Students like to take an active role in elections, which includes voting for candidates. As a teacher, it's your job to show them the underlying reasons people should be considering when the evaluate candidates.
Students vote for their favorite candidate for president of the United States. Then, they examine the candidates' positions on four major issues and compare the candidates' positions to their own. Finally, students vote again and discuss whether their votes changed because of what they learned about the candidates' positions on the issues.
Presidential election, civics, current events
Note: This lesson also can be taught using a computer and projection device.
Start the lesson by asking students if they have been watching the debates or otherwise following this year's Presidential election. Explain that they are going to have a chance to voice their vote for one of the two party endorsed presidential candidates.
Provide students with the following instructions:
Note: All steps also can be completed by a teacher or student volunteer working at a single computer with a projector or TV monitor.
Discuss with students the reasons for their votes. Ask what factors -- family, friends, religion, and so on -- might have influenced their decision.
When students have completed the activity, take another vote and once again ask students to share their choice for President. Have students type the preferred candidate's name next to each student's name in Row H. Discuss whether the activity impacted their votes.
Encourage students to do additional research on the election's hot issues using the sites in this month's Election Sites to See. Then invite students to stage a debate on the issues.
Students will be assessed on
Lesson Plan Source
SOCIAL SCIENCES: Civics
GRADES 9 - 12
NSS-C.9-12.1 Civic Life, Politics, and Government
NSS-C.9-12.2 Foundations of the Political System
NSS-C.9-12.3 Principles of Democracy
NSS-C.9-12.5 Roles of the Citizen