Thursday, December 6, 2018

Month 4 week 3: Chapter 13.1 Key Terms and Roles of the President of the United States.

Chapter 13.1 Key Terms and Roles of the President of the United States.

Last week we looked at the the ordinance power of the President of the United States which is the power to issue executive orders such as ordinances and proclamations. This week we will review key terms from last week and look at the cabinet and agencies of the Executive Office of the President.


 1.Go to Quizlet The President Ch. 13.1 Key Terms
    • Click on "Learn" Review the terms. 
    • How many terms do you need to review?
    • Click on "Match" 
    • What was your fastest time? 
    • Click on "Test"
    • What was your score?

2. Go to the White House Website Select Administration, find the Cabinet tab. Locate the Secretary of Education. What is her name and what is her role in the Cabinet and what effects does she have on our country.

3. Go to the Office of the President   Select Administration, find the Executive Offices tab. Locate the Office of Management and Budget. Describe the role of the Management and Budget and it's impact on the economy.

Study Guide

Gearing Up For Your Government Final:

Save the date for midterms/final 
MONDAY, Jan 14, 2010 10AM-2PM
The early bird gets the worm.....

Directions: Please find below your Government Study Guide. Start studying now for best results by completing the study guide. 

Final Exam 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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Month 4 week1 and 2. Ch. 13 Executive Orders, Ordinances and Proclamations

Chapter 13 - the President and Executive Orders-Ordinance Power

Image result for donald trump signs an ordinance image

Directions: Read the paragraphs below. View the latest executive orders issued by the current President (see link below). Read about the most controversial executive order (see link below). Answer the questions listed below. Post your answers. 

Presidents have the power to issues executive orders. An executive order is a signed, written, and published directive from the President of the United States. One type is a ordinance, this type addresses managing operations of the federal government.  As outlined by the Constitution, the power to make laws belongs to the legislature. Although, in cases when the legislature is not in session, and 'immediate action' is needed, the President can create an ordinance. An ordinance is a law, but not legislation. 

Another type of executive order is a proclamation Proclamations, which are signed by the President communicate information on holidays, commemorations, federal observances, and trade.  President Lincoln signed several famous proclamations which have remained in effect today. You may know them as: Emancipation ProclamationThanksgiving Proclamation,  the National Day of Prayer  that have had a profound effect on our cou

According to the American Bar Association, "Executive orders are not legislation; they require no approval from Congress, and Congress cannot simply overturn them. Congress may pass legislation that might make it difficult, or even impossible, to carry out the order, such as removing funding. Only a sitting U.S. President may overturn an existing executive order by issuing another executive order to that effect". (Insights, Vol 17 Issue 1. Downloaded on 11/27/17 from The American Bar Association )

If you follow current events, you would have heard of a recent controversial ordinance. President Trump exercised the ordinance power in the, Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States. Every ordinance is published and available for view on the president's website.  Take a look at some of the executive power exercised as ordinance power  issued by the current President Ordinance of President Donald Trump 
Now that you are doing a little research, take a look at the With Executive Orders, Trump Embraces Time-Honored Power Move  and answer the questions below.

  1. Describe the social and economic impact of one of the ordinances issued by President Donald Trump.
  2. Describe the social impact on 2 proclamations issued by Abraham Lincoln.
  3. Explain how to overturn an ordinance of Executive Power.
  4. What is the constitutional basis for Presidential executive orders based on the reading of the article, "With Executive Orders, Trump Embraces Time-Honored Power Move"?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Month 3 Week3: Current Events - Election Week

Image result for current events images

Directions: With this being Election Week, 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: election issues, 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 or the election. 

After you select an article, you must summarize the story in the following format in at least 2 full paragraphs. 

  • 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?

Month 3 week 4: How a Bill Becomes a Law- Signed Legislation

How a Bill Becomes a Law:

Directions: Watch the video regarding bills becoming laws. Then go to the government's official website to update the public on newly signed bills Signed Legislation. View some of the newly signed bills.  Answer the questions below. Post your answers by Wednesday 11/16. Comment on a classmate's post by Friday 11/18.Watch the video regarding bills becoming laws. Answer the questions below. Post your answers.

A bill is proposed legislation under consideration by a legislature. A bill does not become law until it is passed by the legislature and, in most cases, approved by the executive. Once a bill has been enacted into law, it is called an act of the legislature, or a statute.


  1. Why does the Constitution allow the President to veto a law or act passed by Congress? 
  2. Explain why the Presidential action of a veto,  works as  "checks and balances."
  3. Describe how a bill can become a law without the President's signature.
  4. Scan the list of Signed LegislationWhich branches of government passed the bill.   
  5. While you are on the Legislation website, select a law that in your opinion is the most beneficial to society. Explain your answer.

Missing a post for month 3?

Dear Seniors,

It has come to my attention that many of you missed posting on month 2. week1 Suffrage Post. Please take time and complete the discussion board activities and post your comments. Your participation in the discussion board is part of your final grade in government. Your teacher will compute your discussion board participation into your overall government grade.

 Here is how the discussion board is graded. Assuming you are answering the questions in complete sentences and correctly, when you complete 4 out of 4 posts in the month you get a 100%. When you complete 3 out of 4 posts for the month you get a 75%. When you complete 2 out of 4 posts you get a 50%, etc.

Have a great weekend!

Mrs. Bernstein

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Month 3 Week 2: Powers of Congress

Powers of Congress: The Constitution gives powers to the Congress in three ways: through the expressed, or clearly stated, powers, through the implied, powers deducted form the clearly stated powers, through the inherent powers, those possessed by all sovereign states.

Image result for image of congress
Directions: Go to the U.S History website and read the Article I of the Constititution by clicking on this link:  Congress: The People's Government. Then view the video, "How Is Power Divided in the United States Government?" Now you are ready to answer the questions below in complete sentences. Post your responses. Comment on another student response. 


1. Describe  the 2 branches of the Legislative Branch United States government and the primary functions they perform.

2. Which House has the power to impeach the president? Describe what circumstances outlined in Article I would warrant the impeachment proceedings.

3. List the steps that must be taken for a bill to become a law when the bill does not have the President's signature.

4. Which branch shares foreign relations powers with Congress?
Why do you thing this power is shared?

5. Section 8 of Article I states, "The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes," list several circumstances in which Congress can exercise the power to tax.

6. In your opinion in our present day where do you see an example of Congress exercising its power as outlined by Article I.