The 21st Century Political Party

Patrick O’Neil, AP Government and Politics, Mallard Creek High School

Final Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core Standards

200 Word Synopsis

     Students have significant exposure to the rhetoric of political parties and bring general interest and substantial prior knowledge of the particular unit.  They will build on their own understanding regarding political parties which will enable them to make connections to political ideology and partisan politics.   The political party assignment includes vocabulary terms, writing activities, graphic organizers, and critical thinking questions. Additionally, the unit is accompanied by the Political Party Project: 1. Explain in detail the fundamental ideas of the two major political parties—Democrats and Republicans; 2. Create their own fictional party for the 21st century; 3. Write a critical essay about third parties; 4. Discuss the issue of realignment (the shift of a large group from one major political party to another). The creation of one’s own political party shows that students mastered the goals of the lesson because they must first comprehend the fundamental issues associated with political parties before they can create their own fictional parties. The issues students will focus on will show that they not only understand political parties but they easily recognize the major issues (economy, taxation, and various other domestic and foreign affairs) often considered in creating platforms and policies for actual political parties.