Teacher Talk: Presidential Politics (July 2)

Wednesday, we examined the first term of Bill Clinton’s presidency.  We started our class discussion with a prediction of how they think historians ranked Clinton’s presidency before we analyzed the strengths & weaknesses of his years in the White House.  The students then researched the issues during the 1992 campaign before we watched a role-play debate between President George H.W. Bush, Governor Bill Clinton, & Ross Perot played by Garrett, Sam, & Sterling. It was a close debate in which President Bush was announced the winner by the students.  We then examined the major issues of Clinton’s first term before we read about two major court cases during the early 1990’s.  The students read & discussed ‘Cruzman v. Director, Missouri Department of Health’ & before we dismissed for lunch we read the court case, ‘International Union, UAW v. Johnson Controls, Inc., 1991.’  Students then voted on how they would have decided on each of the court cases.

After lunch, the students went to the library to research the four presidents they wanted to put on their Mount Rushmore Project.  We then came back to class to finish our notes over Clinton’s first term.  During the last 30 minutes of class we watched a documentary over how they built Mount Rushmore.  Wednesday night, during Study Hall, students worked on their Mount Rushmore project.  Thursday, we will re-create the 1996 presidential election between President Clinton & Senator Bob Dole.  We will also examine the major events of Clinton’s second term as president.  Students will complete their research for their Mount Rushmore project & we will start examining the presidency of Abraham Lincoln in preparation for Monday’s field trip to Springfield, Illinois.

Dennis Jenkins