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Age Range: Grade 6 through Grade 8 (Middle School)
Overview and Purpose: Every 4 years, we vote for president. Voting is a major part of a presidential election, but it is not the only part. There is a vast amount of preparation that takes place before the "big day" and that is what students are about to learn out...
Objective: The student will be able to list the major events in order that lead up to Presidential election.
Internet access for students
Old campaign literature
Construction paper or index cards
Have students talk about what they think happens during a presidential campaign. Let them look over old party brochures and information and brainstorm ideas. List the events on a piece of chart paper. Help them narrow the list down to several major ones.
Ask different students to write the events on pieces of construction paper. Then have them vote together as a class on where on the timeline ribbon they think the events should go. After they have tried to put them in order, discuss the timeline and correct any mistakes.
Leave the timeline up and note where the nation is in preparing for a new president. If it is an election year, have the students monitor the progress of the campaign on the timeline.
To further this lesson, you could hold a mock election to elect a student to be "President for the Day". Have two or three students volunteer to run for president. Ask each candidate give a short speech about what they could do to improve school life. The rest of the students can make signs, etc. to promote their favorite candidate. Candidates could even have mock debates. Sum everything up with a vote by secret ballot.