Presidential Candidate Research

This Presidential Candidate Research lesson plan also includes:

Don't let the young citizens in your social studies class get all their election information from inflammatory commercials and arguing pundits. Use a lesson plan from C-SPAN to guide class members through an election season with a policy-minded focus on the candidates. As learners decide which policies matter most to them, they conduct research to find which candidate's views align most closely to their own and present their findings in a complete position paper.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Bring in background materials for each issue in case learners do not have experience with some policy positions
  • Allow learners to brainstorm additional issues about which they care deeply, such as women's rights, education, or foreign policy
  • Use the worksheets in any number of election-related lesson
  • Give pupils some time to look through the publisher's website for their own reference and education
Classroom Considerations

  • Refer to the link at the bottom of the page for additional extension ideas
  • Instill a classroom atmosphere of support and maturity to avoid a heated political conversation
  • Add more support for younger pupils, and challenge older readers to deepen their positions with cited evidence
Pros

  • Gets past the rhetoric and noise of political advertisements, and prompts teenagers to find their own stance
  • Promotes critical thinking and evaluation skills
Cons

  • None