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Lesson plan: Design a presidential candidate



  • Social Studies
  • Civics
  • Government
  • Art



Brief description

Students use collage and drawing to design their perfect presidential candidate. This activity can be used to extend the lesson What is a President?


  1. Students identify desired characteristics, actions and behaviors of a candidate for elected office.
  2. Students use art skills and creativity to depict a “perfect” candidate.
  3. Students practice forming opinions about candidates.


president, election, candidate

Materials needed

  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Magazines (such as Time, U.S. News & World Report, etc.)
  • Markers or crayons
  • (If desired) Computer access for finding clip art

Lesson plan

NOTE: What is a President? can be used along with this lesson. If you have previously used “What is a President?” begin by asking students if they’ve thought of any presidential duties, characteristics or qualities that can be added to the class list.

  1. Talk about some of the duties and responsibilities of a president. What kinds of characteristics, qualities or actions are important in a presidential candidate? (Make a class list, if you haven’t already.)
  2. In the United States, we are lucky that we have the opportunity to choose our president by voting in an election. Voting is a big responsibility. When you are old enough to vote, it will be important to learn all you can about each candidate so that you can make a good choice. What would make you vote or not vote for a particular candidate? (Add any relevant items to your class list of characteristics, qualities or actions.) If a presidential campaign is underway currently: What do you like or not like about particular candidates? Who would you vote for, and why?
  3. Hand out the materials to students. Explain that they will draw/paste their “perfect” candidate on the construction paper.
  4. Encourage children to go beyond physical characteristics and incorporate desired actions and behaviors as they imagine their candidate.
  5. Let them cut images from magazines (and/or access clip art online) and use drawing materials to construct their candidate. Older students can add cut-out words to their candidate designs.
  6. Once the candidate collages are complete (and dry), discuss them as a class, letting each student talk a little about the candidate s/he created.


Evaluate students’ collages in terms of:

  • Creativity
  • Number and variety of presidential characteristics represented
  • Demonstrated understanding of the concept of a candidate for elected office

Lesson plan source


Submitted by

Sarah W. Caron, Education World Social Media Editor

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