Political Issues Mini-Unit
Statistics show that voter turnout in the U.S. is low compared to other democratic nations. In addition studies have shown that there are a significant amount of votes that simply vote along party lines rather than on the issues. The goal of this unit is to make students aware of the main political issues in American politics and how to identify the different persuasive techniques politicians use in order to win votes. Being informed is one of the most important aspects of citizenship.
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Dale Ehrhart (Faculty)
This is a fantastic civics lesson plan about the importance of informed voting. In this plan Background information in the form of online lectures are placed online and assessable at the student's discretion. Students analyze political pieces and create their own political advertisement using Windows Movie Make, iMovie, Go-Animate.com, or Prezi.com. The lesson plan moves from remembering to creating and has the students working independently and in groups.. It's a nice example of project based learning with the guiding question being "How to make informed questions for elections". It would be nice to have a rubric for guidance and grading purposes.
I like that the students will be using current tools like Prezi and that it would be easy to update for newer tools.
Suzanne Reinhardt (Faculty)
I love this idea for several reasons. First, it’s extremely useful and has direct real-world applicability. Second, it helps students to develop critical thinking skills, which are sorely lacking in the university students whom I teach, and I assume are representative of many college students. And I think this idea could be helpful for, not only students, but also, the population in general. The performance skills could be detailed a bit more. Perhaps a rubric can be used also to identify how the advertisement will be assessed.