ALEX Classroom Resource


Political Parties

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Political Parties


Content Source:

College Career & Civic Life (C3)
Type: Learning Activity


In this learning activity, students explore political parties and how well they represent individuals. Students look closely at how politicians address international issues, issues important to them, and issues they support. Students compare political parties and construct an argument about which party best represents them. Additional resources are available under the Download PDF or DOC button.

Content Standard(s):
Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 12
United States Government
10 ) Evaluate roles political parties play in the functioning of the political system of the United States.

•  Describing the role of third-party candidates in political elections in the United States
•  Explaining major characteristics of contemporary political parties in the United States, including the role of conventions, party leadership, formal and informal memberships, and regional strongholds
•  Describing the influence of political parties on individuals and elected officials, including the development of party machines, rise of independent voters, and disillusionment with party systems
Unpacked Content
Strand: History, Civics and Government
Course Title: United States Government
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Describe the various levels of political parties and their functions as well as their composition.
  • Evaluate the extent to which practices and beliefs of political parties influence voter behavior as well as the presence of third parties in the political process.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • plurality representation
  • proportional representation
  • independent voter
  • party machine
  • disillusionment
  • congressional campaign committee
  • platform
  • two-party system
  • party realignment
  • third party
Students know:
  • How political party membership impacts the behavior of elected officials.
  • How political parties are organized in local, state, and national levels as well as the type of membership in parties.
  • How third parties impact the political process in America's two-party system.
  • How the presence of political parties in American government shape outcomes in the political process.
Students are able to:
  • Differentiate between the different levels of political parties in both their organization and function.
  • Explain in mathematical concepts how plurality representation creates a two-party system as opposed to proportional representation.
  • Evaluate how political party actions over time have shaped political practices, political alignment, and voter behavior.
Students understand that:
  • The nature of the American two-party system, such as the role of third parties and regional strongholds of the two major parties, as well as how political parties operate on local, state, and national levels, greatly affects elections.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.USG.AAS.12.10- Define political party and describe its job; identify and contrast the major political parties in the United States--Republican, Democratic, and/or nonaffiliated parties (Independent).

Tags: democrats, elections, political parties, republican, voting
License Type: Custom Permission Type
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Author: Ginger Boyd