This undated black and white print depicts an Irish immigrant wearing a large campaign ribbon, ta
What's at Stake in a Presidential Debate?
Grade Range: 6-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities
Duration: 120 minutes
Date Posted: 10/21/2020
Debates are one of the most anticipated events in the lead up to a presidential election. Each candidate carefully plans their strategies to persuade the American public that they are the one to vote for in November. In this learning resource, learners will examine historical examples of presidential debates to analyze the purpose and structures of debates and whether they think presidential debates are effective. You will also customize your own viewing scorecard for watching modern presidential debates.
Learning is centered on the driving question, "What's at stake in a presidential debate?" The following supporting questions are included to guide your inquiry.
What is a debate?
What is the purpose of a presidential debate?
What strategies do presidential candidates use to pursue their debate goals?
Are presidential debates effective?
Common Core State Standards (Grades K-12)
CCR Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.3 (Comprehension and Collaboration): Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards (Grades 9-12)
2: Applying Disciplinary Tools and Concepts
D2.Civ.8.9-12. (Civics): Evaluate social and political systems in different contexts, times, and places, that promote civic virtues and enact democratic principles.
D2.Civ.10.9-12. (Civics): Analyze the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the application of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.
D2.Civ.14.9-12. (Civics): Analyze historical, contemporary, and emerging means of changing societies, promoting the common good, and protecting rights.
D2.His.1.9-12. (History): Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.
D2.His.4.9-12. (History): Analyze complex and interacting factors that influenced the perspectives of people during different historical eras.