Nominations & Conventions

Lesson Plans

Analyze the current presidential nomination and convention process; and examine how and why the processes have changed over time.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Identify changes to the nomination and convention process and articulate how and why these changes occurred.
  • Describe and evaluate how effectively the current nomination and convention process reflects the democratic ideals of the U.S.
  • Apply understanding of the current and historic presidential nomination and convention process to craft an editorial analyzing the nomination and convention process and suggesting alternatives.

Common Core Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies this lesson plan 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 analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).


Part One: Understanding Presidential Nominations and Conventions

  • Students explore the information provided on the website for Presidential Nominations and Conventions and use the Nomination and Conventions graphic organizer provided to (a.) identify key developments in the Presidential Nomination and Convention process; (b.) categorize evidence in support of (pro) and in opposition to (con) current processes .

Part Two: Editorials – Taking a position on Presidential Nomination and Convention reform

  • Activator:  Provide students with editorials on various local, state and national topics.  Teacher will facilitate a discussion regarding the purpose, function and structure of the editorials distributed.  Teacher may want to record or have students record responses.  Possible discussion questions include: How does an editorial differ from a “hard news” story? What are some of the purposes of the editorials represented?  How does the writing style and format of the piece support the purpose of the piece?  Is your editorial effective?  Why or why not?  How does the writer convey expertise on his or her topic?
  • Students use evidence from the graphic organizer and ideas from the class examination and discussion of editorial writing to craft a persuasive opinion editorial on the how effectively the current nomination and convention process reflects democratic ideals and suggest alternatives to the current process, if applicable.  Depending on the readiness of your students, you may want to provide further resources or direct instruction on editorial writing.
  • Teacher wraps up the lesson with a discussion of student views on the nomination and convention process with a stress on supporting opinion with evidence from student editorials.


  • Editorials from a diverse range of publications.
  • Nominations and Conventions (Graphic Organizer) | Download Form


  • Nominations and Conventions Graphic Organizer
  • Editorial

Common Core standards:
English Language Arts Standards » History/Social Studies » Grades 11-12