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


I'm Just a Tax Bill

AP US Government and Politics

How popular is the GOP tax bill?

WAPO    AP US Government and Politics Lesson Plans   


AP US Government and Politics Lesson Plans

  1. How popular is the GOP tax bill?

  2. How accurate was your prediction?

  3. How surprising is this data?

  4. How does the popularity of the current GOP tax bill compare to recent major legislation?

  5. Why do you think support for this tax bill is so low?

  6. Do you think that the lack of popularity of this bill will stop it from becoming law?

  7. If you were a politician running for office and you were presented with such an unpopular bill, how might that impact your decision about how to vote for the bill?

  8. What if you didn't live in a toss-up district (all but 8 House members)?

  9. What different calculations will House members and Senators have to make regarding their vote on this bill?

  10. What is one consequence of supporting such an unpopular bill?

  11. Typically, In a democracy, if politicians pass bills that are as unpopular as the GOP tax bill, they will pay a price in subsequent elections. Why is that?

  12. Do you think that politicians who support this very unpopular bill will pay a price in the 2018 elections?

  13. Can baby lobsters be cute?

  14. Can you even tell if a lobster is a baby?

  15. What animals are the least likely to have cute babies?

  16. What does that tell you about American democracy?

  17. What mechanisms of the US electoral system allow for unpopular choices to have such little impact in the voting booth?

  18. The fact is that most people don't really have an opinion about the tax bill. Most people either don't know or don't care. Check out the net favorability results in the bonus chart below* and explain whether the fact that few people know or care about this bill impacts House members' voting decisions:

  19. Explain how much party affiliation impacts support for this bill.*

Bonus Charts*

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Learning Extension

If you just couldn't get enough of the tax bill popularity data, check out all this fun polling data!!!!

Action Extension

Sure, most of you can't vote (on election day) but you can vote (right now) by calling your U.S, House representative or Senator and telling them your opinion about this tax bill. Share your experience in class or online!

Lobster Extension


AP US Government and Lobsters

AP US Government and Lobsters





*Note: the cutest lobster is not a lobster!