by Dennis Jenkins
We had an eventful day on Thursday in Presidential Politics. Students were each assigned a campaign poster to create for a presidential election they had studied. They then role-played the Supreme Court trial that involved the president and executive privilege in the case of United States v. Nixon. Each student was assigned a specific role, either as a member of the Supreme Court, prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, one of the criminals in the Watergate break-in, and President Nixon. The Supreme Court at VAMPY ruled that President Nixon was not above the law and had to turn over the tapes.
We then contrasted commercials from the campaign team of Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford in the 1976 election. The class took part in a role play re-creation of one of the debates between Carter and Ford during the 1976 campaign. Ben and Maggie did a great job role-playing Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford! Before lunch the class watched Saturday Night Live’s satirical re-creation of the debate between the two candidates. Students then analyzed the historical rankings of President Carter’s administration.
After lunch the class researched one president from 1880 to 1928 on whom they will present to the class on Friday morning. We then went to the computer lab to research several news stories involving current presidential politics and the latest developments with the Supreme Court. Students then shared their research on current news stories. The class wrote down major issues or events that shaped the Carter years, and we watched a short documentary over the legacy of Jimmy Carter. Near the end of class, students compared two court cases during the Carter years that dealt with affirmative action.
Tonight during study hall students are debating a Supreme Court case during the 1970s that dealt with the death penalty and analyzing recent developments with presidential politics.