We began class Wednesday by having students share their opinions on a variety of thought-provoking questions regarding presidential politics and the Supreme Court. We then finished examining the legacy of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency by watching the end of a clip highlighting it. Students next watched several commercials from each of the presidential candidates during the 1968 election before each person was assigned a political party to research. The students formed three teams to have a group debate over the political issues that shaped the 1968 election.
After lunch, students went to the computer lab to research a variety of currents events topics in addition to the legacy of Richard Nixon’s presidency. They also examined political cartoons about Nixon. When we came back from the library, students watched a role-play debate between Nixon and George McGovern during the 1972 election. Evie portrayed the Democratic candidate and did an outstanding job taking on the president. The rest of the class asked questions as they completed a scorecard over what they learned during the debate. We then contrasted each candidate’s commercials during the 1972 debate, and students wrote down what they liked or disliked from each commercial. Students next read some of the major accomplishments of the Nixon presidency and how the Watergate scandal led to his resignation. Finally, we analyzed how historians rank Nixon’s presidency, and students created their own posters for the candidates during the Nixon years.
During study hall, students were assigned to teams in which they will complete a task rotation activity over several Supreme Court cases during the Nixon years.