Presidential Politics Update: Welcome to 1960

by Dennis Jenkins

On Monday our class began the journey into Presidential Politics from 1960 to the present. After taking a pre-test in the morning, we watched some of the first campaign commercials in American history. We contrasted the different styles that the Kennedy and Nixon campaign used during the 1960 election and put the class into two teams to support each candidate as we role-played one of the first-ever televised debates.

After lunch, our class examined the criteria that historians use to analyze the legacy of presidents. We read part of the inaugural address of John F. Kennedy, and then students examined major events and issues that shaped his presidency. The class watched part of a documentary regarding the legacy of JFK before we ended class by looking at how historians have viewed his administration.

During study hall, students completed a task rotation activity concerning two Supreme Court cases of the JFK presidency, and they ended by role-playing a major case that occurred during those years.

Team Nixon
Team JFK


Note: Teacher Dennis Jenkins will be posting updates on his course, Presidential Politics, throughout VAMPY.