Welcome to the wonderful world of politics, where information flows freely and life is rarely boring!
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
This is an exciting time in the lives of Americans, because we are actively involved in choosing the leader of our country.
Even though a citizen has to be 18 years old to vote, kids can still be involved and informed!
For this project, you’ll work in pairs to create some campaign materials for each of the Presidential candidates.
You’ll be taking a look at some vocabulary, the candidates’ backgrounds and a comparison of their stances on key issues.
You’ll use the information that you find to create a brochure promoting each candidate, touching on four of the campaign issues that you consider important.
Next, you will create a poster advertising each of the candidates, advertising the issue that is most important to you.
Before you begin, it’s good to understand that politics are a hot subject for a lot of people. It’s important to remember to stay objective. Even if the candidate you are researching isn’t your favorite, it is still important to remember to portray them in a fair and balanced way!
Part 1: Election Vocabulary
First, you’ll need to get a little background on some election vocabulary that you’ll run into. Each of you will look up the definitions of the key words listed below and report back to each other.
Use a dictionary to find some definitions and use the Vocabulary Note Sheet to print out and take notes on the words. Each of you should print out your own.
Remember to look for the definition of each word that would best apply to politics!
Student A, your words are:
Student B, your words are:
When you’re finished looking up your words, time to conference with each other and fill out the rest of your vocabulary note sheet. What do your partner’s words mean?
Part 2: Background
Now it’s time to learn about each candidate. To understand them better, read a little about their background in Meet the Candidates from Scholastic News.
You’ll each need to print off a Candidate Note Sheet. Write down three new things you learn about your candidate.
Student A, you'll learn about the Republican candidate
Student B, you'll learn about the Democratic candidate
When you’re finished, take turns reading your new facts to your partner. Did they know these facts about your candidate?
You’ll need your Candidate Note Sheet for the next part, too.
Part 3: The Issues
Once you’ve read up on your candidate’s background, you’ll need to figure out where he or she stands on some key issues.
Take a look at Scholastic's Election site from Scholastic News to do some research on your candidate.
Student A, what are the Republican candidate's platform issues? Think about where the candidate stands on these issues.
Student B, what are the Democratic candidate's platform issues? Think about where the candidate stands on these issues.
Take notes on your Candidate Note Sheet.
Now that you’re each an expert on one of the candidates, it’s time to create some informative campaign material.
Check out the rubric to see what you’ll be graded on.
Part 1: Brochure
You’ll each need to create a brochure on your candidate. This will contain a cover, some background information, and facts on four key issues.
First, you’ll each need a piece of large construction paper. You’ll fold it in thirds:
This will give you six panels to work with.
Panel 1: Draw and color a cover for your informative pamphlet. You’ll need to show your candidate’s name! What else can you include on the cover?
Panel 2: Write and illustrate a paragraph on your candidate’s background. What did you find out about him?
Panels 3-6: Choose four issues that you feel are most important and write a panel on each one. What does your candidate think about each of these issues?
Part 2: Poster
After you finish your brochure, it’s time to decide the issue that you both feel is most important. You’ll make a poster advertising your candidate’s feeling on this issue.
You’ll each create a campaign poster for your candidate. Think of a snappy phrase or slogan that can illustrate your candidate’s feeling on that issue. Be sure to include the candidate's name!
You should each print out your poster.
Congratulations, you’ve become an expert on the candidates of the election. You’ve researched the background of one of the candidates and learned his views on many of the key issues. You’ve developed some campaign materials that showcase your candidate's views.
Before you turn in your project, you’ll have the chance to decide if you would vote for the candidate you researched. Write a paragraph explaining why you would or would not vote for this candidate. What have you learned about the candidate? Be sure to support your statement with facts you learned about the key issues.
This is something just for yourself and your teacher; you don’t have to share it with your partner. One nice thing about voting in the United States is that you don’t have to tell anyone who you voted for!
Now that you’ve completed the entire election WebQuest, it’s time to give a little feedback.
You each need to print out the evaluation sheet and fill it out. This is for your eyes only, you’ll fold it up and staple it closed before you turn in your project.