Presidency

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Analyzing Presidential Quotes

Overview:

Using quotes from former presidents of The United States,this activity is intended to teach the fundamental skills and observationsneeded to successfully interpret a quotation in context or relate it to acurrent issue.  Daily, students areconfronted with quotations through speech, television, or movies.  The reason they attract our attention isbecause they are very effective tools for creating a mood, introducing an idea,or providing evidence to support an idea or argument.

 Suggested Time:

One or two 50-minute class periods are recommended tocomplete this activity.  Actual time will depend upon a number of variables, such as length of class period, prior background knowledge, reading level, etc.

 Government End-of-Course/GLE’s alignment and DOK:

 1. Knowledge of the use of tools for social science inquiry (Interpret maps, statistics, charts, diagrams, graphs,timelines, pictures, political cartoons, audiovisual materials,[excerpts from documents) etc.]

2C.a-1, 4; DOK level 2

2C.b; DOK level 2

3a.I-1, 3; DOK level 3

3a.K-3; DOK level 2

3a.L-1, 2; DOK level 3

3a.M; DOK level 3

 CommunicationsArts, End-of-Course Alignment, and DOK:

3.  Develop and apply skills and strategies tocomprehend, analyze and evaluate nonfiction.

3-C, E.O.C.; D.O.K., level 3

 

 Objectives:

1.  Identify the author and primary source of aquotation

2.  Describe the historical time and context of thequotation

3.  Identify the intended audience of the quotation

4.  Summarize the quotation in “contemporary terms”

5.  Predict the impact the quotation might have had on the intended audience

6.  Formulate ways the quotation can be used to support an idea or argument

  

  

 Materials: 

Handouts or digital copies of the activity questions andquotes

Paper and pen

Computer

Data projector

 

 Terms to know:

 Primarysource

 Secondarysource

 Fact/opinion

 Historicaltime

 Intendedaudience

 Summarize

 Contemporaryterms

 Paraphrase

 Consensus

 Formulate

 Relevant

 Predict

 

 Procedure:

  1. Project the following quote so that it is visible to the entire class.  Tell your students to read the quotation very carefully.  (If you feel that your students would not recognize any of these quotes, project one from a more contemporary movie or television show.)

 If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.  George Washington

 

  1.  Place the students into small groups.  Give the students a few minutes to read and think about the quote.  Announce to the students that the primary goal of this activity is to learn the process for analyzing a quotation and identifying ways that it can be used in oral or written arguments.  To begin the process, each member of each group will re-read the above quote and formulate answers to the following questions.

 a)    What terms within the quote have a “special”meaning?

 b)    In your own words (paraphrase), what does this quotation mean to you?

 c)    List the “mental steps” you went through to arrive at this conclusion.

 d)    How does this quote apply to your life or a current event?

  1.  In approximately ten minutes, tell the groups to stop and be prepared to share their answers within the small group.  The youngest person within the group will be the chairperson and record the consensus of the individual members.  When the individual groups have completed the task, the chairperson will select an individual from the group to report the findings to the entire class.

 

  1.  On the board or computer, keep track of the common denominators to review with the class after all individual groups have reported out.

 

  1.  Before discussing the common denominators, remind the students that quotations, when used (integrated) correctly, can be powerful tools, but too many quotes are ineffective.  Quotations are best used for:

 ·       Providingevidence during an oral argument or deliberation

 ·       Providing evidence to support a claim or point within a written document

 ·       Refuting or defending an argument

 ·       Comparing orcontrasting ideas from a written document or speech

 

  1.  Now, review the common responses of the groups.  Consider the following:

 a)    Did everyone answer all of the questions with thesame answer?

 b)    Did everyone select the same special words and havethe same meaning for these words?

 c)    Most importantly, did everyone arrive at the samemeaning and conclusion?

 d)    What is the power of this quote/quotations?

 e)     How doeslanguage reflect culture?

 f)     What are the advantages/disadvantages of havingmultiple meanings to a quotation?

 

  1.  To summarize this first activity, explain to students that understanding the meaning of a quotation is a matter of task analysis—breaking it into small parts that they can understand and then arriving at a conclusion or interpretation.  Therefore, when faced with a quotation that is confusing, follow these steps:

 a)    Determine the author, date, and format (document orspeech) of the quote

 b)    Who was the intended audience?

 c)    Are there unique social, historical, economic, orpolitical events occurring?

 d)    Underline the words you do not know, or could havemultiple meaning and look them up in a dictionary.

 e)    In your own words (mentally or on paper), what doesthis quotation mean to you?

 f)     How does the quote apply to the issue you arewriting about or discussing?

 

 Activity:

  1. Project the following quotes so that they are visible to the entire class.

 ·      Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is  fear itself.   FranklinD. Roosevelt

 ·      I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice. Abraham Lincoln

 

 

 

 

  1.  Place the students into small groups.  Give the students a few minutes to read and think about the quotes.  Each member of each group will re-read the above quotes and formulate answers to the following questions.

 a)    Determine the author, date and format (document orspeech) of the quotes.

 b)    Who was the intended audience?

 c)    Are there unique social, historical, economic, orpolitical events occurring?

 d)    Underline the words you do not know or could havemultiple meaning and look them up in a dictionary.

 e)    In your own words (mentally or on paper), what doesthis quotation mean to you?

 f)     How does the quote apply to a current event orsituation in America today?

  1.  The youngest person within the group will be the chairperson and record the consensus of the individual members.  When the individual groups have completed the task, the chairperson will select an individual from the group to report the findings to the entire class.  On the board or computer, keep track of the common denominators to review with the class after all individual groups have reported out.

  

 Enrichment:

 Ask each student to read and paraphrasethe quotations listed below.  Next, theymust explain why they are still relevant today. They must include current events to support their answer.

 

  1.  The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.”  Thomas Jefferson

  

  1.  My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.  John F. Kennedy

  

  1.  Our Constitution works. Our great republic is a government of laws, not of men.

             Gerald R. Ford

 

  1.  Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.  Ronald Reagan

 

  

  

  

 

Bibliography: Colorado State University, TheBedford Research Room; New York Times, Education Department; Quebec History,Marinopolis College.

Interpreting Presidential Voter Support

Overview:

Using graphs from former presidential elections, this activity is intended to teach the fundamental skills and observations needed to successfully interpret a graph in context, or relate it to a current issue.  Daily, students encounter graphs through readings and research.  The reason they attract our attention is because they are very effective tools for creating a mood,introducing an idea, or providing evidence to support an idea or argument.

 

Suggested Time:

One or two 50-minute class periods are recommended to complete this activity.

 

Government End-of-Course/GLE’ alignment and DOK:

1. Knowledge of the use of tools for social science inquiry.

(Interpret maps, statistics, charts, diagrams, graphs,timelines, pictures, political cartoons,

audiovisual materials,[excerpts from documents] etc.)

2C.a-1, 4; DOK level 2

2C.b; DOK level 2

3a.I-1, 3; DOK level 3

3a.K-3; DOK level 2

3a.L-1, 2; DOK level 3

3a.M; DOK level 3

 

Communications Arts, End-of-Course Alignment, and DOK:

3.  Develop and apply skills and strategies to comprehend, analyze and evaluate nonfiction.

3-C, E.O.C.; D.O.K., level 3

 

Objectives:

  1. Identify the author and source of a graph
  2. Describe the historical time and context of the graph
  3. Identify the intended audience of the graph.
  4. Summarize the importance of the graph on a presidential candidate.
  5. Predict the impact the graph might have on presidential campaigning.
  6. If you were a presidential candidate, formulate ways the graph may be used to your advantage.

 

 

 

Materials:

Handouts or digital copies of the activity questions and quotes

Paper and pen

Computer

Data projector

 

Terms to know:

Primary source

Secondary source

Fact,opinion and bias

Historical time

Intended audience

Horizontal axis

Vertical axis

Summarize

Contemporary terms

Paraphrase

Consensus

Formulate

Relevant

Predict

 

Activity 1:

1.    Project the following Gallup poll so that it is visible to the entire class. Ask the students to read the quotation very carefully.

 

 

 

 

 

2.    Place the students into small groups of no more than five.  Give the students a few minutes to review the graph.  Announce to the students that the primary goal of this activity is to learn the process for analyzing a graph and identifying ways that it can be used to illustrate and emphasize information.  To begin the process, each member of each group will formulate answers to the following questions.

a)    What is the source of the graph?

b)    What terms within the quote have a “special”meaning?

c)    In your own words (paraphrase), what does this graph mean to you?

d)    What does the graph tell us?

e)    What causes a dip in the horizontal axis?

f)     Is the graph trying to predict a trend?  If so, what?

3.    In approximately ten minutes, tell the groups to stop and be prepared to share their answers within the small group.  The youngest person within the group will be the chairperson and record the consensus of the individual members.  When the individual groups have completed the task, the chairperson will select anindividual from the group to report the findings to the entire class.

 

4.    Before discussing the group responses, remind the students that graphs, when used (integrated) correctly, can be powerful toolsfor emphasizing information and how it integrates into a subject. Graphs are best used for:

·       Providing visual evidence within a paper, project or deliberation

·       Providing evidence to support a claim or point within a written document

·       Comparing or contrasting ideas within a written document or deliberation

 

5.    Now, review the common responses of the groups.  Consider the following:

a)    Did everyone answer all of the questions with the same answer?

b)    Did everyone select the same special words and have the same meaning for these words?

c)    Most importantly, did everyone arrive at the same meaning and conclusion?

d)    What is the power of this particular graph?

e)     Predict how this information would be useful to a presidential candidate

 

6.    To summarize this activity, explain to students that understanding the meaning of a graph or chart is a matter of task analysis–breaking it into small parts that they can understand and then arriving at a conclusion or interpretation.  These are the suggested steps in analyzing a graph or chart:

a)    Determine the source, date, and topic of the graph or chart.

b)    Who was the intended audience?

c)    Are there unique social, historical, economic, or political events that are associated with the graph or chart?

d)    Underline the words you do not know, and look them up in a dictionary.

e)    In your own words (mentally or on paper), what does this graph or chart mean to you?

f)     How does the graph or chart apply to the issue you are writing about or discussing?

 

Activity 2:

  1. Project the following graph to the entire class.

2.    Next, place the students into small groups.  Give the students a few minutes to review the graph.  Announce to the students that the primary goal of this activity is to learn the process for analyzing a graph and identifying ways that it can be used to illustrate and emphasize information.  To begin the process, each member of each group will formulate answers to the following questions.

a)    What is the source of the graph?

b)    What terms within the quote have a “special”meaning?

c)    In your own words (paraphrase), what does this graph means to you?

d)    What information is found within the graph?

e)    What causes a dip in the horizontal axis?

f)         Is the graph trying to predict a trend?  If so,what?

3.    In approximately ten minutes, tell the groups to stop and be prepared to share their answers within the small group.  The youngest person within the group will be the chairperson and record the consensus of the individual members.  When the individual groups have completed the task, the chairperson will select an individual from the group to report the findings to the entire class.

 

 

 

 

Enrichment:

Using the same format and procedures as above, project the following graph.  This graph is more complex and contains several topics for interpretation. In addition, students should determine if it is objective or biased.

 

 

 



Gallup Poll data, 2012

Steps to Becoming President of the United States

Overview:

Running for the office of president of the United States often begins several years before the official campaign season and involves numerous steps, time, money and informal political party qualifications.  This activity allows students to understand the entire process.

Suggested Time:

One or two, 50-minute class periods are recommended to complete this activity.  Actual time will depend upon a number of variables, such as length of class period, prior background knowledge, reading level, etc.

Government End-of-Course/GLE’s alignment and DOK:

1.  Identify and analyze the Executive powersgranted by Article II of the U.S. Constitution as well as informal powers.

2C.a-1, 4; DOK level 2

2C.b; DOK level 2

3a.I-1, 3; DOK level 3

3a.K-3; DOK level 2

3a.L-1, 2; DOK level 3

3a.M; DOK level 3

Communications Arts, End-of-Course Alignment, and DOK:

1.  Develop and apply skills and strategies tothe reading process.

1-C. E.O.C.; D.O.K., level 2

1-E, E.O.C.; D.O.K., level 2

1-G, E.O.C.; D.O.K., level 2

3.  Develop and apply skills and strategies to comprehend,analyze and evaluate nonfiction.

3-C, E.O.C.; D.O.K., level 3

Objectives:
1.  Create a flow chart documenting the steps a candidate must take to be elected to the presidency.
2.  Assess the number of candidates, the reasons people seek to be president, and the election process.
3.  Construct a profile of a specific candidate and his/her qualifications, point of view on various topics, and presidential campaign.

Materials:

A copy of the U.S Constitution for each student, or a copy of Article II of the U. S. constitution

Terms to know:

Article II, of The U.S Constitution

Qualifications

Candidate

Political party

Exploratory committee

Campaigning

Endorsement

Special interest group

Flow chart

Party platform

National convention

Electoral votes

Procedure:

1.     Reviewwith the students the formal qualifications for running for thepresidency.  Explain that it is a multi-step process of informal steps that requires a candidate to invest a significant amount of time, effort, and money.

2.     Dividethe class into small groups (four-five), ask them to brainstorm all of theinformal steps a candidate must go through to win nomination from theirparty.  After they have compiled a list of steps, having them in numerical sequence, from the first step to the last.

3.     Whenall of the groups are finished bring the class together and create a flow chartfrom the suggestions of the groups.  Whencompleted, the list should be similar to the one below.

Step 1:    Formation of presidentialexploratory committee.
Step 2:    Announcement of intention to run for president based on findings of  exploratory committee.
Step 3:    Fundraising and gathering of support and endorsements from the general  public as well as other politicians, special interest groups, corporations and other sources.

Step4:    Campaigning early, particularly instates where primaries are especially important i.e. Iowa, New Hampshire, homestate, etc.

Step5:     Continuing to campaign to beat outall other opponents from within one’s own party.

Step6:    Attending your party’s NationalConvention and securing the nomination of the      party.

Step7:     Campaigning nationwide against youropponents from other parties

Step8:     Winning the election and securingenough electoral votes to be named the next president.

 

 

Activity:

Once students have written down and understand the process candidates go through to become president have them respond to the following questions:

1.     Does having a large number ofcandidates for each party complicate the election process?

2.     Explain why having a large number ofcandidates to choose from is a positive thing for U.S. citizens?

3.     Describe the responsibilities votershave when it comes to selecting a candidate to represent their political party?

4.    Summarizein your own words how important it is to elect the president based on andidentify which is the most important to you:

·  His/her political platform.

·  Prior experience as a leader.

·  Ability to connect with and understand the average American.

Enrichment: Creating a Candidate Profile

With the large number of candidatescampaigning to become the next president, it can be difficult to distinguish variouscandidates from one another.  Using PBS News Hour information available at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/vote2012/map/ along with other Internet and primary sources, answer each question below and create a candidate profile that describes one of the people campaigning to be president.  Be prepared to share your candidate profile with classmates.

Research Questions:

  1. The candidate I am profiling is:
  2. The political party this candidate represents is:
  3. What other political offices has this person had in his/her career?
  4. What prior political and leadership experience does this candidate have that makes him/her qualified to be the next president?
  5. What is this candidate’s point of view on the following major issues: national security, health care, education, the economy and taxes?
  6. Read a short biography about the candidate (1-5 pages) and summarize it.
  7. Would you vote for this candidate?  Why or why not?

 



[1] Modified from PBS.org.  Lisa Prososki, 2012

The Powers of the President

Powers of the President

Imagine you are President of The United States and faced with many problems. What presidential powers would you use to solve the problems? This module will give you a chance to test your skills with actual problems faced by former presidents. Take a minute and see how much you know and understand the powers of the president. Launch Presentation

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