8th Unit – Political Parties, Elections, and Public Opinion (April)

TeacherStacy Gregorski
Subject AreaCivics
Grade Level7th Grade
Week #April
Unit of InstructionPolitical Parties, Elections, and Public Opinion
Standard(s) Taught

Curriculum Standards

Benchmarks

Conduct a mock election to demonstrate the voting process and its impact on a school, community, or local level. (Bush v. Gore, 2000)

SS.7.C.2.7

***Identify America’s current political parties, and illustrate their ideas about government.

SS.7.C.2.8

***Evaluate candidates for political office by analyzing their qualifications, experience, issue-based platforms, debates, and political ads.

SS.7.C.2.9

**Examine the impact of media, individuals, and interest groups on monitoring and influencing government.

SS.7.C.2.10

**Analyze media and political communications (bias, symbolism, propaganda).

SS.7.C.2.11

**Examine multiple perspectives on public and current issues.

SS.7.C.2.13

*Civics EOC Reporting Category 1      **Civics EOC Reporting Category 2     ***Civics EOC Reporting Category 3     ****Civics EOC Reporting Category 4

Learning Targets and Learning Criteria
  • Students will compare current political parties’ ideas about government.
  • Students will evaluate the impact political parties have on society, government, or the political system.
  • Students will identify the constitutional requirements to run for federal political office.
  • Students will identify the requirements to run for state and local political office. 
  • Students will identify and evaluate the methods used by interest groups and the media to monitor and/or influence the government.
  • Students will use scenarios to identify bias, symbolism, and propaganda.
  • Students will evaluate how bias, symbolism, and propaganda can impact public opinion.
  • Students will identify groups that influence public perspectives.
  • Students will use scenarios to understand the reaction or perspective of different groups.
  • Students will examine how multiple perspectives shape participation in the political process.
Classroom Activities

Daily Bell Ringer – Students are required to record their answers for daily critical thinking questions in their bell ringer notebooks (either a spiral notebook kept in class or a section kept in a student’s binder).

Daily Instruction – Students are required to participate in daily instruction, which can include PowerPoint presentations, group discussions, think-pair-shares, real-world simulations, formative assignments, and note taking.

Assignments Due

Most work is done in class.  Although students do not receive separate assignments to be done at home, they are still expected to take home any incomplete classwork, as well as study for unit summatives.

Additional Resources

The Democracy Project

http://pbskids.org/democracy/parentseducators/

Political Party Websites

http://www.democrats.org

http://www.rnc.org

iCivics Games

https://www.icivics.org/games/win-white-house

https://www.icivics.org/games/newsfeed-defenders

https://www.icivics.org/games/cast-your-vote

https://www.icivics.org/games/activate