Presidential Politics role-play history, experience Washington

By Amber Lamastus
Amber Lamastus
Amber Lamastus

Our class is still reeling from our incredible trip to Washington D.C. earlier this week! We were able to see the back of the White House, the Smithsonian of American History, the Supreme Court, met with Congressman Brett Guthrie, and toured the Capitol building. The class was able to learn and better appreciate how the justice system works in our country and why it’s important to get and stay involved in the government. The students had a great time in D.C., but had just as much fun on the flight back to Nashville. Our flight attendant was very attentive to our students and really knew how to make them laugh. They haven’t stopped talking about him since then.

Over the course of the past two weeks we have studied the presidents and important decisions since 1960 from Kennedy, up until our current topic, Bill Clinton. Every day we watch and analyze campaign commercials of each candidate, clips from the real debate, political satire portrayed by Saturday Night Live, role play at least one presidential debate, and research and discuss the most important decisions of each president.

Friday in Presidential Politics we began in the library by researching a court case about what is reasonable cause to search someone, current events, and a few facts about the Clinton presidency. We then came back to class and role played the 1996 presidential debate between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. Afterwards, we watched several humorous SNL skits about Bill Clinton, Ross Perot, and Bob Dole. So far, the students’ favorite impersonator is Dana Carvey as George H.W. Bush and one of their favorite clips has been “President Bill Clinton at McDonald’s.” Later on, the students each had a role in the reenactment of the famed “Illinois v. Wardlow” court case including 9 Supreme Court justices, 2 defense attorneys, 2 prosecuting attorneys, and 3 witnesses.

The students are looking forward to the closing festivities and tournaments next week where we pit the top 16 presidents against each other in a tournament in which each student must defend the legacy of their assigned president and a final debate between the top presidential nominees Trump, Clinton, and Sanders.

The United States Capitol
The United States Capitol
Students create posters for each presidential debate.
Students create posters for each presidential debate.
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