U.S. Government

Freedom of Expression!
  • US Government: 12th grade


    Instructor: Ms. Glaspie

    Agape High School

    1037 University Avenue West

    Email: jolene.glaspie@stpaul.k12.mn.us

    Office Hours: 3:00-400 daily in room 1040

    Course Length: ½ Year (One Quarter)

    Course Description:

    Your voice matters; even when it’s quiet, shaky and unsure. This course is designed to teach you that fundamental principle. To understand the foundations for laws and our current political climate, we will deeply explore the foundations of how our democracy works, the essential Constitutional Amendments, voting requirements, race and politics, gender (#me too movements), immigration and citizenship. The goal is to have you fully prepared to participate in government as an informed citizen of the United States of America by the end of the class; that is if you’re 18 of course. You will be expected to demonstrate political and social skills through active participation in the course regardless.

    Essential Questions Explored in the Course:

    • What are the sources of governmental authority in the United States?
    • How and why is popular sovereignty articulated in the U.S. Constitution and other founding documents?
    • What is a representative democracy? How do we use it in the US?
    • What are the fundamental principles for which the United States government are based upon?
    • How does the US Constitution divide power between the federal government and state government?
    • How are Indigenous nations sovereign?
    • What is the role of the legislative branch and how does Congress function?
    • What Is the role of the executive branch and what are the duties of the US President?
    • What role does the judicial branch play in laws? What is the role of the Supreme Court in the application and interpretation of laws?
    • How and why do individuals seek to become US citizens?
    • How do politics impact the American electoral process, and how do individuals participate in state and local elections?
    • How do we discover, research, and evaluate issues and candidates for truth, validity accuracy and bias?
    • What individual rights are guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, and how do these differ from rights guaranteed in the Minnesota Constitution?
    • How are laws and court rulings affected by First and Second Amendment rights?
    • What are the limits of free expression?
    • What Constitutional guarantees do individuals have to protect them from being treated unfairly by the government?
    • How does due process protect individuals from unjust laws and wrongful government actions?
    • How have civil rights protections been released and clarified through Supreme Court interpretations?
    • What are the various way in which the US government promotes its foreign policy around the world?
    • What reasons can be given for and against the United States maintaining a leadership role in international events?
    • How are government in the world classified according to their political systems?

    Course Requirements:

    *Students are expected to complete all assigned readings, use the AVID learning strategies taught  and participate in class discussions and other engaging exercises. Students also need to complete quizzes, test, essays and assignments.

    *US Government Journal (Keep all lessons for the course in the self-created notebook)

    *Schoology (Check Schoology daily as a way to know what lessons are assigned and to keep up with the grade you’re striving to earn.)

    *Use the textbook, “Government Alive” and various articles assigned as a means to answer the essential questions.

    *Give presentations.

    *Help to create and be a part of an atmosphere that promotes positivity and support for self and others in the course.


    Student Evaluation & Assessments:

    “A” 90-100% (Student earns high tests scores, turns in all essays, completes all journal lessons, participates in class discussions, gives presentations, misses less than 3 days in the course.)

    “B” 80-89% (Student earns high tests scores, turns in all essays, completes all journal lessons participates in class discussions, gives presentations, misses less than 5 days in the course.)

    “C” 70-79% (Student tries to complete all or most of the lessons in the course and misses less than 9 days in the course.)

    “D”60-69% (Student misses assignments and days of school, but takes all quizzes and completes all essays assigned.)

    “D-” 50-59% (Student misses many lessons taught, but still takes quizzes missed due to multiple days missed in the course.)

    “N”-0-49% (Very little lessons completed, nor effort put into the course, and misses far too many days of school to pass.)


    All tasks completed  in the course are used to create a formative and summative assessment grade that will be accumulated at the end of the course to show how many points earned. The final grade will be determined by the amount of points earned for all lessons completed.


    Late Work: I will accept late work, but points will be reduced (usually 5-10 points for everyday the lesson is not done for up to two weeks.).  If turned in three weeks late, the grade for the lesson will be reduced by 50% automatically.

    Essays: All essays should be written using the guiding prompt questions provided for the lesson. Also, use MLA double spaced, 12 point Times New Roman). You must complete these essays to pass the course. Rough drafts will need to be completed in your journals for the class.