Presidential Politics focuses on Reagan

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

Presidential Politics examined the presidency of Ronald Reagan on June 30 and July 3; we spent Friday analyzing Reagan’s first term and finished his second term on Monday. On Friday morning students discussed two court cases they had researched during study hall, watched several commercials from the 1980 election, and created posters for Jimmy Carter and Reagan. The class then watched an informative role-play debate between the two candidates who were played by Taylor (Carter) and John (Reagan). We also read and watched a short clip about Reagan’s first term. The last hour of Friday’s class was spent playing Beyond Balderdash; the class was divided into four teams and had to use creativity and teamwork.

Students got to enjoy a variety of different activities over the weekend including a trip to Preston Center, Vampy Olympics, and Paper Theater. On Sunday night during study hall students, were assigned a president to research for next week’s annual Presidential Politics Face-Off Tournament. Students researched information about their candidate and their opponent.

On Monday students responded to a variety of different thought-provokers which they shared with members of the class. They also interviewed another member of the class to share what they learned about one of their peers. We then contrasted different campaign strategies that were used by Democrats and Republicans during the 1984 election before they made posters for their respective candidate during the 1984 debate. John and James role-played Reagan and Walter Mondale while the rest of the

John Thornhill of Hardinsburg portrays Ronald Reagan and Taylor Edwards of Boca Raton, Florida portrays Jimmy Carter in a mock debate in Presidential Politics.
John Thornhill of Hardinsburg portrays Ronald Reagan and Taylor Edwards of Boca Raton, Florida portrays Jimmy Carter in a mock debate in Presidential Politics.

class wrote down what they learned about the candidates during the 1984 campaign. After the debate, the class watched highlights from the actual Reagan-Mondale debates. When students returned from lunch, they went to the computer lab to research several current events issues in addition to the Reagan legacy. Students then examined how historians ranked the presidency of Reagan and watched a short clip about it. Students next researched two court cases from Reagan’s second term and shared what they learned with another student. We ended class by watching political satire from Saturday Night Live during the Reagan years. There will be no study hall Monday and Tuesday nights due to other activities that have been planned.

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