» Mr. Olson's Web Page

223-3120 ext. 701

AP U.S. Government & Politics B3
Government & Citizenship A1, A3, A4
US History B1, B2, B4

I grew up on a ranch in the small town of Salmon, Idaho. My Dad worked hard, taking care of our ranch and working at the local sawmill. My mom was a stay at home mom and worked hard on the ranch as well.

I went to Ricks College and then onto BYU where I graduated with a B.A. in history and policitcal science with a minor in philosophy. My first teaching assignment was at Orem High School and then I moved on to Timpanogos when the school opened. Currently I live in Santaquin with my beautiful wife (Sandy) and three kids (Hailey, Taylor, and Cayden).

I love all kinds of activities including four-wheeling, wave runners, and street bikes.




One of the greatest things about being a teacher is that I get to spend time studying, discussing, learning things that I am highly interested in. I hope this enthusiasm carries over to my classes. My sincere desire is that students coming out of my classroom will not only have a sound knowledge of the subject, but that they become life-long learners and, ultimately, great people!



Starting with the class of 2016, all Utah high school students must pass the civics test. Students login (use the link below) using their Skyward user name as the login and the lunch number as the password. The test can be taken as many times as it takes to pass it.
Link: State Civics Test

Unit 1, The Foundations of Government

Discussion Board (Edmodo.com)
» B1 Government, Code = gwmsyy
» B2 Government, Code = bkx4wm

Discussion Board (Todays Meet)

» Study Guide
» Economic Systems Practice - Matching

» 1.1-1.2 Study & Purpose of Government
» 1.3 Political Power
» 1.4 Role of Government/Economic Systems

Online Resources:
» Channel One's Secret Nation
» Internet is easy prey for governments (CNN)

Unit 2, The Constitution

» Study Guide
» In Depth - Constitutional Convention Reading Guide (Use reading, The Constituonal Convention - available in class)
» In Depth - Separation of Powers, Checks & Balances (use power point below)
» In Depth - Federalism & Constitutional Supremacy (use power point below)

Target 2.3 Reading Guide: The Constitutional Convention
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6

(Be sure to review the notes at the bottom of each slide)
» 2.1-2.5 The Constitution
» 2.5 In depth - Separation of Powers, Checks & Balances
» 2.5 Federalism Graphic Organizer
» 2.6 In depth - First & Fourth Amendments


» Principles of the Constitution
» How well do you know the Constitution? (NPR)

Unit 3 Simulation: Purpose & Role of Government


» Simulation Handout - Assignment Instructions

» Video - Evacuate Earth
Video - Target Earth
» Video - America's Doomsday Plan (Youtube link)



Unit 4: Law & Policy (Congress, Political Parties, Elections)

» Study Guide - Green Packet
Political Ideology - White Sheet
» Political IQ (PDF)

» 4.1 - 4.2 Congress
» 4.3 Political Parties
4.4 Political Ideology
4.4 Political Ideology Grid Sheets

SCREENCASTS (May require QuickTime plugin)
» 4.5 Election Timeline Part 1- ScreenCast (Watch)
» 4.5 Election Timeline Part 2- ScreenCast (Watch)

(*Note - These screencasts were produced for AP Government, but have the same basic information so they can used for Target 4.5 in the Study Guide )

ACTIVITY 4d - What is your political ideology? Take both quizzes (links below) to find out your political ideology. Record the political lable each quiz assigs you in your notes for target 4.4d
» The World's Smallest Quiz
» Pew Research, Political Typology

ACTIVITY 4f - Complete target 4.4f "who are liberals and conservatives" by using the 2012 & 2013 exit polls from CNN. These exit polls look at which candidate people voted for based on certain characteristics such as race and gender. From this we are inferring their political ideology. For example, those who voted for Obama/Democrats are liberal and those who voted for Romney/Republicans are conservative. For each category (i.e. gender - family status) write down the trend of the group. Use specific numbers.
» 2012 Exit Polls (CNN) When you get to the web site click on the Exit Polls Tab
» 2014 Exit Polls (CNN)

Example: View of Federal Health Law (Obamacare) from 2014 exit polls
What you would write: "Conservatives are much more likely to oppose Obamacare at 84%, whereas liberals are much more likely to favor at 74%". In your answer, use the phrases “more likely” & “less likely” to record the trend

Unit 4 Simulation: Law & Policy, Mock Congress

» Simulation Instructions
» Senate Rules

» Bill Format (use this document as an example of how to format you bill)
» Sample Bill ( use this bill as an example of the wording used in bills)
» Authorization for the use of Force in Afghanistan ( see a real law from congress)

Unit 5: National Security: Defence & Intelligence (Final Unit)

» Study Guide (National Security)
» Defence & Intelligence Terms (Practice)
» Film Guide - Targeting Bin Laden (History Channel)
» Film Guide - Inside 9/11, Zero Hour (National Geographic)

» National Security, Defense (download) Be sure to read the notes for each slide
» National Security, Intelligence (download)

Online Resources

» Inside 9/11 War on America (National Geographic - Youtube)
» Inside 9/11 Zero Hour (National Geographic - YouTube)
» Targeting Bin Laden (History Channel - YouTube)
» Rehearsing Doomsday (transcript)
» Spy in the Sky (video transcript)
» Race for the Superbomb (video transcript)


Students! you have a chance to go in depth on topics related to national security.

Your assignment
is to explore topics of interest on National Security in depth. You will access articles and videos to learn more about a particular topic. The in-depth articles can be accessed by downloading the national seucrity presentation (See Above), then copy and pasting the link into your browser. The links are located in the Presentation either on the slide (you can play the powerpoint and click on the link) or in the notes below the slide or both. For resources in the notes, copy the URL and paste into your browser.
Links to the videos are found below.

Complete & Turn in the following...
Access any two article from the Presentation: either annotate the articles, or type a half page summary for each article
Access any full length video from the list below: Takes notes on the video as you watch it (bulleted list), Type a one page analysis based on your notes.
(Be sure your NAME and the PERIOD is on your assignment)

» Inside 911 - Part 1 War on America (YouTube - Nat Geo)
» Inside 911 - Part 2 Zero Hour (YouTube - Nat Geo)

» The Rise of ISIS (Frontline)

» THE DRONE WARS (Aired Aug.. 2011)

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

» The Rise of the Drones (Nova)
Nova looks into the revolutionary technology of military drones

» WARFARE BY REMOTE (3 part CNN series)
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

» AREA 51 Declassified- National Geographic
Look into the most famous, secret base in the world on this National Geographic program.

Nick Cook, aviation expert for Jane's Defense Weekly, peers inside the secret world of black (secret) aircraft. According to Cook, black aircraft sightings go along way in explaining Americas propensity for UFO sightings. This program is a few years old, but still contains great information.

This program looks into the workings of the NSA (National Security Agency), one of the biggest and most secretive agencies in the U.S. Government. (Video is in 5 segments, Requires Windows Media Player)

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5

» ASTRO SPIES (Watch in 4 parts - Youtube)
Nova program on a secret American and Soviet Effort to put human spies in space

» SPIES IN THE SKY - NRO (YouTube link)
Inside one of Amierca's top spy agency the NRO (National Reconnaissance Office). The Science Channel

» History of Spy Planes (Youtube)
The Story of the development of Spy Planes is told by those who were involved in the project.

» Secrets of War, Spies in the SKY (Youtube)

» UFO the Secret Evidence
Aviation Expert Nick Cook looks into the UFO phenomenon.



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