Click on the icon for Lesson 3 in Adobe Acrobat Format (42K). Includes Take-Home Page.
HELP A CANDIDATE
- Identify methods used to promote presidential candidates.
- Create campaign promotional materials for a real or fictional candidate.
Art, language arts, social studies
1. Using the Introduction as a guide, tell your students that presidential
campaigns have changed dramatically over the past century. Emphasize that
candidates in the nineteenth century were not expected to play a public
role in the campaign and were often unable to travel extensively because
of the poor state of transportation. Stress that much of the seemingly frivolous
election memorabilia students examined in Lesson Plan Step 2 was directed
toward a very serious end: to convince as many voters as possible to cast
their ballot for the candidate.
2. Ask your class what methods candidates use today to convince Americans
to vote for them. Answers may vary, but students will probably mention television
and radio advertisements, press conferences, televised presidential debates,
electronic "town meetings," and World Wide Web sites. Emphasize
the role in presidential campaigns of changing communications technologies.
3. Continue the class discussion by asking your students to consider
the skills candidates must have to use these new communications technologies
effectively. (You may wish to focus your questions on television and radio
first.) Students will probably conclude that it is helpful for candidates
to have a polished speaking voice, a photogenic quality, and the ability
to respond quickly to detailed questions.
4. Give each student a copy of the Take-Home Page. Tell your class
that they have just been hired as managers of a presidential campaign (either
real or fictional their choice). Their job is to promote their candidate
so that Americans will vote for him or her. Stress that students can use
whatever medium they wish television, radio, a public rally or parade,
posters, or buttons& to publicize their candidate.
5. Direct your students to the Take-Home Page. Tell them they can
use the back of the sheet (and other paper as necessary) to design a poster
or button, write a short radio advertisement, or draw a story board for
a television commercial.
6. After your students have completed the Take-Home Page, ask them
to share their work with the class. Students who have created posters or
buttons can interpret their design to the class, while those who have written
television or radio advertisements can read, perform, or otherwise convey
the message of their commercials. To conclude the activity, you may wish
to have the class vote for the most convincing campaign materials.