Analyze the ways in which political parties and presidential candidates use persuasion to convince voters to vote for them; and identify how methods of persuasion change over time based on other changes in US society.
Students will be able to:
- Identify changes over time in presidential conventions and explain how these changes reflect larger changes in US society.
- Identify the elements of persuasion used in images, text and/or speeches.
- Analyze and evaluate the ways in which political parties and presidential candidates use persuasion to convey their messages.
- Identify changes over time in methods of persuasion used by political parties and presidential candidates.
- Apply their understanding of the methods of persuasion by creating a commercial or piece of memorabilia for a 2012 presidential candidate.
Common Core Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies this Lesson Addresses
- Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
- Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
- Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
Part One: Changes Over Time
- Students read and view information provided in the History section of the website and use the graphic organizer provided to (a.) identify the key changes that took place in political conventions between each of the time periods identified; (b.) brainstorm possible explanations for these changes based on their prior historical knowledge. Depending on the readiness of your students, you may want to have them work in a jig saw, in which each “research” group is responsible for one of the time periods and then a member from each “research” group shares their findings with the” home” group. The readiness of your students will also determine the degree to which you will need to help students make connections between how changes over time in political conventions reflect larger changes in US society.
Part Two: Understanding Persuasion and How Methods of Persuasion Change Over Time
- Students choose, or are assigned, convention acceptance speeches from earlier presidential candidates and/or memorabilia from earlier presidential campaigns.
- Use the graphic organizer on persuasion provided, students analyze, independently or with direct teacher instruction, the elements of persuasion being used in the convention acceptance speeches and/or campaign memorabilia.
- Teacher facilitates a discussion that highlights connections between developments within a particular time period and the methods of persuasion being used in a particular convention or campaign. Possible questions for discussion: How did changes in who became eligible to vote (women, immigrants from different regions, African Americans, 18-year-olds) impact the ways in which parties and candidates used persuasion? How did changes in communication technologies impact the ways in which parties and candidates used persuasion? What can you infer about important events or issues of the given time period based on ways in which parties and political candidates used persuasion during the particular campaign? What can you infer about the values of the given time period based on ways in which parties and political candidates used persuasion during the particular campaign?
- Part Three: Creating Campaign Materials Using Methods of Persuasion
- To apply their understanding of the methods of persuasion, students choose one of the 2012 presidential candidates and create a persuasive commercial (just the script, or if time permits, the fully produced commercial) or piece of memorabilia (a poster or button or bumper sticker) for the campaign, based on the Party’s platform. (Insert link for button for “Platforms” for them to access links to 2012 party platforms.) Students also explain, through writing or speaking, the specific ways in which they used the elements of persuasion and how this reflects expectations and values within that political party as well as important events or issues in 2012.
- Tracing Changes Over Time in Conventions & Analyzing Methods of Persuasion (Graphic Organizers) | Download
- The American Presidency Project: Text of speeches | Audio/Video for selected presidents
- Websites for Campaign Memorabilia: Presidential Campaign Memorabilia: Duke University Special Collections Library | Adventures of Cyberbee: Political Memorabilia
- Graphic Organizer: Tracing Changes Over Time in Conventions
- Graphic Organizer: Analyzing and Evaluating Methods of Persuasion
- Student Work in which they Apply Methods of Persuasion
Common Core standards: