Presidential Election 2012

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Essential Question: What are the important issues in the 2012 campaign and how does each candidate propose to address them?

  • Students will identify the major issues in this campaign.
  • Students will research each candidate’s position on at least one issue.
  • Students will investigate any factual misrepresentations by both candidates

Massachusetts Curriculum Standards:external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRTkqc9B_BeVFHxUAdfc2jIN2rsKK4FUngjNbKZX2q3RhU_zprbeQ
US History 1: Revolution to Reconstruction
  • Basic Framework of Democracy and Concepts of American government
US History 2: 1877-2001
  • America’s Growing Role in International Relations
  • Contemporary America
  • Impact of Sectionalism on American Life and Politics
  • Explain the basic function of the government in the US economy
  • Government elective
Adapted from the Youth Leadership Initiative

START HERE!!!! external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQUuSAvnhe6phTwIQna0PE0GanKBF8s-U6bmQS78xiGRoatvvXA
DIRECTIONS: Download the Classwork document and complete the Do Now question.

Do Now:
"Which presidential candidate will you vote for in the school election on Friday: Obama or Romney? Why?"
Complete the DO NOW Question in your Classwork document

Activity 1 - Survey
Take the following survey to see who you agree with: ISideWith
Complete the ACTIVITY 1 Questions in your Classwork document

Activity 2 - Whose Job is it Anyway?

BACKGROUND: There are two men running for president of the United States: Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. But before you consider what they stand for, what do you think the job of government is? Each man has strong ideas about how to solve the problems our nation has. But they also have ideas about the job of the government itself.

DIRECTIONS: Who should be responsible for fixing each of these problems? For each of the following issues, decide if it should be under the authority of the LOCAL, STATE or FEDERAL government, or, if you don’t think the government should get involved, put it in the NO GOVERNMENT column.
Type each problem under the appropriate column in your Classwork document

  1. street repairs in front of your house
  2. putting out fires
  3. fighting wars against other countries
  4. deciding on whether immigrants can enter the country
  5. deciding what we learn in school
  6. keeping our food safe
  7. getting a license for your dog
  8. getting a license to drive a car
  9. making sure the shows on TV are appropriate
  10. punishing criminals

Activity 3 - Where do the Candidates Stand on Important Issues?

BACKGROUND: There are six major issues in this 2012 campaign:
  • The Economy & Jobs

  • Education

  • Immigration

  • Health Care

  • National Security and Defense

  • Energy and the Environment

Each candidate has their own point of view or position on each of these issues.

  • Pick one Issue you'd like to focus on today.
  • Start with each candidate’s website and find out their official position on one of these issues. Type your findings in the appropriate column of your Classwork document

ACTIVITY 4 - Reflection
DIRECTIONS: Now it's time to reflect on what you found out. Does this change how you will vote tomorrow? Complete the Reflection questions in your Classwork document.

external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQUuSAvnhe6phTwIQna0PE0GanKBF8s-U6bmQS78xiGRoatvvXAOnce you are finished, print your completed classwork and Turn it in to Ms. Ward-Bailey
external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQUuSAvnhe6phTwIQna0PE0GanKBF8s-U6bmQS78xiGRoatvvXADon't forget to VOTE tomorrow!!!


Encyclopedias & Almanacs

InfoPlease: U.S. Elections

Wikipedia: Elections in the United States Long article packed with information and links to more information.

Research Links: Broadcast News

ABC News: Politics and The Note

BBC News: U.S. Elections 2012

CBS News: Politics

CNN: Politics

C-SPAN: Politics

Fox News: Election

MSNBC: Politics

NPR: Politics


Frontline: Government/Elections

Online NewsHour: Politics

Issues U.S. Politics Current news and analysis about election-related issues.
Grist: Environmental News & Commentary: Politics Environmental issues.
Kaiser Family Foundation: Health Reform Source Resources and information about health policy issues.
E-Democracy An organization that sponsors online "town halls" for communities.
On the Issues Non-partisan resource offering voters information on candidates' positions on issues. Information is gathered from newspapers, speeches, press releases, and the Internet. The pros and cons on many issues.
Vote-USA Information on every public election including, primary elections, special elections, at the national, state, and local levels. Also guides to candidates' views on the issues.

Electoral College - In Plain English