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Lesson 1: Political Symbols

Patriotism

Lesson 1: Democratic and Republican Symbols

Objectives:

Learners will be able to identify the symbols of the democratic and republican parties and match the candidate with his symbol.

Learners will be able to identify correctly each presidential candidate.

Learners will understand voting as a patriotic initiative.

Materials:

Picture of the Democratic donkey

Picture of the Republican elephant

Picture of John McCain

Picture of Obama

Matching Worksheet

Procedure:

  1. The teacher gathers students at the back of the classroom near the easel.
  2. The teacher asks the students to talk about what they know about the upcoming election. It may be appropriate to prompt them with the questions: Who is in the election? What have you seen or heard about the election?
  3. The teacher will also ask the students what is means to be elected. The teacher will lead the students in a discussion about the importance of exercising your right to vote as an American citizen.
  4. The teacher will then talk about the two parties and the candidates associated with each one.
    1. In the United States we have two political parties: the democrats and the republicans. Our current president, President Bush, is a republican. The Republican Party is the more conservative party and they are represented by the elephant, because the elephant is dignified, strong and intelligent (teacher shows picture of the elephant). In our upcoming election, John McCain is running for the Republican Party (teacher shows the class the picture of John McCain).
    2. The other main party that the United States has is the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is more liberal than the conservative party and their symbol is the donkey. This is because they believe the donkey is humble, homely, smart, courageous and loveable (teacher shows picture of the donkey). In this election, the Democratic Party is being represented by Barack Obama. If Barack Obama is elected president, he will be our first every African American president (teacher shows a picture of Barack Obama).
    3. On the TV it is easier to display these symbols instead of the candidates’ full name. These symbols are also used in political cartoons to represent the candidates or the party as a whole. Political cartoons are cartoons like you see on TV, but you only see one or two images and it’s done to make a statement about something that affects everyone. It is another way that authors show how they are feeling, because they mainly use pictures with a few words on them (teacher shows an example of a political cartoon).
  5. Before being released to their seats, the students will put their heads down and engage in a silent vote.
  6. The students are given a worksheet in which they must connect the presidential candidate to the symbol of their party as well as correctly label each candidate and symbol. The name of the candidates and parties will be provided to the students.

Assessment:

I will be able to assess the students’ ability to recognize the symbols of each party by their ability to complete the worksheet they are given.

Evaluation:

I will know that learners are able to identify the symbols of the democratic and republican parties by their accuracy in labeling their worksheets.

I will know that learners can match the candidates with their symbols when the students can correctly draw a line from the candidate to his symbol.

I will know that learners are able to understand voting as a patriotic initiative when they engage in voting in a serious manner.

Things to consider:The students seem to be able to remember donkey stands for the democrats when told that donkey and democrat both start with “d” so they go together. This was an easy way for the students to remember.
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