HST510: AP U.S. Government and Politics

This list is representative of the materials provided or used in this course. Keep in mind that the actual materials used may vary, depending on the school in which you are enrolled, and whether you are taking the course as Independent Study.

For a complete list of the materials to be used in this course by your enrolled student, please visit MyInfo. All lists are subject to change at any time.

Scope & Sequence : Scope & Sequence documents describe what is covered in a course (the scope) and also the order in which topics are covered (the sequence). These documents list instructional objectives and skills to be mastered. K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

Course Overview

This course is the equivalent of an introductory college-level course. Students explore the operations and structure of the U.S. government and the behavior of the electorate and politicians. Students gain the analytic perspective necessary to evaluate political data, hypotheses, concepts, opinions, and processes and learn how to gather data about political behavior and develop their own theoretical analysis of American politics. Students also build the skills they need to examine general propositions about government and politics, and to analyze specific relationships between political, social, and economic institutions. Students prepare for the AP Exam and for further study in political science, law, education, business, and history.

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Course Length

One Semester

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Prerequisites

Success in HST304: Honors U.S. History (or equivalent), and teacher/school counselor recommendation

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Course Outline

Unit 1: Foundations of American Government

This unit introduces the study of American politics, presents three important ways of looking at the American political system, and examines the constitutional foundations and federal framework of American politics. Students see how the political institutions that make up our system (interest groups, political parties, and Congress) are shaped. In the College Board's topic outline, the content in this unit maps to Constitutional Underpinnings of United States Government (Considerations that influenced the formulation and adoption of the Constitution; Separation of powers; Federalism; Theories of democratic government).

  • Politics in a Democracy
  • Constitutional Foundations
  • Federalism

Unit 2: Political Beliefs and Attitudes

This unit focuses on political beliefs and attitudes and how they shape the American political process. Students explore the political norms and values shared by most Americans and the important ways in which we distinguish ourselves politically from one another. In the College Board's topic outline, the content in this unit maps to II. Political Beliefs and Behaviors (Beliefs that citizens hold about their government and its leaders; Processes by which citizens learn about politics; The nature, sources, and consequences of public opinion; Factors that influence citizens to differ from one another in terms of political beliefs and behaviors).

  • Political Culture
  • Public Opinion in America

Unit 3: Political Parties, Elections, Interest Groups, and the Media

Students examine the linkage institutions in the American political system—political parties, elections, interest groups, and the mass media. They look at the function and structure of political parties, the history of the two-party system, and the ways it encourages a relatively moderate ideological climate. They see how interest groups seek to influence public policy how the mass media provides most Americans with the majority of their political information. In the College Board's topic outline, the content in this unit maps to II. Political Beliefs and Behaviors (The ways in which citizens vote and otherwise participate in political life); III. Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media (Political parties and elections; Interest groups; The mass media).

  • Political Parties
  • Campaigns and Elections
  • Interest Groups
  • The Media

Unit 4: Institutions of American Government

Students look at the structure, functions, and interactions of the three branches of the federal government. They learn about Congress, the presidency, the federal bureaucracy, the federal judiciary, and the checks and balances that determine how these institutions relate to each other. In the College Board's topic outline, the content in this unit maps to IV. Institutions of National Government (The Congress, the Presidency, the Bureaucracy, and the Federal Courts).

  • Congress
  • The Presidency
  • The Bureaucracy
  • The Courts
  • Checks and Balances

Unit 5: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Students learn the difference between civil liberties and civil rights. In the study of civil liberties, they look at First Amendment issues and the rights of criminal defendants. In the study of civil rights, they look at the struggles for racial and gender equality in America and the role of the courts in shaping these struggles. In the College Board's topic outline, the content in this unit maps to VI. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

  • Civil Liberties
  • Civil Rights

Unit 6: Public Policy in American Government

Students examine the basic products of our political process—policies. They learn about domestic policy, and how different types of policies have different types of politics. The political debate over an issue such as agricultural policy, and the participants in such a debate, will be distinct from the debate over welfare reform. Then they learn issues of foreign policy. In the College Board's topic outline, the content in this unit maps to V. Public Policy (Policy making in a federal system; The formation of policy agendas; The role of institutions in the enactment of policy; The role of the bureaucracy and the courts in policy implementation and interpretation; Linkages between policy processes).

  • Domestic Policy
  • Foreign and Defense Policies

Unit 7: Preparing for the AP Exam

Students review what they have learned and take the final exam.

  • Review and Exam
  • Final Course Exam
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Lesson Scheduling

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K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

  • Course Overview (as seen above)
  • Course Outline
  • Lesson Time and Scheduling