Showing posts with label 2008 US Presidential Election. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2008 US Presidential Election. Show all posts

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Brief Overview of Notable Inauguration Speeches

Two days ago I posted a link to Hulu's video collection of inauguration addresses dating back to Eisenhower. That collection is great, but watching all of those videos would be time consuming. If you would like a short overview of significant inaugural addresses from all Presidents, watch this two and one half minute video from MSNBC.



Applications for Education
This short overview of past inaugural speeches might be good to show to your students before watching Barack Obama's inaugural address next Tuesday. You may want to have your students make some predictions about what they think Obama might say in his speech. For more inauguration lesson ideas, check out The Innovative Educator's blog post on the topic.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Who Built the White House?

Today on CNN Student News there is a brief segment about the role of slaves in building the White House and the role of slavery in the lives of the early United States Presidents. I've embedded the video at the bottom of this blog post.

The CNN segment reminded me of some other resources for teaching lesson about the White House. White House for Kids, run by the US government, features games and activities for learning. On White House for Kids students can learn about the history of the White House, what happens in a typical day in the White House, and read brief biographies of past Presidents. There is also a page for teachers that contains lesson plans and guidelines for writing letters to the President.


The White House Historical Association is a great source of information about the history of the White House. On the White House Historical Association's website you will find tours, timelines, and images documenting the history of the White House. Of particular interest to teachers is the classroom page where you will find lesson plans categorized by grade level.


DC Historic Tours has a great list of popular real and virtual tours. Currently, DC Historic Tours is featuring a map of President-Elect Obama's inauguration parade route. DC Historic Tours could be a useful resource for providing your students with a geographic context for the lessons you are teaching.

Here is today's CNN Student News video. The segment about slavery in the White House is about 90 seconds into the video.

(If you're reading this in a RSS reader you may need to visit the blog directly to see the video).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Two More Election Resources

Okay, so I was wrong in my last post when I said that it could be my last post about the 2008 Election. Well, I just found two more resources worth sharing with readers.

MSNBC has a quiz about the race for the White House. The 30 question quiz requires players to think back to the beginning of the primary season to recall the events that have transpired over the last ten months.

Also from MSNBC is the widget embedded below. The widget will track the election results and display the results on a map as they trickle in.



Applications for Education
The quiz and the map can both be useful in the classroom tomorrow. The quiz is a good way to start a conversation about the electoral process. The quiz is also a good vehicle for making students look back at the last year, kind of a modern history project. The map is a useful tool for discussing with students why some parts of the country or some states voted for one candidate or other.

My List of Election Lesson Resources

Personally, I feel worn out by all of the campaign commercials and campaign news coverage. Therefore, this could be the last post I make about the 2008 election season. It's been a long campaign throughout which I have posted various resources that I've found to be of use when teaching lessons about the election. The following is a list of the most popular resources that I posted over the last nine months.

Election Process Explained by Common Craft
Electoral College Teaching Resources
Free Stanford University Political Science Course
2008 US Presidential Election Maps
American Presidents Lesson Plans
Two for Next Tuesday
A Lesson Plan for After the Election

Throughout the last couple of months two great places for election lesson resources have been Larry Ferlazzo's blog and Jeffery Hill's blog. In fact, today Jeffery Hill posted another great video to help people understand the election process in the United States. The video is embedded below.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Lesson Plan for After the Election


Teaching Tolerance is a monthly publication that I have received at school for a few years now. Almost every month I find something that eventually works its way into my classroom. Currently on the Teaching Tolerance website there is a good lesson idea about teaching tolerance for differing political viewpoints. The lesson plan provides a framework for holding classroom discussion in response to the outcome of next Tuesday's election. Additionally, there are suggestions for a writing activity. What I particularly like about the lesson plan are the suggestions for including the concepts of Mix It Up Day into the learning experience.

Applications for Education
The suggested lesson plan, Crossing Political Boundaries, provides a good framework for classroom discussion about politics. Having political discussions in the classroom can be a volatile/ emotional experience for some students having a good framework for conversation ahead can make the experience less emotional and more educational for all participants.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two for Next Tuesday

With election day less than one week away, I thought I would share a couple of resources that Social Studies teachers might find useful. The Political Machine Express is a free game that students can use to explore the campaigning process. Students play the game as McCain, Obama, Palin, or Biden. The game was recommended to me by a reader of this blog. The one problem with the game is that it is only available for Windows.

Current TV has created an Election Night 2008 page to which users can contribute content. Current TV is looking for videos of election day parties. For high school teachers and students this might be a good opportunity to share how they are marking the election day. The best videos will be featured on Current TV's coverage of the election. If your class is helping to get people to the polls, register voters, or other civic project creating a video could be a good way to recognize the efforts of your students.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Five Last Minute Debate Resources

Tonight is the final US Presidential Candidate debate. If you're in need of lesson plan ideas or resources for discussing tonight's debate or the 2008 US Presidential election in general, I have compiled a short list of resources which you will find below the video from CNN Student News. This video from CNN Student News outlines the history and formats of presidential debates. (If you're reading this in a RSS feeder you may need to visit the blog directly to see the video).


Resources for teaching lessons about the US Presidential debate and election.
The Living Room Candidate
Google 2008 Election Page and Maps
PBS Vote 2008 - Teachers and Students page
Analyzing the Language of Presidential Debates
C-Span Debate Hub

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hulu to Stream Presidential Debate

Hulu, the web video service backed by News Corp and NBC, will be streaming tonight's US Presidential Debate. The debate scheduled for the 15th of October will also be streamed on Hulu. The two debate streams will become a part of Hulu's Election '08 center.

Hulu's video quality is generally better than that found on other video websites which is why I will be watching the debate on Hulu's stream tonight. (The cable is still out on my road).

Electoral Votes Prediction Map

As the 2008 Election Day approaches in the United States one of the topics sure to be discussed in civics and history classes is the Electoral College. One resources that will be of use to teachers discussing the Electoral College is the Electoral Votes Prediction map from Google Maps. Using this map students can click on each state and see how the overall election results will change based on how each state votes. As students click on each state the Electoral vote count changes at the bottom of the page.

If you're looking for more 2008 Election resources you may want to try the Common Craft explanation, C-Span's Election Resources, or Google's Election page.

The Electoral Votes Prediction map is embedded below.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

American Presidents Lesson Plans

American Presidents Life Portraits is a C-Span series that originally aired a few years ago. The series profiled each of the US Presidents. The profiles were very well produced as each one struck a good balance between profiling the politics of each president and profiling the personal details of each president. (If you enjoyed HBO's Adams series, make sure you also watch C-Span's profile of Adams). Most of the original profiles can be watched online using Real Player. Each segment is also available for purchase.

Applications for Education
The suggested lesson plans that accompany American Presidents Life Portraits are appropriately matched to each video segment. The suggested lesson plans were written by real teachers who used the American Presidents Life Portraits series with students.

C-Span also has a few great activities that students can explore on their own or with teacher guidance. Career Paths to the Presidency lets students examine the various routes that presidents took to the White House. Shaping the Nation and the Presidency highlights eight key events that shaped the United States. Each of the eight events contains a video clip explaining the event's significance. The American Presidents timeline quiz is a fifty question interactive quiz.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Presidential Campaign and Debate Resources

C-Span which hosted Convention Hubs to provide coverage of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions is launching Debate Hub. Debate Hub will aggregate blog, Twitter, and video coverage of the Presidential debates. The three minute video embedded below provides more details about Debate Hub.


Applications for Education
Debate Hub hasn't gone live yet, but should be live in time for the first debate this Friday. There are some resources live on C-Span right now that teachers and students can access. C-Span has a debate worksheet (pdf) that students can use to evaluate the candidates during the debate. Another resource worth exploring is the 2008 Election Map covering all of the House, Senate, and Gubernatorial races across the country.

(Thanks to Simon Owens for the tip about Debate Hub).

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Electoral College Teaching Resources

Yesterday, I posted a link to the Google Election resources page. Today, I have seven more resources that teachers will find useful for teaching lessons about the Electoral College.

There are many many websites featuring different interactive election maps. Each of these maps generally use the red state v. blue state graphic to show how each state voted in previous elections and what the polls are indicating for the upcoming election. For the sake of brevity I'm only going to highlight three in this blog post. Each of the following resources offer something a little more than just a map

Five Thirty Eight, named after the total number of electoral votes possible, draws on polling data from multiple polling agencies to form a variety of possible scenarios and election outcomes. The blog section of the site seems somewhat biased, but the scenarios and data are useful nonetheless.

Electoral Vote's interactive map includes data for each election back to and inclusive of 1992. The really neat feature found on Electoral Vote is the animated map that shows changes in polling results over time. Visitors can watch the map change in relation to the changes in polling data over the course of a month or year.

270 to Win, named after the number of electoral votes needed to win, has neat election simulator demonstrating possible election outcomes. Visitors to 270 to Win will also want to check out the historical election data dating back to the first election. The historical data is categorized by state.

Electoral College Lesson Plans
NARA, the US National Archive and Records Administration, has built a great website for students and teachers. The teacher page offers links to detailed lesson plans. The lesson plan titled the Tally of 1824 is one of the most thorough Electoral College lesson plans that I have seen anywhere. The Tally of 1824 lesson plan addresses not only the basic process of the Electoral College, it also includes the ideas of faithless electors and the possibility of losing the popular vote but winning the election.

The Washington Post's Electoral College Prediction Map provides teachers with an opportunity to include math in a civics lesson. When you first arrive at the map you will see that it is blank. Users select each state to be a Republican or Democratic state. The counter on the side of the map keeps track of the number of votes for each party. Students can experiment with combinations of states to create different winning scenarios. Teachers could ask students to explore this question, "what is the minimum number of states required to win?"

Of course, I would be remiss not to mention again the great video from Common Craft that explains the US Presidential Election process in plain English. Here is the video.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

2008 U.S. Presidential Election Maps and More

Like many news websites, Google has built a website dedicated to coverage of the 2008 election. On the Google 2008 U.S. Election page users will find all types of user generated content as well as stories from popular news outlets like CBS News. The part of the website that I like the most is the Elections '08 Map Gallery. In the map gallery users will find mash-ups of many types of data placed on a Google Map, for an example see the map below. The map below represents the campaign stops of both McCain and Obama.



Applications for Education
Google Maps mash-ups are useful for representing many types of data and information. Another of the election maps from Google illustrates where the largest campaign donations came from. A question to ask your students about that map would be something like, "what does the campaign map tell you about the party affiliation of the majority of people in area x or state x?"