American Race

Whites are no longer the majority (more than half) racial group in California. In what year will Whites cease to be the majority racial group in the entire U.S.?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about the data from the chart?

  3. If demographic trends continue, at some point, American will become (like California is now) minority-majority. In other words, Whites will still be the biggest group (plurality) but they will not longer be more than half of the population (majority). Approximately what year will this happen?

  4. What's the big story this chart tells?

  5. List two causes of the changes reflected in the chart?

  6. List two consequences of the changes reflected in the chart?

  7. How does the information in the chart impact the following linkage institutions: elections, mass media, political parties, interest groups?

  8. Explain whether the changes reflected in the chart is good news or bad news?

  9. In what way are the changes expressed in the chart reflected in your own life?

  10. Jot down one question you have about this chart?

  11. Make a prediction for what this chart will look like in 2080 America (if there is a 2080 America):

  12. My student, Esméralda, said that a direct consequence of the data in the chart was the election of Barack Obama and the election of Donald Trump. Explain how both those things could be true.

  13. How do you think the demographic changes reflected in this chart impacted the 2016 election?

  14. Explain how the projected American racial changes will impact overall American political culture and values?

  15. In the comments section, write about how the changes reflected in the chart are impacting politics in the US today.

  16. In Letter From Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. defends the use of civil disobedience to fight for civil rights. Based on his letter, explain Dr. King’s position on fighting for equal rights today.

  17. Imagine you were a political party leader. Describe one step you would take regarding this data.

  18. Explain how you think the following people would respond to this chart and explain why:

  • Liberals

  • Conservatives

  • Republicans

  • Democrats

  • Dr. Martin Luther King

  • James “Tiny” Madison

  • Donald Trump

  • Your grandparents

Visual Extension


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Learning Extension

Check out these 10 charts on the changing face of America.

Learning Extension Extension

Do yourself a favor and dive into the 1619 Project from the NYTimes. And you can find curriculums, guides and activities for students developed by the Pulitzer Center at pulitzercenter.org/1619.

CONVO Extension

Join in dialogue with your class on the topic of race. Here’s how CONVO works.

Action Extension

Find out the demographics of your county or city and make a comparison of your local data with the national data. Make a post comparing your hometown to the nation at large on social media with the hashtag #changingamerica

We're Number 1

AP US Government and Poverty

How does the poverty rate in the U.S. Compare with other OECD* (wealthy) countries?

*The OECD, or the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, was founded in 1948 and is made up of 36 member countries. It seeks to improve the economic and social well-being of countries and their populations. The OECD looks at issues that impact people’s everyday lives and proposes policies that can help to improve the quality of life.

  1. How accurate was your ridiculous prediction?

  2. Why do you think your guess was so wrong?

  3. How do you think the average American would answer this question?

  4. What story does this chart tell about poverty and the United States?

  5. Based on what you know about American history, politics, and political ideology, why do you think America’s poverty rate is the highest of the wealthy world?

  6. How does this high poverty rate impact American politics?

  7. Is this information good news or bad news?

  8. Are you proud that our poverty rate is three times higher than the Czech Republic?

  9. Describe one policy could lower the poverty rate.

  10. Describe one policy that could raise the poverty rate.

  11. In general, explain whether the policies of the current president will increase or decrease the poverty rate.

  12. Describe one method the U.S. president can use to make policy about Poverty?

  13. Describe one method the U.S. Congress can use to make policy. about poverty?

  14. List three departments or agencies of the U.S. bureaucracy that deal with poverty in America.

  15. Imagine that you were an interest group whose goal was to lower poverty. Describe two methods you might use to try to achieve your goals.

  16. Imagine that the average American knew the information from the chart above. Explain How that knowledge would alter American policy regarding poverty?

  17. The Pew Research Center has found that among Americans in families making less than $10,000 (the lowest income group they studied), 24.5 percent voted. Why do you think such a low rate of people with a low socioeconomic status vote?*

  18. What is one consequence of this low voter turnout?

  19. We also know that voting rates go up with income levels — the highest-income group, people in families making $150,000 or more, also had the highest turnout, at 56.6 percent. Why do you think increased income leads to increased voter turnout?*

  20. What is one policy change that would occur if the voting rate for poor and wealthy voters flip-flopped?

  21. How has the U.S. poverty rate changed over the past 50 years?*

  22. How does race and ethnicity impact the poverty rate in the U.S.? *

  23. The Preamble of the United States Constitution states, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence (their spelling not mine!), promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Based on the poverty statistics above, does our government succeed at promoting the general welfare?

  24. If you could wave a magic wand and make the U.S. poverty rate (17.8% of all people) similar to that of Finland (5.8%), what would be a consequence of this change?

  25. Elizabeth Warren and other presidential candidates have proposed a 2% wealth tax, that would, among other things, lead to a decrease in the poverty rate. Make a claim about whether this wealth tax would be a good idea.

  26. A student named Ichabod, upon analyzing the data from the chart above said, “America is the land of opportunity. If you are poor in America it’s your own darned fault.” Respond to Ichabod’s claim.

  27. What claim would the following people make about the American poverty rate?

  • Typical American Conservative

  • Typical American Liberal

  • Typical American Libertarian

  • Typical American Socialist

  • Felicity Huffman

  • Typical American Democrat

  • Typical American Republican

  • The Current American President

Visual Extension*

Learning Extension

Check out all this cool Pew Research Center visual data on U.S. poverty and politics.

Action Extension

Ask three other people (in person) to predict how American poverty compares with the rich world. Then share the answer with them. Share their reaction on line or in class.

Cats Ringing a Bell for Dinner Extension

Where people in each state were born

GoPoPro

What portion of people living in your state were born in your state?

  1. What story does this map tell about the U.S.?

  2. Why do you think that is?

  3. What is one consequence of this on American politics?

  4. How accurate was your prediction?

  5. How would you describe the overall level of migration for your state?

  6. What state has the highest level of immigration?

  7. What state has the lowest level of immigration?

  8. Do most of the newcomers to your state come from inside or outside the US?

  9. Why do some states attract so many people?

  10. How do you think immigration was different for your state 50 & 100 years ago? You can actually find maps with the answer in this article.

  11. Predict what you think the numbers will be like for your state in 2050:

  12. What is one consequence of a state having a very high number of residents who were born in that state?

  13. What is one consequence of a state having a very low number of residents who were born in that state?

  14. If we got rid of federalism and adopted a unitary system of government how much power would the governors and legislators of each state on the map have?

  15. Is there any state that seems to have the perfect balance of native born residents and migrants?

  16. Explain how migration to your state impacts its overall political ideology?

  17. Explain connections between this map and the 2016 presidential election?

  18. In the comments section below write a piece of advice you would give brand new immigrants to your state:

Visual Extension

Learning Extension

Read the entire article about US mobility and check out the interactive maps comparing migration over the past century.

Action Extension

Survey your class and find out how many class members were born outside of your state. Compare that total to the state average. Find someone at your school who was not born in your state, ask them four questions about moving to your state, and then give them an "official" warm welcome them to your state.

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World's Deadliest Animal

What is the world's deadliest animal?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What surprised you about this infographic?

  3. Write down two questions this infographic raises for you:

  4. Boil down the essence of this infographic into a 140 character statement (Tweet):

  5. Are you scared of mosquitoes?

  6. Which of the animals on the chart are you most scared of?

  7. How rational is your fear?

  8. What exactly do mosquitoes do that makes them so deadly?

  9. In the comments section write your reaction to the fact that every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria -  a disease that can be prevented for a child for 5 years for only $10.


Action Extension

Learn: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Malaria Strategy and then take one action at: Malaria No More

War on War

Globally, are there more wars now than there were 50 years ago?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this chart?

  3. Identify two trends you see in the chart?

  4. Why do you think this is?

  5. What is one consequence of this change?

  6. What is the take home story from this chart?

  7. Is this good news or bad news?

  8. Draw out what you predict this graph will look like over the next 50 years.

  9. How many of these wars do you think the U.S. was involved in?

  10. In his 2011 book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, scientist and author Steven Pinker detailed how war has been on the wane for half a millennium. Do you think we will ever reach a point when we no longer have war?


Learning Extension

Read the entire McLean's article about the war on war.


Action Extension

Did you know that no two democracies have ever directly gone to war against each other? It's true. Why do you think that is? Should we outlaw war? Would we be better off without war? Are we at the end of war? Discuss these questions with a friend at lunch then share your thoughts with the Secretary General of the United Nations.