Saturday, February 28, 2009

US Supreme Court Case?
So I am starting my court section this week in calass and this case that smacks of federalism might be a good place to begin. Who owns the rare copy (pictured above) of the Declaration of Independence? The VA Supreme Court ruled that a Fairfax County, VA man won his case of ownership against the state of Maine. Of course it's not that easy because Maine was representing the a town that didn't exist in 1776 and of course the document predates our Constitution. So does it go from here to the US Supreme Court? Read on
Another (very scary) Graphic
Above is the graphic showing how poorly our growth was in the last three months of 2008.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Great Budget Graphic
Not that there won't be major changes in this chart as Congress works its magic, but go here to see the graphic above in a bigger format. It does a great job of showing such important terms as mandatory and discretionary spending as well as the deficits over the years.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blogging with Students
I have had several posts on how to make a blog, but here is an example of how to use them in the classroom.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Student News and Obama/Jindal Speeches
I've put this up before, but it's worth repeating as one of the teachers in my department now swears by it. Student news is a daily feature with the top news. Here is the entire speech by Obama and Gov. Jindal or here are clips of Obama.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Another Way to Look 2008
I took this from the Monkey Cage which is a blog started by some political scientists at GWU where I am finishing up my PhD. They took it from Good Magazine. When you look at the links it shows you the different entities that gave to the 2008 presidential candidates. As for the Monkey Cage site, it gives short analysis of some interesting new ideas in political science.
Hippo Campus Improves Its Look
Hippo Campus is a great way to teach government without a hardback textbook and it's free. The site is very easy to move around on and has text, flash movies, graphs, charts and more. In a couple of weeks, I'll post the link to the free online book I've been working on with a group out of Philly. At that point, you can really ditch the standard text and spend the money on something more useful like student laptops!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Site on People/Personalities Who Run Government
This is a brand new site run collectively by the Washington Post, Slate and Newsweek. It comes with a blog, tweetering (is that a word?!), Facebook page and more if you want that much. Mostly it is a nice place to find articles to give students. For example, here is a profile on my governor, Tim Kaine, who is also the head of the DNC. It includes a "why he matters" part as well as "path to power," "the issues," "governship," "why he matters" and a bunch of items on what he has done on the issues. Then on the right of the page are connections to VA's US senators. Another person prominantely displayed today (in conjunction with the governors' meetings in DC) is Arnold Schwarzenegger and when you click on him you see similar links as on Kaine's page.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Morphing the First 44 Presidents
A little fun movie for your students with all 44 of the presidents.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

CNN Presidential Ranking
First off when you look at the ranking, notice that there are only 42 presidents. That's because Grover Cleveland is counted twice since his two terms were not consecutive. Also, not counted is John Hanson who was the president of the Articles of Confederation Congress. We were a country - shouldn't he count?! The CNN survey is also shows the categories that it used to come up with the list. Here is a listing of other rankings.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Extensive US Government Notes
Here are some good notes, chapter by chapter for US government.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

And Another Teacher Made Resource of Links
"Ms. Hotz" is clearly very devoted to her students and has provided another very useful resource for research (pictures, stories, videos, etc.) for both students and teachers. The US sources are organized to follow the standard textbook's outline. As an added bonus there is a useful section explaining how to make internet searches (probably explains her success).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Some people (and texts) still refer to it as the General Accounting Office even though it is now the Government Accountability Office. Either way, it is not always easy to explain to students, but here is a good article on how the US's lost weapons in Afghanistan are being used against us and one that you could use to highlight the work of the GAO.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How To Use Movie Maker
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: movie_maker blog)

Movie Maker
This is the most fun your students will have all year and will learn to boot! Movie makers is on all Windows computers and is very easy to make. Your students can add music, video, pictures, words, etc. and make a very nice presentation.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Confederate vs Union States in Obama's Election
Above and here is a pretty interesting look at Obama's election. As the Washington Post states, "In every state that was part of the Confederacy, John McCain won a larger share of the white vote than he did nationwide" and he won all but three of the former Confederate states outright while Obama won all but two Union ones with the exception of Kentucky and Missouri. Those states, of course, were two of the four Union slave holding states. It would make for an interesting assignment to look at the Census data (or go here for a quick state by state analysis)for the above mentioned states and try to see why these voting patterns might have happened given the current demographics of each state.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

AP Comparative Blog
Yes I know it's not US government, but many people also teach comparative. If you do, you may know the guru is Ken Wedding who makes this site. He is retired and so really has the time to make it a very useful addition to your teaching portfolio. There is also a link to his book.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Public Opinion/Election/Media Assignment
I get many e-mails asking to put up assignments, so here goes. This one was just created using many of the sites on this blog page and I've given it to my government students to reinforce what we are learning with our current unit that includes running for office (PACs, issues, legislative report cards), media (their ads, editorials, cartoons) and more.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Stock Market Game
This will allow your students to study the stock market by making their "own" investments and following them throughout the school year.
Stimulus Plans World Wide
This is a great interactive site that allows you to click on a nation and see what they have to done so far to try and save their economy.