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

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Anti-Social Media

What portion of parents check their teen's social media?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What is the big story that this data tells?

  3. How surprised are you by this information?

  4. Is this good news?

  5. Do you believe that parents should be checking their teen's web usage?

  6. Do you believe teens should be checking their parents' web usage?

  7. Why do you think so many parents check their teen's web usage?

  8. Before the web, what did parents check on?

  9. What is one consequence of parental web checking?

  10. What does this information tell us about American political culture?

  11. What is the most embarrassing site or thing your parents have ever found you visiting?

  12. Should they create teen controls to keep parents off of certain sites on the web?

  13. Explain any connection between the US government and the NSA snooping on Americans and parents snooping on their teens:

  14. A friend of mine says that since she pays for her kids' phones and computers she has a right to check on them at any time. What do you think about this assertion? And what if a kid pays for a phone/computer with their own money. In the comments section respond to these questions:


Learning Extension

Read this fascinating Pew Research Center report on parental internet monitoring of teens - but don't let your parents catch you reading it!!!!


Action Extension

Visit five or six websites that you know your parents would love for you to visit (buymomacar.org, Ilovemyparents.com, 100waystohonorbestparentsever.net, stayyoungandbeautifullikemom.com) and be sure to leave the tabs open on your computer or phone. See what your parents do about it. Share your results with class but not online!

Should news organizations be free to criticize political leaders?

AP US Government and Politics

What percent of Americans said that news organizations being free to criticize political leaders is very important in maintaining a strong democracy in the United States?

Pew Research Center

AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. Why do you think less than 2/3 of Americans strongly support a free press?

  3. What is a consequence of this level of support?

  4. Is this generally good news?

  5. How do you think the Trump administration has affected these views?

  6. How do you think views on the free press varied between members of the Republican and Democratic Parties?*

  7. Why do you think that is?

  8. What is a consequence of this variance?

  9. Explain whether news organizations being free to criticize political leaders is very important in maintaining a strong democracy in the United States.

  10. What most surprised you about this information?

  11. Complete the survey above based on your personal opinion on the five institutions listed in the Pew survey above.

  12. How different were your answers from the average American?

  13. How different do you think these answers would have been 20 years ago?

  14. Would you say that there democracy is under threat in the United States today?

Take Our Survey
Take Our Survey
News organization being free to criticize political leaders is important to maintaining strong democracy in the United States

Learning Extension

Check out the Pew survey results.


Action Extension

Ask ten people to complete the five questions from the Pew survey above and compare their results with those of the general American public. Share your results with class or online.


Bonus Charts*

Making A Scene

What percent of Americans say that Christian symbols like nativity scenes should NOT be allowed on government property?

AP Government and Politics Resources

AP Government and Politics Resources

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How has that number changed over the past three years?

  3. Why do you think that is?

  4. What is one consequence of this?

  5. If this number continues to change at approximately 2% a year, in what year will the majority of Americans agree that Christian symbols like nativity scenes should NOT be allowed on government property?

  6. How will government actions or laws be impacted by this?

  7. What is the big story the chart tells?

  8. What question do you have about this?

  9. What has your own government done about this?

  10. How different do you think the answer to this survey question would be if we changed the word Christian to Muslim?

  11. What has the Supreme Court of the United States said about religious displays on government property?

  12. The First Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," Do you believe that this clause allows for manger scenes on government property.

  13. Do you personally think that Christian symbols like nativity scenes should NOT be allowed on government property?

  14. How do you think demographics impact opinion on religious displays by government.*

Learning Extension

Read the Pew Report on American attitudes towards religious displays by the government.

Action Extension

Find out if your government (city, town, county, district) has any religious displays on public property. Document any displays you find. Contact your local government and tell them what you think about their displays (or lack thereof) and then share your findings in class or online.

Bonus Charts*

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Selfielection

Is it illegal to take a selfie with your ballot in your state?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this information?

  3. What is the big story this map tells?

  4. Why do you think that is?

  5. What consequences are this?

  6. What patterns do you see in this data?

  7. Why do you think that is?

  8. Is this good news?

  9. Do you personally believe that it should be illegal to take a selfie with your ballot?

  10. Explain yourself:

  11. What did the Framers of the Constitution write about Selfies in the 1st Amendment?

  12. Okay, so this is sort of silly, but what does it tell us about federalism and elections?

  13. For real, let's just say that the Supreme Court ruled on this, what is an argument someone in support of allowing ballot selfies could make:

  14. Mississippi and Louisianippi are next-door neighbors. Why do you think they have different laws on voting and selfies?

  15. What advice would you give a voter about taking a ballot selfie? Add your advice to the comments section below or tweet it out with #selfieballot

  16. Explain whether you think a Trump or a Clinton supporter would be more likely to take a ballot selfie:

  17. Are you serious?

  18. If you are not old enough to vote create a pretend ballot, vote for your favorite candidate, and post a picture of your ballot selfie on Instagram or Snapchat.

  19. What is one method that could clear up the selfie ballot controversy and guarantee one ballot selfie rule for all Americans?

  20. Use the language of the Bill of Rights to write a 28th Amendment about Selfie Sticks in Voting Booths.


Learning Extension

Read the Vox article on ballot selfies! Yes, this is for real, and it's in Vox not in the Onion.


Action Extension

Make a poster/flyer for voters in your state with advice about voting and selfies. Post the flyer/poster at your school or share it on social media.