Lesson Plan: Running for President
Author: Mike Browning, Betsy Griffo, Elisha LeMar, Becky McKinnell, Carol Minehart
Benchmarks and Indicators
- Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities 6-8, Benchmark A: Show the relationship between civic participation and attainment of civic and public goals.
- Indicator: Grade 8, GLI 2. Explain how the opportunities for civic participation expanded during the first half of the nineteenth century including: c. Active campaigning.
We will have taught the Election of 1840 the day before this lesson. In the background information of the Election of 1840, we will have emphasized examples of how this election brought about modern politics (conventions, platforms, propaganda, campaign slogans, etc.). In this lesson we will be focusing on the evaluation/interpretation of presidential campaign posters. The students will work in groups to interpret the symbols present in each of the posters and the manner in which the posters have evolved from the election of 1840 through the present time. In order to help the students understand the interpretation of symbols they will work in small groups and as a class to interpret a poster with modeling by the teacher. This is a two-day lesson plan.
At this time, the students will be given a list of vocabulary words that are important in understanding the various themes of this lesson (propaganda, campaigns, patriotic, media, symbols). This will be done as an in-class activity (10 minutes). Words will be discussed in class. The students will then brainstorm in small groups for examples of symbols representing America. This will be used as an indicator of the knowledge students already have regarding symbols.
- Day 1
- Students will complete the vocabulary and it will be discussed in class.
- Students will be divided into groups of 3-4. In these groups they will be asked to develop a list of symbols associated with America. These ideas will be discussed/shared in class and listed on the board.
- At this time, students and teachers will work on interpreting a campaign poster in class. The teacher will model the method in which symbols are extracted and the meaning, propaganda, of the poster. If time remains, a second poster will be modeled.
- Day 2
- Students will get back into groups from the day before. Each group will be given a different presidential campaign poster and a poster analysis worksheet. The students will have time to work on completing the poster worksheet in class (15-20 minutes). The students will then share the posters and data in front of the class.
- As a culminating activity, the teacher will direct a discussion of the similarities of symbols present and the manner in which the posters have evolved/changed throughout the time period.
- The post assessment will be given on the following day.
Students will be given a poster regarding Harrisons campaign. They will be asked to identify various themes/symbols that were covered in the pre-assessment within the poster (patriotism, propaganda, etc.). This is an informal assessment of knowledge attained.
propaganda, campaigns, patriotic, media, symbols
- Third Parties
- Political Cartoon Interpretation
- Create a Political Poster for candidate X as if it were 1840, before electronic media.