Summer Assignments

To: All students enrolled in AP Government

Welcome to your senior year and AP Government class!  I am looking forward to teaching this class next year.  I promise that I will work hard to help you be successful in this class and on the AP exam, but I will expect you to work just as hard.  And that hard work starts this summer.

Attached you will find the summer assignments for this course.  Make sure you keep up with these assignments and don’t leave them until the last minute.  Read through all the directions first to make sure you know what is expected of you.  All assignments are due the first day of class.  If you have any questions or concerns about the assignments, email me at  This is a no excuses class!  I know that technical problems and personal issues arise, but it is your job to communicate with me and find a way to solve the problem.  Remember, you can always do them early and get it out of the way!

The assignments cover two main topics:

1. The Constitution—the basis of our government and of this class.  You should have a basic knowledge of this document before you come to class from this summer assignment.  There will be a test on the Constitution the first week.  The Constitution Assignment is due on the first day of school.  If you want to turn it in early, bring it to school and ask the office to put it in my mailbox.  Make sure your name is on it!

2. Current Events—Government is actually a very practical and useful subject to study.  It affects all of us, every day.  Being informed about issues of the day is part of your job as a United States citizen and voter.  Start now!  The current event form is attached.  You need to complete one form each week of the summer (8 total).  You should keep these in a notebook and turn them in the first day of class.  You will continue to keep this notebook throughout the year and we will discuss current events each week.

I hope you all have a great summer!

Amy Tillapaugh

1. The U.S. Constitution

  • Use the website to complete the Constitution worksheet.  There is a link to the worksheet on the AP Govt page.
  1. Current Events Research
  • You need to pick a topic of interest from the list below.
  • Find 3 news articles about this topic. The dates of the articles need to be current, from June-August.
  • Copy the articles or summarize a TV/radio report.
  • Write a one page response to each article giving your opinion of the topic. Answer the following questions in your response:
    • Was this a straight factual news story or was the reporter giving an opinion?
    • Why was this topic in the news at this time?
    • Do you think this is a newsworthy topic? Why or why not?
    • Was this story critical or supportive of the government? Explain.

o   Also give your reaction to the article and your opinion of the issues in the story.


  • Terrorism/Homeland Security
  • Health Care
  • Elections/Political Parties
  • The National Economy
  • Immigration
  • Unemployment
  • World Conflicts                        (ie. Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine)
  • Minimum Wage
  • Climate Change/Energy
  • Campaign Finance


Good General News Sources

CNN: on TV or online

PBS Newshour: on PBS every weeknight at 7pm, also has an online version

CBS, ABC, NBC, or FOX news

Time Magazine

Local Newspapers: Caroline Progress, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Free-Lance Star (These all have online editions.)

National Newspapers: New York Times, Washington Post (People leave copies of these in Starbucks all the time.)

NPR Radio: 88.9 or 88.3 “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” are good general news shows in the AM and PM every day. You can also read or listen to stories on or Radio IQ also has BBC news to get an international perspective.