Teachable Political Movements, Every Four Years

Jane Peck, Language Arts, Bailey Middle School

Final Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core Standards

200 Word Synopsis

“Teachable Political Moments, Every Four Years” is an inter-disciplinary unit, which meshes language arts and political science in a presidential election year.  The nine-week study can be modified for standard or honors level seventh or eighth grade classes, incorporating literature, current events, argumentative discussion and writing with emphasis on collaboration, critical thinking, communication, technology, and civic literacy.

 National Common Core Curriculum begins with Urban Settings and the effects on characters, plot, mood, and theme. This is a natural bridge to the effect of setting on political parties and the electorate.  The Great Gatsby and The Outsiders focus on the effect of the setting on social groups in the 1920’s and 1960’s and include abbreviated research on cultural issues.

Weekly current events and subsequent discussions focus on the presidential campaign to build background knowledge and to realize the effect of setting on political issues and perspectives. As the political parties evolve, students comprehend similarities and differences and establish party allegiance. Abbreviated research of the political parties and issues promotes debate and culminates with an argumentative essay stating a Presidential candidate choice supported with elaboration from current events, debate watches, and research.