Electing the President: How Do You Make Up Your Mind?
This lesson can be four days, or two block schedule classes
Common Core Standards Correlation:
Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies Grades –12: standards 1–4, and 6–9
Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies Grades 9–12: standards 1–9
HNN backgrounder (assigned for first day)
Walter G. Moss: "What is True Political Wisdom? A Primer for the 2012 Election" (HNN article)
Social Media: Politics 2.0 – The Power of the Citizen (YouTube video)
Leonard Steinhorn: "Give Students A Break—An Election Break" (HNN article)
Ron Paul stump speech (YouTube video)
Rick Santorum stump speech (NYT video)
Mitt Romney stump speech (NYT video)
"Mitt Romney's stump speech evolves over time" (NYT article)
President Obama AIPAC speech (NYT video)
Introduction (Bell Ringer):
Using think-pair-share students should answer the following questions:
Essential Question: To what extent and in what ways do Americans make up their mind in electing a president?
Day 1: Do the candidates in the current presidential election have political wisdom?
Compare and contrast the values discussed in relation to George Washington with the values discussed in this article; then have students assess whether the current candidates possess these values.
View the video "How to Pick A Candidate" and consider the following questions:
Day 2: To what extent and in what ways does the media influence political awareness and participation?
Have students watch the video clip "Social Media: Politics 2.0 – The Power of the Citizen" and consider the following questions
Have students actively read Leonard Steinhron: "Give Students A Break—An Election Break." While reading they should consider the following questions:
Day 3: How do campaign speeches influence the choices we make for president?
Have students read the article "Romney’s Stump Speech evolves Over Time"
Day 4: Which candidate would you choose for president and why?
Have students analyze the stump speeches of the candidates for president (Romney, Santorum, Ron Paul and President Obama)
Students should choose which candidate they would vote for, and defend their choice to the class, based on the criteria established from previous class discussions.
Summary Question: Based on our societal value, the media and impact of speeches on public opinion, would George Washington be elected today?\
Enrichment: Have students create a poster campaign of the candidate they support for President in the 2012 election.
Enrichment Beyond the Classroom: Students can download and play The Political Machine, an educational computer game.
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