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

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

Executive Orders Phone Home

AP US Government and Politics

Which U.S. President issued the most executive orders ever?

  1. How accurate was your prediction? (Pro Tip: in the future, whenever you are asked to guess which U.S. president did the most of anything just answer FDR!)

  2. What story does this chart tell?

  3. How does President Obama compare to the average number of executive orders issued?

  4. Overall, how do the two major U.S. political parties compare to each other in using executive orders?

  5. What exactly is an executive order?

  6. And why do Presidents issue executive orders instead of getting Congress to pass laws?

  7. Explain where in Article II of the U.S. Constitution (see below) you will find executive orders.

  8. what gives the President the power to issue executive orders?

  9. Why do you think the early U.S. presidents almost never issued executive orders?

  10. Why do you think the use of Executive Orders has decreased so precipitously since the mid-20th century?

  11. What is a consequence of this decrease?

  12. Explain the connection between divided government and the use of executive orders.

  13. Here's a list of all of Barack Obama's executive orders. Explain which one you most agree with and which one you most disagree with:

  14. So far, how many executive orders has Trump signed?

  15. Explain which Trump Executive order you most agree with and which one you most disagree with:

  16. Explain how you think President Trump will compare to other presidents in the use of executive orders.

  17. What can President Trump do to any President Obama Executive Orders he disagrees with?

  18. In Federalist no. 70, Alexander Hamilton argues for a strong executive leader, as provided for by the Constitution, as opposed to the weak executive under the Articles of Confederation. He asserts, “energy in the executive is the leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks…to the steady administration of the laws, to the protection of property…to justice; [and] to the security of liberty….” What do you think ALexander Hamilton (The 10 dollar
    Founding father without a father…Got a lot farther by working a lot harder, by being a lot smarter…By being a self-starter, by 14 they placed him in charge of a trading charter
    ) would say about the use of executive orders?

  19. In the comment section below, explain the general effect you believe that executive orders have on the U.S. political system:

Learning Extension

Watch this!


Action Extension

Now that you know a little bit more about how executive orders work, Contact President Trump recommending an issue or topic you'd like him to issue or rescind an executive order on:

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

Graduating from Electoral College

What portion of Democrats say we should amend the Constitution so the candidate who receives the most votes wins?

  1. Identify one trend in the data.

  2. What is the most important cause of that trend?

  3. Describe how party identification impacts opinion on abolishing the electoral college:

  4. What is the best explanation for that difference?

  5. Describe how residency in a battleground state (swing state) impacts opinion on abolishing the electoral college:*

  6. What is the best explanation for that difference?

  7. If Congress votes to amend the Constitution to abolish the Electoral College what portion of U.S. states would have to ratify the Amendment for it to pass?

  8. A majority of Americans want to abolish the electoral college. Considering the data from the chart and the difficulties of the Amendment process, do you think it is likely that the U.S. will amend the Constitution to abolish the Electoral College?

  9. In what way does the Amendment process reflect federalism?

  10. Hypothetically, could we amend the Constitution to abolish the Constitution?

  11. The 2000 election and the 2016 election were won by the candidate who got the least popular votes. Did that impact the results of the poll?

  12. Would you prefer to amend the Constitution so the candidate who receives the most votes wins, or do you prefer to keep the current system so the candidate who wins the Electoral College vote wins?

  13. Based on the data above and what you know about the American political system. In a scenario where Democrats gain a supermajority in the House and the Senate. Describe what Republicans could do to lessen the likelihood of an Amendment to abolish the Electoral College?

  14. The Constitution has only been amended 17 times since the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791. Make a claim about whether the Framers of the Constitution were more interested in a participatory or a elite democracy.

  15. Take ten seconds and draw the electoral college. I know, I know: you aren’t an artist, this isn’t AP Studio Art, You’re hangry. I get it. But really, this will really, Really, Really help you remember the concept of The Electoral College - I promise. Take ten seconds and draw The Electoral College. I’m not going to take this up for a grade, Tweet it to all your friends. Just draw. It can be stick figures, or big blocks and shapes, or totally abstract-it doesn’t matter. Now that you’ve drawn, take a second and look at your masterpiece. That’s it. Really. Now you’ve got The Electoral College in Your long term memory - right where we want it! Thank you for playing.

Visual Extension*

Learning Extension

Action Extension

Contact your U.S. House Representative, let them know what you think about the Electoral College, and tell them what you’d like them to do about it?

Separated at Birth Politician Extension (Disney Style)

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