Secondary Lesson Plan:
TITLE: Presidential Elections: A Simulation
AUTHOR: Randolph Burns, Fredonia High School,
GRADE LEVEL: Appropriate for grade 12
OVERVIEW: Every four years, the world watches closely as
the people of the United States elect the leader of their
country. The person chosen will not only hold the position
of leader of the most powerful nation in the world, but also
the international leader of the free world. The people will
not be forced to indicate "yes" or "no" on a single
candidate presented to them by the ruling political party,
but will choose from a list of two major and several minor
candidates. In addition, the election will be conducted in
an atmosphere free of coercion and intimidation. The
people's choice will be final, without violent reactions by
the losing candidate's supporters.
PURPOSE: Through this activity, students will come to
better recognize and understand the intricacies of U.S.
presidential elections--the simple and noble aspects, as
well as those characteristics which have come under great
This knowledge will enable students to become more
thoughtful voters, having the ability to separate the
"style" candidate from the "substance" candidate. In
addition, should the necessity to revise the election
process become more imperative, these students will be in a
better position to take an active role in such a debate.
OBJECTIVES: Students will be able to:
1. Identify the steps in the nomination process.
2. Identify the costs of conducting a campaign, as well as
the sources of campaign funds during the nomination and
the general election periods.
3. Describe how the electoral college system works, plus
its benefits and limitations.
1. Divide the class(es) into states. The number of states
and the "population" of each will be dictated by class
size. There should be states with large and small
populations. This will facilitate an explanation of
the workings of the electoral college system. Each
state should have two electoral votes plus a number
based on their population.
2. After forming two political parties, have some students
volunteer to be candidates. Give these candidates
different amounts of campaign money. They should
solicit the support of other citizens who have been
given different amounts of money. Students campaign by
buying poster paper, paints, television or radio (a
cassette player) time from the instructor by using
their campaign funds. Campaign commericals as well as two political debates will be incorporated through the use of Ustream.tv.
3. On election day, have students from your class(es), and
other classes participating, vote by state. From the
popular vote of each state, determine the winner of
each state's electoral vote. The candidate that
receives the most votes in the state gets all of the
state's electoral vote. The candidate who wins a
majority of the electoral votes wins the election.
After the election, hold a debriefing session.
1. Textbooks on U.S. government.
2. Campaign materials:
television and/or audio tape equipment (optional)
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER: Probably no other classroom activity
generates such student enthusiasm as participating in an
election. Spin-offs are virtually unlimited. these can
include investigations into the origin of elections,
constitutional guarantees, historical conflicts, struggles
for voting rights, the organization of political parties,
comparison with elections in other countries, current
issues, campaign techniques, and so on. Time, student
abilities, and teacher inventiveness will be the only real
life limits as to how far the simulation can be utilized.
Post Secondary Lesson Plan
Students: German courses of all levels
Materials: Computer with Internet access
Purpose: Students will experience what it would be like to watch a show in German. They will be able to hear the speakers' accents as well as the pace in which they speak.
Objectives: Depending on the course level, students will watch various talk shows and be able to summarize or answer questions about the show.
Instructions: Students will go to Ustream.tv to watch TV Tutor, a German talk show. After watching the show, the students will write up a summary of the show in English or German (depending on the course level). The instructor may also provide the students with specific questions to answer about the show.
Ustream.tv is a very useful tool when it comes to doing presentations in the business world. Just as a face-to-face presentation, it allows the audience to hear and see the presenter and all of his or her visual aids. It also allows for communication between the presenter and audience such as asking questions or clearifying ideas. There are also extra benefits to using Ustream.tv for business presentations. It saves money on gas and hotels and cuts travel time. Multiple audiences can view the presentation at one time and the video can be saved for those who could not watch it live or who want to go back and watch it again.