Church and State and Church and State

AP U.S Government and Politics

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Imagine the entire population of the U.S. is 100 people. Out of 100, what number of Americans would be Muslim?

AP U.S. Government and Politics

AP U.S. Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What surprised you most about these numbers?

  3. Based on these numbers, what generalization could you make about religion in American?

  4. Based on the data from this chart, would it be accurate to call the United States a Christian nation?

  5. If you were running for President of the United States and you had never been a religious person, but you needed to choose a religion to pretend to be to make the most people vote for you, what religion would you chose, and do you think it would work?

  6. How do you think these numbers have changed in the last fifty years and in the last 10 years?*

  7. How different do you think these numbers will be in the future?**

  8. How do you think the fact that 71% of all Americans are Christians impacts American politics?

  9. Is it reasonable to think that a country that is 71% Christian is going to have a high wall of separation between church and state?

  10. Fact: one out of every 100 Americans is Muslim. What do you think the average American would guess that number is?

  11. Fact: 23% of Americans are non-religious (unaffiliated). How do you think this growing number influences American politics?

  12. Of all the American religious (and non-religious) groups listed above which do you think the is most reliably Republican and which is the most reliably Democratic?***

Visual Extension*





Party affiliation by religious group.png
Frequency of feeling wonder about the universe by political party.png
Belief in Hell by political party.png


Learning Extension

The Pew Research Center has a great interactive map where you can look at the specifics of religious affiliation in your state. Check it out!

Action Extension

Talk to someone of a different religious background from your own and try to understand how their religion impacts their politics. Share your finding in class or online.

Our World In Data Extension

Animals In Clothes 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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Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 2.57.21 PM.png

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!