A Woman's Place Is In The House...Of Representatives

AP US Government and Politics

Which three states have never had a woman representative in the House or the Senate?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprised are you by this information?

  3. How did your own state and district do in regards to female representation?

  4. What story does the map tell?

  5. Do you notice any big geographical patterns in the map?

  6. Explain whether this is a happy map or a sad map.

  7. Why do you think these three states have never had any representation?

  8. What is one consequence of never having elected a female for these three states?

  9. Vermont and Mississippi are about as politically and culturally different as any two states could be. Why do you think they both agree on not having female representatives?

  10. It's been said that the gender of the politician isn't important, what matters are the policies they fight for. In the comments section, explain whether you think this statement is true:

Learning Extension

Check out this great article and interactive map at Vox where you can find out about female representation in your own state and ditrict.

Action Extension

Vote for a woman or convince someone else to vote for a woman. Better yet, lobby your political party (Emily's List for liberals, the NFRW for conservatives) to run women for office. Or best of all, if you are a woman, run for office.

Bonus Maps

Campaign Stops

AP US Government and Politics and Chickens

In the 2016 presidential elections, after the party nominating conventions, what four states had over half of all campaign events?

Post-Convention Campaign Stops per State


AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What was most surprising about this map?

  3. What is the take home story of this map?

  4. explain why the map looks this way.

  5. What is one consequence of this concentration of campaign activity?

  6. What is the political science term we use to describe these four states?

  7. Central to the concept of democracy is the the idea that all people are politically equal. The Declaration of IndEpendence contains these lines regarding the value of equality. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” Does this map resemble political equality?

  8. Why did California, the nation's most populous state, receive only one campaign stop?

  9. 28 states received no visits from presidential campaigns. Why is that?

  10. Explain whether the information from this map is good news.

  11. Imagine the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished the Electoral College (don’t hold your breath). How would that Constitutional change impact the data from the map?

  12. Explain how this concentrated campaign activity in those four states impacted voter turnout in those states.

  13. Explain how this concentrated campaign activity in those four states impacted voter turnout In the other states.

  14. At the time of the Constitutional Convention The Anti-Federalists were afraid of too much power being concentrated in a central national government. They prefered that power be centered at the state level. If an anti-federalist saw this map, after they stopped freaking out about how Big the U.S. had gotten, what claim would they make about this map and the power of states?

  15. What change in the US electoral system could make campaign events be spread more evenly throughout the US?

  16. What is a pirate’s Favorite place to eat lunch?*

Learning Extension

Analyze the map with the folks from NPVP and watch this video that explains how the NPVP works.

Action Extension

If states with a majority of electoral votes enacted the National Popular Vote Plan, US presidential campaigns would be very different and campaign stops would be more evenly distributed. Use this handy little link to contact your state representative (they decide where your state's electoral votes go) and let them know what you think about the National Popular Vote Plan.

Dog Meme Extension

AP US Government and Dogitics

AP US Government and Dogitics

Snow Map Extension

How Much Snow Does It Take To Cancel School?

How Much Snow Does It Take To Cancel School?    AP Government and Politics

How Much Snow Does It Take To Cancel School?

AP Government and Politics


Ay Ay Ay Ay Phone

AP Government and Politics

After the iPhone was first released in 2007 what happened to the percentage of 12th graders who drive?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this information?

  3. How well does this chart reflect your generation?

  4. Do you have more friends without a license or without a smart phone?

  5. What is the big trend you see in the data?

  6. Why do you think that change is happening?

  7. What is a consequence of this change?

  8. Clearly, the iPhone and other smart phones have had a big impact on driving. Explain what impact you think this technology has had on U.S. politics:

  9. There are clearly some negative effects of the ubiquity of smartphones. List any positive effects of smartphones:

  10. Smartphone technology has also disrupted other aspects of social life for young people. Describe other changes this technology has brought to your generation:

  11. What exactly are kids doing on their smartphones that is more compelling than driving around?

  12. The day I turned 16 was the day I got my license. Everyone I knew got their license as soon as possible and almost all of us had cars. Obviously, these cars had a tremendous impact on where and how we lived: suburbs boomed, mobility increased, our country fought wars to insure control of the oil we sucked from the ground. How is the rise of the smartphone going to impact how your generation lives?

  13. Is there any other technology that has as profoundly shaped your generation as the smartphone?

  14. Overall, is this chart good news? Would the U/S/ be better off without smartphone technology?

  15. What do you think this chart will look like in 20 years?

Learning Extension

Read this endlessly fascinating Atlantic Magazine article about you and your generation!

Action Extension

Tell your iPhone, "Siri, destroy yourself! And see what happens. Also, go 14 hours without your smart phone (I bet you can't do it!) and reflect on how this data drout impacted your life. Share your reaciton in class or online in the comment section below.

Sad Bonus Charts

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Ranking our Rights

AP US Government and Politics

Of the following rights, which do Americans think is the least important: freedom of speech, the right to vote, the right to privacy, freedom of religion, the right to own guns?

AP US Government and Politics

AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What story does this data tell?

  3. Why do you think that is?

  4. What most surprised you about this information?

  5. What is one consequence of Americans' enduring love of freedom of speech?

  6. The right to own guns is relatively unessential Americans' sense of freedom. How do you think that impacts the recent national debate about gun reform?

  7. According to this poll, which Constitutional Amendments are deemed as essential?

  8. WHat other Amendments (not listed above) would you personally describe as indispensable to your sense of freedom?

  9. How would you personally rank these five freedoms on a scale of most to least essential to your freedom?

  10. Explain how differently you think the average American Republican and Democrat would rank these five freedoms:

  11. If you were an autocratic government, determined to take away citizens' rights (think Putin) explain which of those five rights would you first take away.* This is hypothetical - don't actually do this!!!!!

  12. What's wrong with Americans that we no longer consider our Third Amendment Freedom from having to quarter soldiers as essential to our freedom????

  13. That Third Amendment right, which seemed essential in 1787 is more or less obsolete today. The Framers also were concerned about an overreaching national government and thus protected the right of states to form militias (2nd Amendment). Do you think that this idea is equally obsolete?

  14. Imagine Americans wanted to abolish the 2nd and 3rd Amendment (we've abolished amendments before) What steps could Americans take to do this?

Learning Extension

Read the Pew research Report on The Five Freedoms.

Action Extension

Share the following ranking with any ten people. Share the results in class or online.

Create your own user feedback survey

AP Pugament and Pugatics

Our World In Data Extension

Our Animals in Drag Extension


Moderation in all things except voting

AP US Government and Politics

Who is more ideologically extreme, the average American or the average American voter?


AP U.S. Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprising is this information?

  3. What is the big story these charts tell?

  4. Why do you think ideologically extreme people tend to vote more than ideological moderates?

  5. What is one consequence this information?

  6. Explain whether this is good or bad news:

  7. What effects do you imagine this information had on the 2016 and 2018 elections?

  8. Is there any mechanism in the way Americans vote that helps amplify the extreme vote?

  9. Explain why conservatives are more likely to vote than liberals:

  10. What percentage of statistics are made up on the spot?

  11. Who is the most moderate person you know?

  12. Would you consider them radically moderate?

  13. Do the more moderate people or the more extreme people you know tend to get more done?

  14. Explain how the U.S. media landscape has impacted the data from the chart?

  15. Describe what you imagine this chart looked like in 1950 and what it will look like in 2050.

  16. Describe one aspect of the U.S. Constitution built to moderate the will of the people.

  17. How do your own ideological leanings compare to the chart?

  18. Do the voting habits of people you know generally conform to the data from the chart?

  19. Only about 1/4 of moderate Americans actually vote. In the comments section, tell moderate U.S. voters whether they should vote or not:

Visual Extension

Learning Extension

Read this Pew Report on extreme voters.

Action Extension

Contact one of the two major U.S. political parties- the Democratic Party or the Republican Party and explain to them whether it would benefit them to run more extreme or more moderate candidates.

Our World In Data Extension

Our Animals in Clothing Extension

Electoral Votes

How many electoral votes per person does your state have?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this information?

  3. What questions do you have about this map?

  4. What is the big take home message of this map?

  5. Describe the mechanism by which the electoral vote power of some states is greater than others:

  6. Describe the history by which the electoral vote power of some states is greater than others:

  7. What is a consequence of the inequality in electoral college voting power?

  8. Central to the concept of democracy is the idea that all people are politically equal. Some would claim that in a truly democratic country, every person in every state would have the same electoral votes per person (in other words, the color of each state on the map would be the same). Respond to this claim.

  9. Were it the case that every state in the map above was the same color (equal electoral votes per person) who would have won the 2016 Presidential election?

  10. Describe one way our country would be different today had Trump not become president.

  11. The average electoral vote represents 436,000 people, but that number rises and falls per state depending on that state’s population over 18 years of age. Calculate the exact number of people an electoral vote represents in your state.

  12. How does your state compare to others in terms of electoral college power?

  13. How does the map of electoral vote power (above) relate to the map of the percentage of state residents who are white (below)?

  14. Should your power to vote for president be impacted by what state you happen to live in?

  15. If I wanted to increase my presidential electoral power, what state would I most want to move from and what state would I most want to move to?

  16. Overall, Is this map good news or bad news for the U.S.?

  17. If you thought that it was best to get rid of the electoral college, what would be one step towards achieving this goal?

  18. Why hasn't the U.S. abolished the electoral college?

  19. How does this map affect strategy in presidential elections?

  20. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Learning Extension

Read about the fact that the electoral college was created to empower slave states.

Action Extension

The National Popular Vote Plan is a proposal to undo the unequal power of the electoral college. Read about the plan and contact your state legislator to share your opinion of the plan.

Visual Extension

Our World In Data Extension

Oh My Goodness!

Our Animals in Clothes Extension

Our Completely Random Visual Extension

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Least Distrusted Branch of Government

AP US Government and Politics

What is the most trusted branch of the United States government?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What least surprised you about this data?

  3. As of 2017, what is the big story this chart tells?

  4. Over time, what is the big trend you see in this chart?

  5. Why do you think the judiciary is the most trusted branch of government?

  6. Why do you think the legislative branch is even less trusted than the executive branch?

  7. How do you think the behavior of the trump administration will impact the level of public trust in the executive branch over the next few years?

  8. Overall, is this information good news?

  9. How do you think party affiliation impacts trust in the judiciary?*

  10. How do you think party affiliation impacts trust in the executive branch?*

  11. If you ran a business that only about 1/3 of your customers trusted, how long would you stay in business?

  12. If we didn't have separation of powers and checks and balances do you think the American people would trust the government more or less?

  13. we currently have a divided government. How do you think the prevalence of divided government impacts the public's trust in the U.S. government?

  14. What is the most important consequence of our current level of trust in the US government?

  15. What do you imagine levels of trust would be like in a totalitarian country like North Korea?

  16. Let me remind you that although only about 1/3 of Americans trust the legislative branch, they tend to reelect the legislature at about a 90% rate. Explain this paradox:

  17. The most trusted branch is the one we do NOT vote for. What does that say about democracy and the power of voting?

  18. Does that make you think that if we abandoned voting we would have a government we trust?

  19. Is it possible that it is a good thing that we do not tend to trust our government?

  20. What would Thomas Jefferson think about the lack of trust in the U.S. government?

  21. Explain whether you think people trust their state and local governments more than they trust their federal government:

  22. How do you think the fact that we are a multi-ethnic nation impacts our level of trust in the government?

  23. Did you know that 27% of all statistics are made up on the spot?

  24. In the comments section, propose one change in the U.S. government to increase public trust in the government:

Learning Extension

Read the complete results of the Gallup Poll before it's too late!

Action Extension

Contact the Supreme Court of the United States of America (SCOTUSofA). Congratulate them on being the most trusted branch. Mail them a certificate of achievement. You can't email them!!!! Really! But you can call or write. Here's their contact information.

Supreme Court of the United States.
1 First Street, NE.
Washington, DC 20543.
Telephone: 202-479-3000.

Bonus Charts*


Extra-Super-Bonus Chart-o-Rama for no good reason!**

our world in data extension

Polarization Nation

AP US Government & Politics

How often do House members from the president's party vote with the president?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What is the big story this chart tells?

  3. What is one reason for party polarization in the House?

  4. What is one consequence of party polarization in the House?

  5. In 1958, a House Democrat was just about as likely as not to vote with Republican President Eisenhower. Why has party loyalty in House voting changed over the past 6 decades?

  6. Overall, is this hyper-party polarization good or bad news?

  7. How different do you think these numbers are in the Senate?

  8. If the trends depicted in this chart continue, how often will party members vote against their president by the year 2020?

  9. If you were a Republican House member from Arkansas, what incentives would influence you to vote with the president's party.

  10. What is the overall effect of this hyper-party loyalty on the American political system?

  11. What would be one change that we could make to the US electoral system that would lower political partisanship in the House?

  12. Can you think of any bill where your own House Representative crossed party lines and voted against their party?

  13. Do you believe that Prince wrote a song called Political Party Polarization Like it's 1999 or is that fake news?

  14. Party polarization sounds sort of like winterizing your political party. Do you agree?

  15. how could Trump's (or any president’s) approval ratings affect party loyalty in the House?

  16. Would the chart above make James “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition” Madison, author of Federalist No. 51 happy?

Learning Extension

Read this fantabulous 538 analysis of party polarization.

Action Extension

Research your Senator or House member and find out how often they vote with the president. Are they with the president

100-80% Trumpier than Trump

79-60% Super-TrumpY

59-40% Trump Friendly

39-20% Anti-Trump

19-00% Trump-Hater

Contact your House Member and ask them how many times they have crossed party lines in a House vote, and under what circumstances they would cross party lines in the future. Share their response with class or online.

Our World In Data Extension

Voter Fraud

Between 2000 and 2014 there were 834,065,926 ballots cast in U.S. national general elections. How much in-person voter fraud was there between 2000 and 2014?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprising was this information?

  3. How different is this information from what the average member of public believes?

  4. Does this information reinforce Donald Trump's claim that our election has already been rigged?

  5. What is the big story this chart tells?

  6. Why do you think that is?

  7. What is a consequence of this?

  8. Is this good news?

  9. With so few instances of voter fraud and zero instances of rigged elections, why do you think so many Americans believe this year's election may be rigged? Create a title for this chart and post it in the comments section below.

  10. What do you call someone who always complains that they got cheated in sports or in games or competition?

  11. Do the math. What percentage of all votes cast are fraudulent?

  12. Explain whether you agree with a state like mine (North Carolina) which has enacted strict voter id laws to combat voter fraud:

Learning Extension

Read the VOX article on voter fraud in the U.S.

Action Extension

Make an analogy to explain the prevelance of voter fraud. For example: the likelihood of voter fraud is the same as the likelihood of being struck by lightning while riding a zebra. Share this on social media or with your classmates.

Bonus Visual


AP US Government and Politics

Who has more Twitter followers: LeBron James, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or The New York Times?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this data?

  3. What is the big story this data tells?

  4. How much has Trump's Twitter following increased over the past 2 years?

  5. Do you think anyone in the universe has more Twitter followers than Donald Trump?*

  6. Did more people vote for Trump in 2016 or follow Trump on Twitter?**

  7. Do you think that Twitter has been overall good or bad for America?

  8. What impact does the Trump Twitter account have on US and global politics? 

  9. What overall impact does social media have on US politics?

  10. Jimmy Carter once said that as president he preferred the power of the bully pulpit to the power of the veto. Do you think he was right to say this?

  11. Do you think Trump would agree with Carter?

  12. What does Article II of the U.S. Constitution say about the president's power and the use of Twitter?

  13. If the Framers rewrote the U.S. Constitution (don't worry, they aren't planning to) do you think they might trade in the mandatory State-of-the-Union Address for mandatory Tweeting?

  14. Counterfactual time. Imagine the Trump candidacy or presidency without Twitter. How do things change?

  15. The kinds of things that Donald Trump regularly tweets out would doom almost any other politician. Explain how he gets away with his Tweets:

  16. Marshall McLuhan, the late-great media thinker wrote that, "the medium is the message." What do you think he meant by that and how does that relate to the Twitter account of @realDonaldTrump?

  17. Who do you think is @thefakedonaldtrump ?

  18. Facebook and Twitter have banned users for racist and inflammatory comments. Do you believe Twitter should ban @realDonaldTrump ?

  19. Barack Obama has even more Twitter followers than Trump. If those two men ran against each other for president (they can't - 22nd Amendment!) who do you think would win?

  20. If Abraham Lincoln had a Twitter account what would his handle be?

  21. Rewrite the U.S. Constitution as a Tweet:

*Learning Extension

Check out the list of the people with the most Twitter followers and also Article II of the U.S. Constitution below.

Action Extension

Tweet @realDonaldTrump and ask him if he would prefer the power of the veto or the power of Twitter? Share your experience in class or online.

**2016 presidential vote total

Clinton 65,853,516

Trump 62,984,825

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