states after each census.
Identify the qualifications for election to the House.

Compare the size and term of the Senate to that of the House of Representatives.
Identify the qualifications for election to the Senate.
Section 4
Describe the duties performed by those who serve in Congress.

Chapter 11 – Powers of Congress
Section 1
Identify the three types of congressional power.
Compare the strict construction and liberal construction position on the scope of congressional power.
Section 2
Summarize key points relating to Congress’s power to tax.
Explain Congress’s other powers: borrowing, commerce, and currency.
Section 3
Identify the key sources of Congress’s foreign relations power.
Describe the power-sharing arrangement between Congress and the President on the issues of war and national defense.
List other key powers exercised by Congress.
Section 4
Explain how the Necessary and Proper Clause gives Congress flexibility in lawmaking.
Section 5
Describe Congress’s role in amending the Constitution, deciding elections, and impeaching.
Describe Congress’s executive and investigatory powers.

Chapter 12 – Congress in Action
Section 1
Describe how and when Congress convenes.
Compare the roles of the presiding officers in the Senate and the House.
Identify the duties of the party officers in Congress.
Describe how committee chairmen are chosen and explain their role in the legislative process.
Section 2

Explain how the standing committees function.
Describe the duties and responsibilities of the House Rules Committee
Compare the functions of joint and conference committees.
Section 3
Identify the types of bills and resolutions that can be introduced.
Explain what happens to a bill once it is referred to a committee.
Explain how House leaders schedule debate on a bill.
Explain what happens to a bill on the House floor, and identify the final step in the passage of a bill in the House.
Section 4
Explain how a bill is introduced in the Senate.
Compare the Senate’s rules for debate with those in the House.
Describe the role of conference committees in the legislative process.
Identify the actions the President can take after both houses have passed a bill.

Chapter 13 – The Presidency
Section 1
Identify the roles of the President.
Identify the qualifications to become President.
Identify the length of the President’s term.
Section 2
Explain how the Constitution provides for presidential succession and presidential disability.
Describe the role of the Vice President.
Section 3
Explain the original provisions for choosing the President.
Identify ways the presidential election process change as a result of 1800.
Section 4
Describe the role of conventions in the presidential nominating process.
Explain the role of presidential primaries.
Explain the role of the caucus-convention process.
Section 5
Describe the flaws in the electoral college.

Chapter 14 – The Presidency in Action
Section 1
Explain why Article II of the Constitution can be described as “an outline.”
Section 2
Identify the source of the President’s power to execute federal law.
Define the ordinance power and explain where it comes from.
Explain how the appointing power works.
Section 3
Explain how treaties are made and approved.
Explain why and how executive agreements are made.
Explain the power of recognition.
Describe the powers that the President has as commander-in-chief.
Section 4
Describe the President’s two major legislative powers.
Describe the President’s major judicial powers.

Chapter 15 – Government at Work: The Bureaucracy
Section 1
Define a bureaucracy and identify its three features.
Section 2
Describe the Executive Office of the President and identify its three agencies.
Section 3
Describe the work of the executive departments.
Section 4
Explain why Congress has created independent agencies.
Section 5
Explain the purpose of the civil service system.

Chapter 16 – Financing Government
Section 1
Explain how and why the Constitution gives Congress the power to tax.
Identify the most significant federal taxes collected today.
Section 2
List the nontax sources of Federal Government.
Describe federal borrowing.
Section 3
Identify the key elements of federal spending.

Chapter 17 – Foreign Policy and National Defense
Section 1
Define foreign policy and understand the difference between isolationism and internationalism.
Explain the roles of the Department of State and the Department of Defense.
Section 2
Identify other agencies that contribute to the nation’s security.
Section 3
Section 4
Identify the two types of foreign aid.

Chapter 18 – The Federal Court System
Section 1
Describe the structure of the national judiciary.
Identify the criteria that determine whether a case is within federal court jurisdiction.
Explain the process for appointing federal judges.
Identify the terms of office for federal judges.
Section 2
Describe the jurisdiction of the federal district courts and the federal courts of appeals.
Section 3
Define the concept of judicial review.
Describe the scope of the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction.
Explain how cases reach the Supreme Court.
Explain how the Court Operates.
Section 4

Explain the role of special courts and identify the major special courts.