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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Presidential Election Campaign

Presidential Election Campaign

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The process to elect the President of the U.S. has already begun. With your students there are so many things you can have them study and examine. How do you approach the election cycle? What are some strategies and resources you use to engage your students with the Presidential campaign? Please share your ideas here. Thanks!

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saraslowbe's picture
History teacher and site PLC Lead in Escondido, CA

Great topic, Ron!

Honestly, I haven't thought a lot about how to integrate the 2012 election into my APUSH curriculum, so I was initially puzzled and my reaction was "it's not in my curriculum, so I don't need to worry (whew)."

Of course, the students are going to be interested and will come to class with questions. As their teacher, I must be prepared to answer... and being ready is crucial, right? Here is a thought: US History courses emphasize the development of political parties and the evolution of democracy as a part of that development. When discussing the perennial issues of strong federal gov (more commonly referred to today as "big") v. state/local control, gov debt & spending, etc, explicitly pull those issues out and break them down to show the timelessness of the issues and how perspective influences views on those issues.

Then, assign students to watch a debate (or two) and read candidate speeches. They could write a reflection or create some sort of report in which they link the perennial issues to the candidates and discuss how each approached these issues. Students could evaluate their own stances and provide evidence to support their position on an issue.

I'm open for feedback on this, and look forward to seeing other teachers' ideas too!

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