Teaching Politics With Pages and iMovie

Who wanted to teach about government and politics after our recent ugly election?  Elections often bring so much negativity to the limelight whether it be with the candidates or across social media platforms.

In our classroom, students participate in mock government.  They run for class elections and are placed in the Federalist or Anti-Federalist party.  I’ve been doing this for years, and students become really engaged in building a government in our classroom.

To begin elections, students run for Senate and House of Representatives.  The members of these bodies created legislation in Pages and included signatures of all representatives who approved the bills to become laws. They were simple files and laws. You can see these below.

Early recess   / Homework. pdf

This year I have many, many competitive students and almost everyone ran for President or alongside a President as Vice President.  After primary voting in parties was complete and I only had two sets of candidates left for President and Vice-President, I knew I had to do something for all of my hardworking, creative students who did not win this political office.

They all became campaign directors.  Each team, Federalists & Anti-Federalists, created a campaign advertisement that described why students should vote for their parties’ candidate.  Student leaders were chosen to spearhead this project and as icing on the cake, I told students that the team that I thought had the better campaign ad would win an early recess for their entire political party.  The only rules were that everyone in their political party, except those running for Vice-President or President, had to participate in some way.

They were given very little time to come up with this campaign ad, but using iMovie and a whole lot of collaboration they made two fantastic commercials happen!

The day of elections came and campaign videos were shown, nominees gave speeches, and citizens of 4-1 voted on who should represent 4-1 using Socrative.  My students now understand how individuals are elected to office and how checks and balances protect our great country!

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