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Lesson Idea: Researching the President - What They Do (Common Core Aligned)


We often talk about the many different roles of the President but what does that really entail? This student centered activity requires learners to analyze roles of the current President using digital media from C-SPAN’s video library.
Flexible: 1-3 days
  • Computer with internet access
  • C-SPAN tutorial on how to create short clips
  • Related student worksheets
  • Projector and speakers to present clips                                                                                                                                   
Google Presentation link or another sharing site of your choice for students to input their information and share clips
Background Information (Suggested Activities):
  • Introductory Lecture Constitutional Powers & Roles of President
  • Students read about the constitutional powers and roles of the President from book and take notes.
  • Class discussion on the definition of each role and examples using the handout Roles of the President and Roles of President Note-Taking
Common Core Assignment (COMMON CORE STANDARDS)
1.      Assign each student a different “Roles of the President” (there are 7, so depending on class size, there may be 3-5 students assigned the same role).
2.      Students fill out the handout “Roles of President” and put the information on a slide for their assigned role on a Google Presentation (or preferred method of presentation) that the teacher has created for each class.
3.      Students create a video clip of the President acting in the assigned role and cut and paste the link to the clip into a Google doc or preferred presentation method (since there are 7, there may be 3-5 students assigned the same role; you could have 3 examples or have students choose the best)..
4.      Students present their clip to class.
5.      Class takes notes on handout “Roles of President Note Taking.”
Wrap Up/Assessment (Suggested Activities)
  • Discussion questions (see handout Roles of President Discussion Questions”)
  • Quiz on Roles of the President
  • Find an article on the President and identify and explain the role or roles of the President highlighted by the article.
Extension (Suggested Activities)
  • Create an infographic explaining each role.
  • Research a current events issue and identify the different roles the President assumed while dealing with this issue.
  • Students analyze the use of media as a source using the following questions:
1.    How does the information about the role of the president from your textbook or class lecture compare to the information presented in the video clip?  What are some similarities and differences?
2.    What are the advantages and disadvantages of the video clip in the information it provides about the particular role of the President?