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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans

The Road to the White House

Project URL:

How it works:

Join the campaign trail that leads to the road to the White House. In this unit, students will be involved in a WebQuest to find out how the President and Vice President of the United States are elected. Students will research the requirements and duties of each position. As they work in cooperative groups, students will find out who the presidential and vice presidential candidates are, what parties they represent, their biographies, and what issues they stand for. Students will then join the campaign and create a persuasive essay, political cartoon, campaign poster and campaign button to boost their candidate. Students will also take part in an online mock election and graph the class's election results.

Standards addressed:  

1. Uses information technology to navigate, gather, analyze, organize, and present information related to the United States presidential election.
2.  Interprets and synthesizes information to produce a narrative account in the form of a persuasive essay regarding the election of a presidential or vice presidential candidate.
3..  Demonstrates a basic understanding of the rules of the English language in written and oral work in writing and presenting a persuasive essay.
5.  Analyzes and subsequently revises written work related to the presidential election, to improve its clarity and effectiveness.
6.  Prepares and delivers oral presentations regarding the election of a presidential or vice presidential candidate.
7.  Develops pride and a sense of accomplishment in being able to promote a presidential or vice presidential candidate.

Materials used: 
Computers with Internet access, printer, and software for word processing, spreadsheets, and painting.

The students:
The Road To The White House is designed for fifth grade students working in a computer lab. It can be adapted for grades six through twelve and may be done in a classroom or library setting. Students use a checklist and a rubric to evaluate their progress.

Overall value:
This WebQuest results in students developing a sense of pride and accomplishment as they synthesize and organize information found via Web-based research and promote a presidential or vice presidential candidate. Students use their writing and word processing skills to create a persuasive essay while employing their art skills to design a campaign poster. Video and photographic resources excite and motivate the students.

Teachers need to preview all the Web resources that the students will be using. Some sites may need to be adapted or edited for your student population. The activities in this unit may be done by students working individually, in pairs, or in cooperative groups.

Carolyn Hornik has been a New York City public school teacher for twenty five years (12 years as a classroom teacher in third, fourth, and fifth grades and 13 years as a technology coordinator.) She teaches in-service courses for the New York City Board of Education After School Professional Development Program and on-line courses for new teachers through Teachers Network.


Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 10 or more

Subject: English, Social Studies

Beginning Grade Level: 4

Ending Grade Level: 8



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