The link above will direct the audience to a fun history lesson. In the original “Persuasive Speeches” lesson plan, students choose a recent presidential candidate. After students select their candidate, they will explore the internet and find the issues their candidate dealt with in their time. Then everyone in the class will write a persuasive speech that details who they chose, why they chose them, facts on problems and solutions of their candidate’s time period, and the social groups affected by their policies. Then students give their speech in front of the class and that is the end.
The original lesson plan allows students to use Powerpoint to make a visual and suggests using the internet to do research on candidates. However, this is not enough. Students will be about ten times more excited if they get to interact with technology. The new and improved lesson plan will have students creating a three-part commercial series for a recent presidential candidate. The candidate’s new digital campaign is comprised of three speeches of five minutes or less (no more than fifteen minutes total), three social media posts (each post needs to appeal to a certain group of voters), and then three memes that comment on the candidate’s, or opponent’s, policies. The lesson plan I’m proposing has many opportunities for technological integration, but here are the three that I think work well together.
- Social Media- The original lesson plan has a wonderful premise but it is completely out-of-date. Running a campaign in the modern world requires the use of social media of some kind. Students are required to set up a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or whatever relevant application is popular that they wish to use. Social media will offer the class a chance to have some fun with posts and meme making while they accumulate information on their candidate. All comments and posts should be tasteful and thoughful. After all, we are doing this to debate and learn. Each speech, meme, and post must be targeted toward a specific group of voters (think demographically, economically, socially, etc). All speeches, memes, and posts will be made into a compilation of some kind and put on their social media site with music and transitions. The social media platform also gives students a chance to practice debate and logic in the comments section. Once again, all comments and posts should be made to further democratic discourse in a positive and thoughtful way.
- Mind Mapping- Mind mapping sites allow students to create charts and organizers for just about anything. In general, mind maps can be used to help visualize a subject, improve brainstorming sessions, increase critical thinking, outline a subject or multiple documents, and will improve reading and writing skills. In this context, students will use mind maps to create a visual of their complex campaigning strategy. Here are some things to consider: Where did your candidate spend most of their time on the campaign trail and what messages did you wish to convey there? What mediums did they use to get their message out? What were the main issues on America’s mind during that campaign? Who was their opponent and what avenues did they use to convey their agenda? The mind map should be wonderful
- Presentation Video, Digital Storybook, or Slideshow- As previously mentioned, students will be required to record multiple speeches that appeal to like-minded voters. These videos will be made in iMovie, Prezi, Storyjumper, or any acceptable application along those lines. Students can make extra footage for this but the only requirement is the three memes, three posts, and three speeches. The final presentation should have music and transitions (if applicable).
The flipchart in this case is meant to act as a guide for the project, rather than a means to inform. It is filled with the standards, objectives, and guidelines for the project. Most of the slides give students the step-by-step instructions and helps push them along on the project’s thought process.
The original lesson plan has a creative premise. By getting into the presidential character, through research and observation, students are gaining a better understanding of our political culture and the various factions of voters. But, an injection of technology into the original lesson plan increased entertainment and production. Not to mention, it is very practical to integrate technology and increase our students’ confidence with such things.