Monday, March 30, 2009

Ancillaries for Edwards AP Gov't Book
Here are a number of ancillaries starting with some great (and rather detailed) chapter summaries - good enough for most regular government students in case you are using the Magruder's and don't have an online textbook site. There are also a variety of test questions (again better for regular since they are only four stemmed - when will the AP textbook makers realize that the AP exam has five stemmed questions?!), links and ideas for teaching.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wilson Dililuo Powerpoints
If you go here, you can find all the Power Points that go with this AP book. You do have to go into each of the sections as they are not all in one place.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Where in the world is Hillary?
Here is the page that shows where Clinton is right now, but here is the one for recent Secretaries of State detailing exactly where and what they did. For example here is Rice's schedule in 2008. It is very interesting especially since you have milegage as well. Rice's longest trip in 2008 was 17,000 miles and many others were close to that!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Presidential Documents
Okay. This has it all: Executive Orders, State of the Union Addresses, Proclamations, State of the Union Messages, Press Conferences, Inaugural Addresses, Saturday Radio Addresses, Addresses to Congress (non-SOU), Fireside Chats (FDR), Addresses to Nation, Veto Messages, Addresses to the United Nations, Radio & TV Correspondents Dinners, Addresses to Foreign Legislatures, Party Convention Addresses and College Commencement Addresses.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Politicians and the Issues
This is a pretty amazing site. If you go there, you can look up any federal office holder and see how they voted on a variety of controversial issues.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Newspaper Front Pages

Great link from the Newseum that allows you to view the front pages of newspapers around the US and the world!
Newspaper Circulation
One of the most overlooked chapters in a government textbook is the media which begs the question, how will government and voters change in a democracy with few newspapers. Will we go to only online or other alternatives (Kindle2?). Click here to see the graphic above in larger form. When you get to the graphic, click on it again and it will get even bigger and you can see how print newspapers are dropping in circulation. If you want to see what political scientists say about it, go here.

Entire Leno Interview
As soon as I find a highlights video of the complete one above, I will add it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Way Around the Electoral College?
When we get to the electoral college most of the kids have a hard time understanding why we have it, but I then explain that small states are not likely to give up the right to have a larger impact on a presidential election (not unlike having two US senators per state). But there is an organization that has been working on a way around a constitutional amendment which you might find interesting. In their words "The National Popular Vote bill is pending in state houses across the country, and has passed 25 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington, and both houses in California, Colordao, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes — 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect." More on their site

By the way, while I knew about Maryland action regarding this, I did not know about the website until I was contacted. If you have anything that you think we, as teacher should share, please e-mail me ( as sharing is what this site is all about.

New Site on Presidential Appointees
This site has all the appointees, whether they have been confirmed as well as the White House staff. This site shows the numbers of the four previous presidents at the same point and this Wall Street Article talks about how Obama is ahead of his predecessors.

AIG Is Already in a Congressional Ad
It didn't take long, but up in New York, there is already an advertisement running for congressional candidate Jim Tedisro (R) for the 2008 midterm elections (see above). I found out about from one of my favorite government blogs called "The Fix."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Think Tanks
If nothing else, this is a great site as it links to a number of Washington, D.C. think tanks. But it also has articles written by analysts at think tanks that appear on a regular basis in the Washington Post. (picture from the Washington Post)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Virginia Stimulus Money

Would you like to know where the stimulus money given to Virginia is really going? Go to

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Report Cards
I always talk about Congressional report cards, but they are not easy to find - until now. Go here and go to "advocacy groups," find your state and person and you can choose from a large number to see how the person did.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Obama Ratings Down a Bit
This is a nice show of Obama's popularity since he came to office with an accompanying explanation.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Visualizing the Stimulus Package

With the stiumulus package clocking in at an even $825 billion, these visuals from PageTutor (using the free Google Sketchup tool) are pretty staggering. The graphic above is only one billion; imagine this duplicated 825 times!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Polls is a great source for visuals to show your students. In my state of Virginia, we just had a lopsided campaign for the US Senate as you can see above. Just go to google and type in the names of your candidates as well as "" and you will get back an aggregation of the polls taken during the campaign.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Interactive Graphic of the West Wing
This is a very nice graphic which shows who is where in the West Wing offices and how small most of them are. Of course, most of the president's staff works in the Eisenhower Office Building (formerly known as the Old Executive Office Building) which is next door to the White House.
Liberal/Conservative Standings of Congress
National Journal is one of the more respected magazines in government (albeit a very expensive one). Each year they rate Senators and members of the House based on key votes. If you want the 2008 ratings go here. The graphics are rather cool as you just run your cursor over a person and the ranking comes up.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sobering Picture of the US's Largest Companies
This graphic shows the share worth of the largest US companies now (red dot) and in 2007 (gray circle). To see a larger version and an accompanying article, go here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fiscal/Monetary Policy Game
That's right, who knew that there was a game for this! This is a great way to make a tough subject more interesting and enjoyable and make the kids remember which group does what.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Political Cartoons in the Classroom

I often run out of time in class to get a chance to discuss current events going on, and political cartoons are a great way to get kids talking... and introduce a little levity, which is never a bad thing. Herblock's History has some great historical political cartoons, and Time's Cartoons of the Week (or the NYT's Upfront) is a great place to start for some fresh material.

To help the kids unpack all the cues and messages in political cartoons, check out the National Archives great cartoon analysis worksheet.

Marbury v. Madison On Colbert Report
Lina (see below) found this and it is a fun way to show your kids the pivotal Supreme Court case once you have presented it to your students.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

New Kid on the Block

Hi there - I'm Lina, and I'm really looking forward to contributing here from time to time! I'm a high school teacher in Kentucky, and I teach all government, all the time, to about 180 lovely ninth graders. As you can imagine, any site that makes abstract concepts like the federal deficit easier to understand to students who don't even have jobs yet is worth its weight in gold! I'm hoping I can return the favor with some interesting posts.

Be seeing you -

Youth Leadership Initiative
You may know this site as a number of people use it for the mock elections (you can use it for your entire school). It also has a popular e-Congress and lesson plans.