Millennial Political Efficacy

AP U.S. Government and Politics

What percent of Millennials (age 23-38) feel like they have a high level of political efficacy?

AP U.S. Government and Politics

AP U.S. Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What is the big story this data tells?

  3. About 2/3 or American Millennials think they can make a difference in politics. Do you think they are right?

  4. Why do you think Millenials feel this way?

  5. What is a consequence of this relatively high level of political efficacy?

  6. If you are reading this, most likely, you are a member of Generation Z (age 7-22). In your opinion, how different are Generation Z and the Millennial Generation in terms of their feelings of political efficacy?

  7. How much do you think levels of political efficacy vary by state?

  8. How different do you think levels of political efficacy would be in an autocratic state?

  9. Is a high level of citizen political efficacy good for incumbents?

  10. Do you personally think that, "By participating in politics, I can make a difference?"

  11. How does race impact Millennial’s views on political efficacy?*

  12. How does education impact Millennial’s views on political efficacy?*

  13. How do you think Millennials feel about the POTUS and why do you think that is?*

  14. Asian Americans Millennials feel like they have a much higher level of political efficacy than any other American ethnic groups. Why do you think this is?

  15. What is the most surprising fact from this data?

  16. What question do you have about this data?

  17. If a person thinks they don’t have political efficacy and thus takes no political action are they correct about their political efficacy?

  18. Who is the most politically efficacious person you know (this does not have to directly relate to national government or even state government, it might be someone who just gets stuff done around your community)?

  19. The United States is a federal system. Explain whether, in general, people in federal, confederal, or unitary systems have more political efficacy.

  20. What are some features of the American political system which generally limit political efficacy?

  21. Describe some features of the American political system which generally increase political efficacy.

  22. The Framers of the Constitution never once used the word democracy in the U.S. Constitution. Based on your knowledge of the political system the Framers created, make a claim explaining whether the Framers intend for citizens to feel a high level of political efficacy.

Visual Extension*

AP U.S. Government and Politics

AP U.S. Government and Politics

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..."and make a difference."     AP U.S. Government and Politics

..."and make a difference."

AP U.S. Government and Politics

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Learning Extension

Check out the entire NBC News poll on Millennials and politics.

Action Extension

Poll ten of your schoolmates about their feelings of political efficacy. Share your results in class or online in the comments section below:

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Top Ten Events

AP US Government and Politics

Please name the 10 historic events that occurred in YOUR lifetime that you think have had the greatest impact on the country. This could be one specific event, a series of related events or any other historic development or change that had an important impact on the nation.

Pew Research Center

AP US Government and Politics

  1. What generation are you a part of?

  2. Which generation was your list of the 10 most important events the most similar to?

  3. What generation was your list the most different from?

  4. Overall, what surprised you most about these lists?

  5. Overall, what do these lists tell us about the US?

  6. What is the biggest generational difference these lists reveal?

  7. Of all the historical events listed on all these lists, explain which event, 50 years from now, will not still be on any list?

  8. In the long run, do you believe that September 11 will end up being more historically significant to our country than WWII?

  9. How different do you think this list would be for someone from Africa OR A PERSON FROM ASIA?

  10. Respondents were asked to include only events from their lifetime. If you were allowed to add any event which has occurred since 1901 to your list, how would your list change? 

  11. What do you think the generation that included the Framers of the Constitution would have listed as their top events?

  12. Explain how different these lists would be for a conservative and a liberal of the same generation*:

  13. Describe How race and ethnicity impacts these lists*?

  14. Obama's election was ranked 2nd on the list for the most recent generations, and near the top for all the generations. Explain what was so important about Obama's election?

  15. This question was asked before Trump's election. How do you think Trump's election will rank on the list of the 10 historic events that occurred in YOUR lifetime that you think have had the greatest impact on the country.

  16. Let's call the generation born after 1998 (that's you) the igeneration. Explain the main way your generation is different from the Millennial Generation:

  17. Now that fake news makes such an impact on society, and people have difficulty distinguishing real from made-up events, explain whether we will have fake history, and thus very different lists of important events in the future:

Learning Extension

Read the Pew Research Center report on each generation's most important events.

Action Extension

After you make your list, share it with friends in person or online and ask them for their own list of top 10 events. From that data, compile a list of the most important events for your generation to share in class or online.

VISUAL 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!

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

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Obstacles to Equality?

AP US Government and Politics

Do you think that most Americans agree with the following statement: "Significant obstacle still make it harder for women to get ahead then men."

Pew Research Center    AP US Government and Politics

Pew Research Center

AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprised are you by this data?

  3. Do you believe that, "Significant obstacle still make it harder for women to get ahead then men." 

  4. Give one example to support your opinion:

  5. According to the data, what demographic groups most agreed with the statement that, "Significant obstacle still make it harder for women to get ahead then men."

  6. Why do you think Republicans and Democrats have such different views on this issue?

  7. What would be a good title for this chart?

  8. What do you think this data would have looked like 30 years ago, and what do you think this data will look like 30 years from now?

  9. What are some obstacles that make it harder for women to get ahead that have been removed in the past half century?

  10. What are some remaining obstacles that make it harder for women to get ahead that remain?

  11. Imagine you were the head of an interest group trying to remove obstacles to equality. Describe 2 methods your interest group could use that would be the most likely to produce change.

  12. Explain what role political socialization plays in this data.

  13. What does this data tell you about current American political culture?

  14. How do the Americans' attitudes about obstacles to women vary by race, ethnicity, gender, and education level?*

  15. In 1972 the Equal Rights AMendment** to the constitution was passed by 2/3 of congress and then was sent to the states to be ratified. 35 states ratified the E.R.A., but that did not meet the 3/4 threshold (38) states needed to ratify the amendment. If you were asked to vote on this amendment, explain how you would vote:

  16. WHat does the map of states that ratified the E.R.A. tell you about the geography of equality? *

Visual Extension*

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The Equal Rights Amendment**

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

Learning Extension

Read this Pew report on attitudes about gender and obstacles.

Action Extension

List all the obstacles you can think of that make it harder for men to get ahead. List all the obstacles you can think of that make it harder for women to get ahead. Make a chart/poster/flyer about this and post it on the wall of your school or on social media.

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Will you be richer than your parents?

AP US Government and Politics

What is the percent chance that you will be wealthier than your parents?

NY Times

AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this data?

  3. The phrase “American dream” was invented during the Great Depression. It comes from a popular 1931 book by the historian James Truslow Adams, who defined it as “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone.” Based on this chart and your knowledge of US history and politics, explain whether you think the American dream is dead:

  4. What is the big story this chart tells

  5. For much of the 20th century, since the end of the Great Depression, each generation of Americans was getting richer. Why do you think that was the case?

  6. And why do you think that expanding growth slowed down?

  7. What is one consequence of the decline of growth in wealth for the most recent generations?

  8. Many of the people of my generation, who were born in the 60s, expected to do better than our parents, and assumed we would have a materially comfortable life: owning cars and a house. We were, for the most part, correct. Do you think that most people of your generation, born around or since 2000,  expect to be richer than your parents?

  9. What are some material expectations (car/home ownership) that your generation has that are different from people were born a half century before? Maybe your generation won't be richer than your parents'. In what way will your generation be better off (happier, better fed, fitter) than your parents' generation?

  10. Do you personally think you will deviate from the trends shown in the chart?

  11. If you had to extrapolate from this data, what would you say would be the percent chance that someone born in 1990 would make more money than their parents?

  12. In 2000?

  13. In 2010?

  14. How much do you think the death of the American dream impacted the 2016 election?

  15. When Donald Trump says, "Make America Great again," is he partly saying: bring back the American dream?

  16. Describe one policy the US government has enacted that helps people achieve the American dream.

  17. Do you think Trump will bring back the American dream/make America great again?

  18. If you were to run for president in 2020, how much impact would this data and the idea of the dying American dream affect your campaign?


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I will be richer than my parents.

Learning Extension

Read the entire Upshot article about the American Dream.

Action Extension

It's survey time. Ask ten people born around 2000 if they think they will be richer than their parents. Crunch your data and share the information in class or online.

Visual Extension

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US Child Poverty

AP US Government and Politics

What percent of American children live in poverty?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. Based on what you've just learned from this chart, list one adjective to describe how America treats her children:

  3. What questions do you have about the chart?

  4. How surprised are you by the fact that 1/3 of US children living in poverty?

  5. In the comments section below, answer the following question: Is this good news?

  6. Why do 1/3 of all American children live in poverty?

  7. What is a consequence of the fact that 1/3 of American children live in poverty?

  8. Claim: “If children don’t want to be poor they should do something about that!” Based on your knowledge of American politics, respond to this claim.

  9. Why do you think the US, one of the world's richest countries, has a worse poverty rate than countries with far fewer resources?

  10. How do you think countries like Denmark, Finland, and Norway are able to keep their child poverty rate below 10%?

  11. If you were given the option of being born in a country where 1/3 of the kids were poor or a country where 1/10 kids were poor explain which you would you chose. (Pro Tip: this offer has expired.)

  12. How do you think the current presidential administration will impact the rate of child poverty in the U.S.?

  13. We beat Latvia in our rate of child poverty!!!! Is this good news?

  14. Describe one policy the US could implement to lower the child poverty rate?

  15. Describe the process of implementing a policy like this.

  16. What U.S. agencies of departments would be the most involved in any attempts to lower child poverty?

  17. Based on his writings in Letter From Birmingham Jail, what do you think Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would say about Americans and child poverty rates?

  18. How do you imagine child poverty rates vary by state?*

  19. Based on the state poverty rate map below and your knowledge of American politics, what conclusion about party identification and poverty can you draw?*

  20. How do you think American child poverty rates have changed over time?*

  21. What about American political culture explains the high poverty rate in the U.S.?

  22. How would the following ideologies likely respond to the level of child poverty in the U.S.?

  • Liberalism

  • Conservatism

  • Libertarianism

  • Socialism

Visual Extension*

Action Extension

Share this chart on social media or post a copy of it on a bulletin board at school and ask people to comment on it.

Learning Extension

Read the new report from the Children's Defense Fund about how we dramatically reduce US child poverty.

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Freedom of the Net

Did American internet freedom increase or decrease in 2018?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. According to the data, is American internet freedom Improving or decling?

  3. Why do you think that is?

  4. What is one consequence of that change?

  5. Describe How the internet impacted the 2016 election.

  6. Hypothetically, What is one power a POTUs could use to limit internet freedom in the U.S.?

  7. Let’s say that a POTUS limited internet freedom, describe one thing either of the other branches of government could do to (As James madison would say in Federalist No. 51) counteract his ambition?

  8. How do you think Freedom House measures internet freedom, anyway?

  9. How does the U.S. of A. compare to the rest of the world regarding internet freedom?

  10. does that make you proud?

  11. In terms of internet freedom, what is the least free country in the world?

  12. How do you think that least-free country (Pro Tip: it’s China) is able to control the internet?*

  13. Do you think Most people in china generally know that Their internet freedom is reduced?

  14. Imagine that America’s press and internet freedom were dramatically limited. How would you know?!?!?!?!?

  15. Can you Imagine a world without hypotheticals?

  16. What about American political culture makes the United States less susceptible to governmental internet control than a place like china?

  17. Explain which American Foundational Documents support the idea of American internet freedom.

  18. Explain whether a Federalist or an Anti-Federalist would, in general, be more concerned about the national government censoring the internet.

  19. In general, do you think the internet Increases or decreases american political freedom?

Visual Extension*

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Learning Extension

Open the interactive Freedom on the Net 2018 Map. Tour the world and find out about internet freedom in at least 3 countries.

Action Extension

Contact the Chinese embassy in the U.S. and let them know what you think about internet freedom.

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Purple Country

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Are there currently more solidly Democratic or solidly Republican states in the United States?

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  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprising was the data from the table?

  3. What has happened to the number of solidly Democratic states over the past few years?

  4. Why do you think that is?

  5. Based on the table, how has the number of solidly Republican (red) states changed over the past decade?

  6. How many competitive (purple) states are there?

  7. If the number of competitive states increases what will probably happen to elections to the U.S. Senate?

  8. Why is that?

  9. Explain whether the growth of competitive states will have the same impact On U.S. House elections?

  10. List three Government policies that are probably different in states that are very red versus states that are very blue?

  11. Why is that?

  12. Describe the redness/blueness/purpleness of your state, district, and neighborhood.

  13. If you were to move to a state with a party affiliation most like yours, where would you move?

  14. In the past, neighborhoods and cities were full of both Republicans and Democrats. Demographers tell us that we are becoming more likely to live in communities of similar party affiliation. How will this impact the data in the table and how will that influence American politics?

  15. Explain how the number of competitive states impacts presidential elections?

  16. What is the most Democratic state in America?*

  17. What is the most Republican state?*

  18. What geographical patterns in party affiliation do you think are reflected in a map of this data?

  19. Explain whether the data from the table is good news.

  20. What impact do you think the policies of the current Republican POTUS, House and Senate will have on the number of solidly Republican states in 2020?

Visual Extension*

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Learning Extension

Read the Gallup report on states and party affiliation.

Action Extension

Find out about the political party affiliation of U.S. Senators and see if they roughly match the data from the table. Contact any Senators who do not reflect their state's political party affiliation and ask them to move to another state or resign from the Senate.

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Pro Tip: Don’t smoke!

Democratic Socialism

Do more Democrats approve of socialism or capitalism?

  1. What the What?!?! How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprised are you by this data?

  3. What is the big story the chart tells?

  4. Describe some of the main differences between capitalism and socialism.

  5. Why do you think more Democrats approve of socialism than capitalism?

  6. How will this impact the nomination process for the 2020 presidential election?

  7. Identify some Democratic party leaders who you associate with socialist beliefs.

  8. Identify some Republican Party leaders who you associate with capitalist beliefs.

  9. The goal of a political party is to turn it’s beliefs into policy by winning elections. In terms achieving these goals, explain whether you think that the shift of Democrats towards socialism is good news for the Democratic Party.

  10. Democrats are generally associated with a liberal political ideology. Explain whether liberalism is compatible with socialism.

  11. Republicans are generally associated with a conservative political ideology. Explain whether conservatism is compatible with capitalism?

  12. What is one trend you see in the chart?

  13. Explain whether independent voters would be more attracted to capitalism or socialism?

  14. Are capitalism and socialism mutually exclusive?

  15. What is one policy that a democratic party moving towards the left, towards more socialism, would be likely to endorse?

  16. What is one policy in American government that is a result of the influence of Capitalism?

  17. What is one policy in American government that is a result of the influence of socialism?

  18. How much do you think the echo-chamber of social media has contributed to this leftward slant of Democrats, and rightward slant of Republicans?

  19. In the past, the chart above would have had more people smack dab in the middle. What has happened to those people and how does the lack of a center impact gridlock in American politics (border walls, government shutdowns, etc.)?

  20. Imagine you are one of the 10% of Republicans who have a positive view of socialism. What do you imagine is the main reason these people are Republicans instead of Democrats?

  21. How do you think age impacts approval of socialism?*

  22. The Federalist argues that most young people who like socialism don’t really know what it is! Do you think most old people who like capitalism really know what it is?

  23. Based on your knowledge of American politics, respond to the Federalist’s claim above.

Visual Extension

Learning Extension

Read this FiveThirtyEight story about millennials and socialism.

Action Extension

Then check out some of the young folks in this year’s POLITICO50, Politico’s list of 50 ideas driving politics (and the people behind them). Share the idea or person that you find most interesting on social media or by word of mouth.

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