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Presidential Politics begins its Presidential Face-Off

The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU
The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU

It is hard to believe that we have already started our third week at VAMPY. On Monday students analyzed the legacy of Bill Clinton and the beginning of the George W. Bush years. Students watched political satire over the Clinton presidency after examining the timeline of major events. We later went to the library to research information for their Mount Rushmore project. Next we watched campaign commercials from the 2000 presidential election and some of the funnier moments from the first debate between Bush and Al Gore. We also read about why the election in 2000 was considered controversial and watched political satire from Saturday Night Live. Students then watched Stuart and Elizabeth role-play the 2000 debate between Bush and Gore. We also researched some of the major events from the first term of Bush’s presidency and watched part of a documentary over the events of 9/11. We ended class by having students take part in the first round of our annual Presidential Face-Off Tournament. The winners from today were JFK (Dawson), LBJ (Stuart), McKinley (Sam), and Teddy Roosevelt (Taylor). The students did a great job with their portrayals of their presidents as they defended their legacies! In study hall, they continued their projects over their versions of Mount Rushmore.

Presidential Politics students strike a pose
Presidential Politics students strike a pose

On Tuesday, students began class by contrasting how historians view the presidencies of Clinton, Bush, and Obama. We analyzed a timeline over the major events of the first term of Bush’s presidency, and students went to the library to finish their research for their tournament and the Mount Rushmore project. When we returned from the library, we watched several commercials from each of the candidates during the 2004 presidential election. We also watched part of the actual debate between John Kerry and Bush before contrasting the version created by Saturday Night Live. After lunch, students watched a funny impersonation of Bush by Steve Bridges. We then watched Andrew and Stuart role-play the 2004 presidential debate by Kerry and Bush. Students next watched a clip over the first term of Bush before they paired up with another student to research his second term. We also read a current events article over America’s leadership in the world in 2017, and students looked for political bias as different students read the article to the class. The final hour of the class featured our last four debates of the first round of the Presidential Face-Off Tournament. The winners were George Washington (Emma), Barack Obama (Vantasia), Bill Clinton (Elizabeth), and James Monroe (Evie). In study hall, students completed their Mount Rushmore projects!