Presidential Politics Update: The Face-Off Tournament Begins

Shawn Cochran and Nora Perez as Al Gore and George W. Bush

by Dennis Jenkins

On Monday morning, students wrote in their journals about their favorite part of the trip to Washington, D.C.. We also watched a short summary over the Bill Clinton presidency. As several students prepared to role-play as Al Gore and George W. Bush in the 2000 election, the remaining students took part in a round-table discussion over Alexander v. Sandoval and did a mock Supreme Court trial of Bush v. Gore. We also watched commercials from each candidate before contrasting political satire and the real debate between Bush and Gore. Before lunch, students took part in a role-play of the Bush (Nora) vs. Gore (Shawn) debate.

After we returned from lunch, students researched topics from Bush’s first term as president and took part in a round-table discussion over individual rights and terrorism during the Supreme Court case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld. The class then went to the computer lab to research information for their Presidential Face-Off Tournament and Mount Rushmore project. When we returned, students competed in the first round of our tournament. James Madison (Sean), James Monroe (Shawn), Bill Clinton (Nora), and James Polk (Maggie) each won in today’s debates.

During study hall, students continued to work on their Mount Rushmore projects and prepare for their debates in tomorrow’s second round of the Face-Off Tournament.

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