Thursday, April 30, 2009

PEW Hispanic Center Report on 2008 Election
I used PEW a lot when I was writing my dissertation and found their reports very easy to understand. They give an executive summary before the main report and have lots of graphs and charts. Today they came out with the 2008 election report which is quite interesting (and short). The most interesting result is above. Since 2000, women have had the highest turnout amongst eligible voters, but as you can see from above and here in the report, African-American women had a higher turnout rate than white women. The chart is a great way to teach about race and income in relation to voting.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Google Feature for Statistics
Today, Google released a new feature that gives you graphics. For example for the one above, I put it "VA unemployment rate." It also then allows you, in this case, to add any and all of the other states on the same graph. The google trends page has some very cool things such as this comparison of Obama/Clinton votes or the number of hits for Sen. Spector.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Annenberg Classroom

If you haven't been to the Annenberg Classroom site, it's worth it. Lots of great resources, such as the video clips of Justices Bryer and Scalia debating judicial activism vs. judicial restraint. Registration is free.

The First 100 Days
Here is a very nice series on the first 100 days of Nixon through Obama. So far the series, in the Washington Post, is up through Clinton and can all be seen here. Each is only several minutes. Above is Nixon.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spark Notes
This is a great review place for the AP government exam. You have to login, but once you do, you can do thirty questions and have all the correct answers. Even better it will tell you the areas in which you need to study further.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Campaign Chiefs Come Clean!
There is a great article in the Post today discussing a speech made by the McCain and Obama campaign managers. Schmidt (McCain) does as far as to say that when Lehman Brothers collapsed that he knew the campaign was over. He also states that the Couric interview of Palin was one of the two worst campaign moments - ever - along with when Ted Kennedy was unable to give Roger Mudd a reason why he was running for president. It may not help your students, but it is an interesting read and it certainly emphasizes what political scientists have long said that economy has a huge impact on campaigns.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Embedding a Video Into a Power Point
It is amazing what one can find from a Google search. Watch the video above and you too can embed a video into a Power Point. Wow!

Monday, April 20, 2009

After the AP Exam.
After the AP government exam, Virginia statute mandates that I teach state and local government. But after that I like to show some films that are interesting to the kids. Here is one that I might share with the kids on Air Force One (58 minutes) which comes from

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Fed Made Easy!
Here is a nice, simple, webpage put together by the Federal Reserve which gives it history, how it works, and more. It also has nice graphics to explain everything.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

State Constitutions
Here in VA, we have to teach state and local government after we have completed the federal system. For those states who are in similar situations, you might want to check this page out as it has all 50 constitutions as well as pages for each individual government.
Congressional Record
More and more I am having my kids do research on the Internet to learn the concept we are looking at in class. The Congressional Record is a great way to integrate learning and real life as it has any bill you'd ever want, its history, the House and Senate journals and so much more.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lots and Lots of Multiple Choice Questions
Do you need extra test questions or want your students to be better prepared for your or other (AP and state exams). Here are a mess of questions broken up by subject matter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Review Sites
With the AP exam in early May and state wide tests soon thereafter, here are some review sites.
I'll add to these as I find more, but if you know some, please leave a message.

Conservapedia (what is Conservapedia?)
Government in America
Glencoe - select a unit and chapter and then do the questions
Sample Gov Examination 1, Answers
Sample Gov Examination 2, Answers
Sample Gov Examination 3, Answers
Sample Gov Examination 4, Answers
Teacher Made
AP Teacher Made Test

Online Textbook with a great search engine for kids who are reviewing

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

So Many Blogs, So Little Time
There are a bunch of ways to follow your blogs. You can go to them every once in a while, have an e-mail sent to you or have a Google reader page set up for you which allows you to quickly see what has been updated, add as many pages as you want and to share the pages with others. Play the movie above to see it done - and it's very easy.

The News in 100 Seconds
I've talked to you about CNN's Student News which is an in depth (10 minutes) review of the recent news. However, if you want to just hit the highlights has the day in 100 seconds.  Granted you do have to be able to recognize the people in the video, but if you do, it can be a vehicle for discussing some interesting points in government.  Above is the installment showing yesterday's news. 
When I started this site and its companion ones (see side links) I thought it would be a good way to help the teachers in my school district. But, thanks to the teachers helping me (two of whom are way outside of my school district) on this site and YOU, it has grown each month to where in March we had over 10,000 hits. A number of you have linked this site to yours and/or featured it in your own blogs. Additionally, I've received a number of e-mails with suggestions. So thanks and please keep your ideas and site visits coming. _ KenHalla

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Redistricting Game
Here is a nice example of how to do redistricting using online technology. "Mrs. Trullinger" has a very nice blog site that she uses for her classes.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Complete Governemnt Textbook Online and FREE
Here is a complete online textbook which you can use for your regular government students. Not only is it complete, but it has a lot of links on every page and it is and will continue to be ENTIRELY FREE (I say this because I have been working with the group, so I know!). It is produced by a non-profit in Philly and the two people who put it together have been in the online book business for years.
Gay Marriage in Iowa
I imagine you saw the news on the Iowa Supreme Court affirming that gay marriage is protected by their state's equal protection clause. Here is a story that discusses how interest groups targeted Iowa for the court action. Of course, the US Constitution has the 14th amendment's equal protection clause as it does Article IV's full faith and credit clause - but (as far as I know) the US Supreme Court has not incorporated its meaning to include gay marriage. At any rate, here is a simple regression that correctly predicts when past referenda (link has a list & explanation for all of the amendments and referenda) have & will pass. To overturn the Iowa decision with a constitutional amendment would mean the legislature would have to pass it twice and then it would have to go before the people no earlier than 2011. In any case, this is the perfect item for government class since it's emits strong feelings on both sides and covers so many gov't terms (amendment, incorporation, equal prot clause, full faith & credit, court system, briefs, litigants, laws, referendum and I could keep on going).

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Economics Book Online
Here is an entire economics book online. If you are teaching this class, you might want to look at the text as a supplement or as your actual text.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Government Blogs From Across the Country
The Fix over at the Washington Post has a list he is compiling of political blogs across the country. Go here to see yours. If you don't see yours, e-mail him and he can add it to the list.