ALEX Lesson Plan


Democrat or Republican

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Judy Wiles
System: Huntsville City
School: Academy For Science & Foreign Language
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 13238


Democrat or Republican


During this lesson, students will begin to understand the differences between the two major political parties that exist in the United States of America. Students will have the opportunity to discuss the roles of each presidential candidate and his/her political views.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SS2010 (7) Civics
1. Compare influences of ancient Greece, the Roman Republic, the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Magna Carta, federalism, the Mayflower Compact, the English Bill of Rights, the House of Burgesses, and the Petition of Rights on the government of the United States.
SS2010 (7) Civics
2. Explain essential characteristics of the political system of the United States, including the organization and function of political parties and the process of selecting political leaders.
  • Describing the influence of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Paine, Niccolò Machiavelli, Charles de Montesquieu, and François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire) on the political system of the United States
  • SS2010 (7) Civics
    3. Compare the government of the United States with other governmental systems, including monarchy, limited monarchy, oligarchy, dictatorship, theocracy, and pure democracy.
    SS2010 (7) Civics
    10. Describe individual and civic responsibilities of citizens of the United States.
    Examples: individual—respect for rights of others, self-discipline, negotiation, compromise, fiscal responsibility
    civic—respect for law, patriotism, participation in political process, fiscal responsibility
  • Differentiating rights, privileges, duties, and responsibilities between citizens and noncitizens
  • Explaining how United States' citizenship is acquired by immigrants
  • Explaining character traits that are beneficial to individuals and society
  • Examples: honesty, courage, compassion, civility, loyalty
    SS2010 (7) Civics
    12. Describe how the United States can be improved by individual and group participation in civic and community activities.
  • Identifying options for civic and community action
  • Examples: investigating the feasibility of a specific solution to a traffic problem, developing a plan for construction of a subdivision, using maps to make and justify decisions about best locations for public facilities
  • Determining ways to participate in the political process
  • Examples: voting, running for office, serving on a jury, writing letters, being involved in political parties and political campaigns

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will identify the role of the President of the United States. Students will identify the two major political parties in America.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Pertinent newspaper articles,

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computer with Internet access, presentation software, "Hail To The Chief" video and self-study quiz from APT Plus


    Have each student bring in at least two current event articles from a periodical/newspaper resource. Discuss the articles before the lesson. Preview the video and print the quiz from APT Plus. (The teacher will need a log in ID and password. Talk to the school's media specialist if you do not have one.)

    1.)Begin the lesson by asking students the name of our current President. Then have students share what they feel the role of the President is in our country. As a group view the website below to learn more about the President.
    (The Presidents of the United States of America from George Washington to George W. Bush)
    This site lists all of the Presidents of the United States. It also has links that teach about the role of the President.

    2.)Have students view the slideshow presentation (see attached) teaching about Democrats or Republicans. Have students discuss what they learned about the different political parties after the presentation.

    3.)Have students listen to interviews of the presidential candidates. Discuss the interviews with students. Have each student share what they felt was most important about the interviews.
    (Election interviews)
    The website includes interviews of the presidential candidates and their political views.

    4.)Use Internet resources to allow students to view at least three political campaign commercials for each presidential candidate.
    (Campaign speeches)
    This website includes campaign speeches done in commercial format.

    5.)Ask students to choose whether they want to support democrat or republican views. Allow each student to share his/her reasons for choosing a particular political party. After each student has shared his/her thoughts, allow students to confirm or change their political parties. Take a vote to see which political party has the majority in the class. Explain the importance of having the majority of supporters in politics.

    6.)Have students view the video "Hail To The Chief" from APT Plus and take the self-study quiz that correlates with the video.
    (APT Plus)
    This is Alabama Public Television's premier site for video clips and other educational materials. Log in and type in the title of the video in the search box.

    7.)After students have completed the self-study quiz, have students write a letter explaining the role of the President. In the same letter, have them write about their political party and facts about it.

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    Assessment Strategies

    Each student will write a letter to the teacher describing the role of the President. They will also write about the political party of their choice and facts they know about the party. The teacher will grade letters for accurate facts.


    Students who have a general overview of the candidates' political views and have researched them may collaborate on the issues and begin debating the issues.



    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.