Political Profile (SAMR)

Students will create a profile of a candidate that is running for president. This profile will include a bio, stances on key issues, and a prediction about victory in the election. The goal is for students to explore key issues that cause debate in this country. In addition, students will see which candidates agree/disagree with the issues that are important to them.

Pedagogical Problem

Student understanding of the issues that are important to the American public. Where do they stand on these issues?

Context of the Lesson

Ideally, this would be a culminating project for my unit on Political Parties, Elections, and Voting. What could be more important in this unit than identifying key issues and the stance of candidates on these issues. In a perfect world, this is how informed decisions are made in voting.

What Are Students Doing?

  • Think about what is important to them
  • Research what is important to the American public
  • Explore both sides of the argument
  • Create a profile through research (presentation, video, fake Facebook, fake Twitter...etc)
  • Share with teacher and classmates
  • Analyze and comment on student creations and student thoughts/idea
  • Debate issues
  • Research and contact experts (social media, email, video conferencing...etc). Answer these questions: Are you on the right track? Has your opinion changed after speaking with experts?
  • Consider ideas that you may not have before. Open your mind to all points of view.

How to Evaluate Learning?

Along the way, students will be keeping a community journal. This will be available for all students. The hope is that students will frequently check in and comment on issues that others may be having. They can share successes and failures. This could be a helpful collaboration.

I will track the progress with a Google Form. Students will fill out as a check in for each section. It will be like a check point. By doing this I will be able to see how students are progressing, as well as being able to focus in on their questions/comments/concerns. If a student is having trouble, or off task, I will be able to address it way before the final product is completed.

Process/Resources

1. Students can use the following websites/apps to learn about popular issues:

2. Students can use the websites of all candidates to find bios and to see where they stand on issues. They can also use any number of news sources, articles, videos, or websites. Example:

3. Students can use Google Docs to share ideas or to post presentations

4. Students can use this site/app as their community journal:

5. Students can use the following sites/apps to predict how they will do in the election:

6. Twitter will be a good starting point to contact experts. There is contact info on the site of each candidate. There are also various groups of supporters. Here is an example:

7. Revise your thoughts and beliefs if necessary. Consider both sides of the argument.