News Media Influence Teacher Resources

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“Hanging chads.” While these two words may be infamous to most of us, few middle schoolers understand their importance to the presidential election of 2000. As an exercise in drawing inferences, class members examine a Mini Page article about the changes made in political policies and election laws prior to the 2004 election. They make inferences and then check the validity of their assumptions by conducting research. Directions for the activity, links to required resources, assessments, and modifications are included in the detailed packet.
Students examine media coverage of George W. Bush's refusal to answer questions regarding past illegal drug usage in the 1999 campaign. They consider the role of rumor, scandal, audience and relevance in political media coverage.
Students examine the economic and political challenges the past six presidents have faced during their terms of office, and how those challenges may or may not have impacted their chances for re-election. They create campaign slogans both for and against the presidents researched in class based on the economic and political climate at the time of their elections.
Students explain the impact that the media may have in shaping their intellectual and emotional responses to current events. They examine broadcast and Web-based news sites to find subtexts through the use of language, audio, and visual elements.
Just how much influence did television have on the results of the 1960 presidential election? Media critics contend that the results were all about how the two candidates appeared on the screen. Give your young historians a chance to make their own assessment. Class members read and annotate a transcript of the first Kennedy and Nixon debate and decide who they believe won. They then compare audio and video recordings of the debate and reassess their ruling. The highly detailed plan includes links to all required materials. 
Young scholars analyze the media products and advertising techniques used in political campaigns. In this elections lesson, students view political debates and then work in groups to find examples of types of advertising techniques used in political ads they view on the Internet. Groups present their findings to the class. Young scholars design a political advertisement as the summative assessment.
Use ice cream to represent Presidential candidates in this mock election.
Students consider the historic implications of Barack Obama's election. In this election of 2008 lesson, students research Obama's accomplishments and determine how his election signifies the success of the American Civil Rights Movement. Students also consider the role that race may have played in the election and write essays about their findings.
Students investigate the role of money in American elections. In this current events instructional activity, students read and discuss articles that address money and political campaigns. Students may conduct further research on the topics presented in 2 suggested inquiry projects.
Learners list some changes in presidential election laws and/or procedures since 1796, and cite examples from presidential campaign materials from 1824.
Students examine Abraham Lincoln's political views about slavery. In this American Civil War lesson plan, students determine how Lincoln's beliefs led to the restriction of slavery in American territories. Student also analyze the party platforms presented in the election of 1860. Students complete activities where they analyze documents, correspondence, and speeches to better understand Lincoln's actions and the election.
Don't let the date deter you from looking at this resource. Although the subject matter is the 2010 midterm elections, class members study the rhetoric candidates used and the predictions the press made about the influence of the Tea Party and the outcome of the election. Class members could evaluate the effectiveness of campaign slogans and the influence of the issues on the now-known results.
Young scholars identify various forms of media used in a political campaign and compare the different formats as vehicles for distributing political messages. They analyze the effectiveness of candidate's uses of different media.
Students research and analyze polling data in journalism. They discuss reasons that polling data is included in media coverage of presidential elections.
Students explore the results of the 2000 presidential election. They look back at important issues in the campaign and write newspaper articles which cover specific angles on the election.
Students examine the direct role played by George W. Bush in the 2004 election campaign. They compare these campaign conditions and tactics with those in the 1992 presidential election, and present information in the form of a Powerpoint slideshow.
Students research the 2000 presidential elections. They explain why the presidential winner was initially too close to call, discuss how the winner was determined and predict how the 2000 election might change the process of electing a president.
Eleventh graders examine the election of 1800.  In this American Government lesson, 11th graders summarize the events that made the election controversial.  Students advocate for a candidate during a short role playing session. 
Students conduct political campaigns. In this campaign investigation lesson plan, students research political parties and political offices. Students choose an office to run for and create election videos that incorporate propaganda techniques.
Class members watch the video, “Implications of the 2010 Midterm Elections: Battle for the Federal Budget,” examine political cartoons, and analyze the impact the 2010 midterm election results had on Barack Obama’s presidency. Originally designed for use before the elections, the resource could be used to compare the expected results with actual events.

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