Social Studies and Language Arts Activity
Students plan a campaign for a candidate for a student government.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Examples of political advertising
- Poster board
- Drawing materials
WHAT TO DO
- Tell students that they are going to elect a student government for their
class. With student input, list three or four offices that would form that
government. Discuss what the responsibilities of each office holder would be.
- Have students share what they know about election campaigns, such as
speeches, political slogans, posters, rallies, and greeting voters. Record the
information on a chart. If possible, invite a local elected official to speak
to the class about his or her political race. Have students prepare questions
- Divide the class into campaign teams, two for each office. Tell the teams
that they are to plan a campaign for one office, choosing their candidate from
among their own team members.
- Have teams meet and plan their campaigns. Work with individual teams as they
complete their plans. (To carry the concept further, you might present yourself
as a political consultant, available to any campaign to offer helpful
- With students, decide on an election day and allow one week for the actual
campaign. (You might want to point out that in real political campaigns in this
country, there are no limits on when campaigning can start.) During that last
week, set up a schedule that allows each campaign team to carry out their
plans. This might include putting up posters, delivering a short speech, and
handing out campaign literature.
You may be able to locate video tapes of candidates and their campaigns. Play
short sections of such videos, then stop the film to discuss what is happening.
Encourage a discussion on how students can apply what they observed to their
Assign one team to carry out the election process, that is, setting up ballot
boxes, helping voters, totaling votes, and posting final results. Other
students can plan the swearing-in ceremonies.
If possible, keep a photographic record of the campaign either with a still
camera or a video recorder. You can then use this record as the basis of a
quick review of the election process.
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