The Amazing Race: American Politics and the Battle to be First

Jeff Joyce, AP Government and Politics, William A Hough High School

Final Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core Standards

200 Word Synopsis

This curriculum unit is about two things: exposing students to the idea that politics and political ideologies are two very distinct things. And it is about learning the ins and outs of running and winning a campaign. Students first learn to think about communication as being both verbal and physical. Then they examine the manifestations of those verbal and physical communiqués in election outcomes. They then use what they have come to understand about politics in its’ various forms to launch their own campaigns. Every member of the staff and student body is involved in what evolves into the amazing race- a five-day competition to win. Along the way we encounter several important elements to the AP Government curriculum. Polling and the use of polling data, campaign finance, primary elections, running a campaign, debates ands speeches, issue-oriented politics, psychology and the electorate, and many more pertinent ideas to the field of political science. It is a unit built for mature students who are ready for a sophisticated look at American Government.