Make Perception Great Again

AP U.S. Government and Politics

The average American thinks that over 40% of the population is foreign born. What percentage of the current U.S. population is actually foreign born? 

AP US Government and Politics

AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What story does this stupid chart tell?

  3. How accurate is the average American's prediction?

  4. What are two reasons that explain such a big difference between reality and perception regarding immigrants?

  5. So???? What is a consequence of this difference between reality and perception?

  6. If the average American knew that about 10% of our population was foreign born, what is one government policy that might change?

  7. If the average American knew that about 10% of our population was foreign born, how do you think public opinion towards the Trump administration might change?

  8. Above all, what institutions are responsible for creating U.S. immigration policy?

  9. Above all, what institutions are responsible for enforcing U.S. immigration policy?

  10. How does American perception of immigration compare to that of other countries?

  11. What do you think accounts for this difference?

  12. What are some other policy areas where American perception and reality are equally divergent?

  13. What do you think Donald Trump would have to say about this information?

  14. Why do you think that about 10% of our population is foreign born, and how do you think this compares to U.S. historical levels of immigration?

  15. How do you think demographics and party affiliation impact the perception of foreign born population?

  16. Imagine that you wanted to reduce the % of foreign born population in the U.S. What is one thing the government could do?

Learning Extension

Listen to this groovy NPR report: How America's Idea of Illegal Immigration Doesn't Always Match Reality

Action Extension

Contact your Congressperson and share your opinion about the percentage of U.S. population that is foreign born, and one suggestion of what they could do about it.

Visual Learning Extension

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Precious animal in a top hat and monocle extension

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This Long American Life

AP US Government and Politics

What was U.S. life expectancy at birth in 1900?

AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What was the most surprising thing about this chart?

  3. According to this chart how does your life expectancy compare to your parents' and your grandparents'?

  4. What is the big story in this chart?

  5. Why do you think life expectancy has risen so high, so fast?

  6. Based on the chart, what do you predict U.S. life expectancy will be in 2100 right about when you hit 100?

  7. What is a consequence of growing life expectancy in the US?

  8. Is there any downside of longer life expectancy in the US?

  9. How do you think U.S. life expectancy compares to that of extremely poor countries like Myanmar or Sierra Leon?

  10. What the heck happened in 1918 to make life expectancy decline so dramatically?

  11. In the comments section, discuss how increased life expectancy affects the U.S. political system:


Learning Extension

Read the National Institute on Aging's report on life expectancy before time runs out!


Action Extension

Increasing life expectancy is a good thing, but along with aging, come certain problems for individuals and nations. Some experts have argued that we must increase immigration to help deal with our aging native-born population. Others say that because of our aging population we will have to change the terms of our social security program. Contact your president and explain three steps the federal government should take to deal with our aging population:


Visual Extension

What do you think life expectancy was like in all parts of the world about 1000 years ago?

Incarceration nation

What has happened to the number of sentenced inmates in federal custody (federal prisoners) over the past 30 years?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What is the big trend over the past 30 years?

  3. Why do you think that is?

  4. What is one consequence of this trend?

  5. Who pays for this all?

  6. Is this good news?

  7. What is one thing a president could do about this?

  8. What is one thing a citizen could do about this?

  9. Based on the data from the chart, which president would you hold most responsible for increasing the number of federal prisoners?

  10. Describe the trend in the number of federal inmates during President Obama's time in office?

  11. Why do you think that is?

  12. What do you imagine the trend will be like under Donald Trump?

  13. If you were president explain whether you would try to increase or decrease the federal prison population.

  14. In a country like Finland or Norway, criminals are not incarcerated in American style prisons, but live in rehabilitation centers where they are generally allowed to come and go as they please. Explain whether you think that sort of incarceration system would work in the US.


Learning Extension

Read the Pew Research Center's report on incarceration.


Action Extension

Contact Donald Trump and express your opinion about whether or not he should follow President Obama's direction of reducing the federal prison population.


Visual Extension

Our World In Data Extension

Our Animals in Clothing Extension

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The Ultimate Student Test Prep. Prepare for the AP® US Government and Politics Exam from home! Download your own DIGITAL TEST REVIEW BOOK - RIGHT NOW! Tons of great review material for all 5 units! FRQ workshops with practice questions for all 4 FRQs. 50 BRAND NEW AP® exam-ready multiple choice questions with test key. Get Your Review On!

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No Vacation Nation

AP US Government and Politics

How many paid holidays and vacation days does the U.S. government mandate by law?

CENTER FOR ECONOMIC AND POLICY RESEARCH

AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What was most surprising about this information?

  3. What is the big story this chart tells?

  4. Why do you think the US has such a low level of vacation time compared to all other wealthy nations?

  5. What is one consequence of not having any mandated paid vacation time?

  6. Overall, is this good or bad news?

  7. What about U.S. history or the U.S. political system help explain why we are so different in terms of time off from the rest of the wealthy world?

  8. If workers get paid time off, who pays for it?

  9. Do you consider countries like Norway, Germany, or Sweden, all which get over 25 paid days off a year, to be lazy or economically weak countries?

  10. What questions do you have about this chart and information?

  11. Describe the different ways liberals and  conservatives might react to this chart:

  12. In the comments section, Based on paid vacation time, explain which country from this list would you most like to live in:


Learning Extension

You can read the entire report on our non-vacation nation from the Center for Economic and Policy Research


Action Extension

Contact your congressional representative and let them know what you think about the fact that the U.S. is the only economically advanced nation that gets 0 paid vacation time.


Bonus Chart For Absolutely No Good Reason

AP US Government and Politics

Foreign Aid

AP US Government and Politics

What portion of the federal budget does the US spend on foreign aid?

WOW!

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this data?

  3. What's the big story here?

  4. Why do you think the U.S. spends such a small portion of its budget on foreign aid?

  5. What is one consequence of spending such a small portion of our budget on foreign aid?

  6. Is this information good news or bad news?

  7. What exactly is foreign aid anyway, and where do you think most of this foreign aid goes?*

  8. What % of our budget do you think the average American thinks we spend on foreign aid?**

  9. Why do you think there's such a huge divide in what Americans think we spend and what we actually spend?

  10. What portion of US GDP do you think we spend on foreign aid?***

  11. If you were emperor/empress/emprex or czar/czarina/czar-x of America what percent of our budget would you spend on foreign aid?

  12. List three members of the US government who play a major role in formulating foreign aid spending and describe their role.

  13. In April, the State Department announced that it was halting all U.S. foreign aid going to the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador at the direction of President Donald Trump who said that the countries had done too little for the U.S. How much aid do those countries get?*

  14. In the comments section below, express your opinion of what portion of our budget we should spend on foreign aid: 

  15. Explain the opinion the following would probably have regarding foreign aid:

  • traditional US conservative

  • traditional US liberal

  • Anti-Federalist

  • Staunch Trump supporter

  • Staunch Bernie Sanders supporter

Learning Extension

I've put together an entire fantabulous lesson on foreign aid. Check it out and play our foreign aid party game at home!

Action Extension

Take our foreign aid quiz and then share it with your friends/fans/followers on facebook, Twitter, Myspace (kidding), Snapchat, or Instagram. After your "friends" answer what portion of the US budget they think we spend on foreign aid, share the actual amount and watch them freak out! Share your results in class or online.

Visual Extension*

Infographic: Where U.S. Foreign Aid is Going | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista
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Our World In Data Extension

Our Animals in Clothing Extension

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HIGH FIVE - STUDENT TEST PREP - DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

The Ultimate Student Test Prep. Prepare for the AP® US Government and Politics Exam from home! Download your own DIGITAL TEST REVIEW BOOK - RIGHT NOW! Tons of great review material for all 5 units! FRQ workshops with practice questions for all 4 FRQs. 50 BRAND NEW AP® exam-ready multiple choice questions with test key. Get Your Review On!