Students celebrate Independence Day with a presidential twist

Amber Lamastus
Amber Lamastus

Happy birthday America!!

Friday in Presidential Politics, we decided to celebrate the separation of America from Great Britain with the 1996 presidential debate between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. Students portraying the candidates selected a campaign manager to help them prepare in the hallway while their supporters worked inside the classroom on campaign posters. Students portraying “Slick Willie” (Clinton) and “Bob Dull” (Bob Dole) were very passionate about the issues at hand and enjoyed wearing their presidential masks!

As we do at the end of every debate, we watched footage from the actual TV debate so the students could understand the issues a little better. We also watch Saturday Night Live footage when appropriate. Students enjoy laughing at the portrayal of presidents by Phil Hartman, Norm Macdonald, and especially Dana Carvey as President George H. W. Bush.

After lunch, students were divided into teams and played the game, “Beyond Balderdash” with a presidential twist. The game is played by being presented with a quote, name, date, or event and then coming up with a guess as to what random fact is the true answer. For example, given the date, July 21, 1989, students must supply their best guess as to what happened on that date. They may guess the collapse of the Berlin Wall or the Persian Gulf War, events that took place during the Bush senior’s presidency (1988-1992), but the actual answer is, “Reagan was made a member of the Cowboy Hall of Fame.”

The day ended, as it should, with a tribute to our country’s founding fathers and constitution by watching footage from the John Adams mini series. We watched the struggles and triumphs that the brave men in Philadelphia fought to free this country from the tyrant king. As this week of classes end and the celebration of the fourth begins, we hope that the students remember what the Independence Day really means.