Using C-SPAN’s Campaign 2012 website, students will explore the Election Process in the United States. They will examine the role of early campaigning, caucuses and primaries, the conventions, the debates, Election Day, continuing through to Inauguration Day. Then, students will evaluate the United States’ election process to determine whether they believe our system is appropriate in choosing the president or whether they think it should be altered.
- Students will understand the process of electing the President of the United States
- Students will examine the role of each aspect of the election process
- Students will evaluate the effectiveness of the election process
- General Election
- Party Convention
- Introduce the topic by having students brainstorm ideas on what they already know about the election process. First, students should each individually create a list (who, what, when, where, why, how) of what they know about the election process. Then, as a class (using whiteboard, Smartboard, etc.) create a timeline of the election process and list each step in detail. It is okay if students struggle and the timeline is missing information and/or steps.
- Students will then conduct research on the different aspects of the Election Process. The class/students will need access to the C-SPAN Campaign 2012 Interactive Website. There are several methods in which the research may be conducted:
a) Students work either individually or in small groups (computer lab or cart would be necessary) and research all of the events on the worksheet and website.
b) Students complete the worksheet as homework and bring it completed to class
c) Students work in small groups and research one of the topics/events. Then, they present and teach about their topic/event to the rest of the class. Students then complete the worksheet as they are listening to each presentation.
- Once students have completed the research, have them evaluate the Election Process through a position paper, debate, PowerPoint presentation, etc. For any of these evaluation processes, students should include:
1) Evaluation of the current system-pros and cons.
2) Evidence from videos, readings, or prior knowledge that support their evaluation.
3) Recommendation on whether the system is effective or needs to be altered.
4) Description of new system, improvements, or defense of current system with specific examples to defend view.
Please see the C-SPAN Classroom Deliberations Activity Page for specific ideas on evaluation activities that work for this lesson.
Have students (individually or in groups) research the Election Process in other countries and compare and contrast it with the US System.