Students work in groups to research candidates in an election and present their findings.
- Grades: 6–8
- Unit Plan:
Students use new campaign vocabulary knowledge and apply it by campaigning for a candidate in a current election.
- Use new vocabulary to campaign for a candidate.
- Work and share ideas together.
- Share what they learned orally.
- Paper and pencils
- Poster board or butcher paper
Set Up and Prepare
- Decide who your students will research — candidates for a current local government election, a presidential election, or even candidates in a fictional election.
- Depending on the size of your class, divide the class into two or four equally sized groups.
- At the beginning of the lesson, tell students that they will work in small groups to develop a campaign strategy to present to the class.
- Assign a team leader for each group. Tell the group leaders that they will be graded equally on participation and the final presentation.
Step 1: Briefly discuss the election and the candidates who are running.
Step 2: Give each group of students their choice of candidate (you may have to assign this if they all want the same candidate).
Step 3: Tell them to research their candidate and to choose the candidate's issues that are most important to the group. They can use the computer, newspaper articles, etc. Decide how much time they have to present to class. 15 minutes is plenty of time for most groups.
Step 4: Based on those issues, students can do any or all of the following presentations, making use of the poster board or butcher paper as necessary:
- Campaign slogan
- Campaign speech
- Commercial for candidate
- Rap, song, etc.
Step 5: After the presentations, give each student a secret ballot to cast their vote for the candidate they feel is best suited to the job.
Step 6: Tally the votes and announce the winner of the election.
Supporting All Learners
Students will benefit from working in a group and the ELL students will have the benefit of their peers helping them.
Students can ask family members to help them with their research on the candidates or with some creative suggestions for a slogan, speech, etc.
Each student will complete their research work at home to bring back to class. The groups will be given additional class time to organize and complete their presentation.
Did the students work together as a unified group? Was their campaign project informative?
Observe and listen to students in their groups to assess their learning and to determine each group member's participation.