Dealing with the press is an important part of running for office. This activity helps students understand how that works.
Language Arts, Civics,
Current Events, Ed. Technology
Students play the roles of candidate, campaign manager, and journalist in this activity.
Students listen to candidate interviews that are available online.
election, president, candidate, issues, platform
computers with Internet access or printouts related to candidates' stands on the issues from news sources and/or the candidates' Web sites
Encourage students to listen to candidate interviews; you might videotape interviews or a debate that includes the candidates. Or students might gather information about a candidate's stand on the issues from the candidate's Web site and other resources. Those resources might include the following:
Since many of this years elections are state-focused, you will want to use local news sources as your featured resources. For the bigger picture, these sites present national election news:
Then arrange students in groups of three. Explain that one student will be the campaign manager, the second student will be the candidate, and the third student will be a journalist. The campaign manager prepares the candidate's platform, makes it available to both the politician and the journalist, and monitors the interview. The journalist prepares questions based on the candidate's platform. The candidate prepares brief opening and closing remarks as well as answers to questions the journalist is most likely to ask.
Ask each group to conduct their interviews. If possible, videotape the interviews. Present the videotaped interviews to the class. Ask: Would you vote for the candidate based on their interviews? Why or why not?
When the class has viewed all the videos, have students vote for the winning candidate. Use a chart to tally the results of the voting. Ask students to rate their team's effort and critique each team's knowledge of the issues.
Lesson Plan Source