Plan: Political Issues and Discussion
grade levels: 8-12
subjects: social studies/US history
description: Our U.S. government has a long history of political
parties and the discussion they bring to American life. Political
parties have changed over time during the course of serving their
members and adapted or disbanded depending on how successful they were
in meeting the needs of the people. The present day political scence
has the two party system promoting liberal or conservative ideology as
the answer to everyone's problems. The modern day student should know
what their personal viewpoint or attitude is on the politics of our day
and U.S History should help illuminate the search.
goal: The purpose of this activity is for students to look at the
issues and and at themselves. The students should be able to
distinguish between liberal and conservative political positions.
Students should be able to understand where they personally stand on
the political issues and which camp they would find themselves in.
objectives; Students will become familiar with political issues and
Students will be able to prioritize political issues.
Students will be able to understand the general concepts of liberal and
conservative political ideals.
Students will be able to name the main political stands of the
Republican and Democrat parties.
materials: U.S. History and U.S. Government textboooks, computer and
Procedure: Handouts with a definition of terms, and a list of political
statements will be handed out to the students. The statements will be
the discussion point for deciding a point of view by the students. The
teacher will begin the discussion and will ask for volunteers to get
the discussion going. The student will decide which statements they
agree or disagree with and mark their choices on their statement sheet.
1. The best way to stimulate the economy is to cut income taxes.
2. Federal spending on health, education, and welfare should be cut in
order that the federal budget deficit be reduce.
3. Taxes should be increased on wealthy individuals to bring in more
revenue to reduce the federal budget deficit.
4. We should increase spending on the military.
5. The protection of the environment should be a priority by the
6. The federal government should require the registration of
7. The federal government should install protective tariffs to
protect American industry and American jobs.
8. The federal government should re-install the military draft.
9 The federal government should set price limits on the cost of
10. The U. S. government should increase spending to prevent illegal
11. The federal student loan system should be cut from the budget.
12. Human rights should be a factor in determining what money a nation
receives in aid.
13. The death penalty should be aboliched.
The students will complete their statement sheets by tallying the
number of agree or disagree answers. Each student will mark their sheet
either liberal or conservative.
Follow up activities: Students will make a list on the board of what
conservatives support and oppose. The same for the liberal side is done
on the board by the students. Another activity is to draw a horizontal
line on the board and line up the students to their position within the
political spectrum. The students can then see where they stand with
their classmates for the time being politically speaking.
Wrap up: What side or team are you on in world affairs is a perspective
that may result from this activity. The student's awareness of the
issues in everyday affairs can be improved by bringing a sense of
belonging to a group of like minded people. The student may see the
study of history as a way of enlightenment rather than boring, dusty
facts of yesteryear that are memorized and forgotten.