By Dennis Jenkins
Monday we began our third and final week at VAMPY by examining the 2000 presidential election and the major events during the first term of George W. Bush. Students discussed how the events of 9/11 impacted our country. We watched a short clip over 9/11 before we went to the library to research topics for their study hall Mount Rushmore project. When we came back from the library we gave a tribute to former President John Quincy Adams as it would have been his birthday Monday. We then discussed some of the leading news stories from currents events over the weekend. Before we left for lunch students read about the controversy surrounding the 2000 presidential election.
After we returned from lunch students watched two commercials from each of the major candidates during the 2000 election. We then watched a summary over the first debate between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Students also watched political satire from Saturday Night Live over how each of the presidential debates were portrayed. The class then researched the biggest decisions that President Bush dealt with during his first term. Students then watched a role-play reenactment of the debate between Bush (Tom) and Gore (Truman).
After students returned from their afternoon break, they finished watching a clip from the events of 9/11. The class then participated in four debates in our first round of the presidential face-off tournament where students were given 15 minutes to debate their opponent as to why their president had a stronger legacy. The four winners from today’s debates were President McKinley (Benjamin), President Eisenhower (Chloe), President Theodore Roosevelt (Trinton), and President Polk (Tom). Before class ended we read about a court case during the first term of President Bush that involved whether English should be the official language in the United States in the court case Alexander v. Sandoval. Last night in study hall students worked on their Mount Rushmore project through which they will defend choices of presidents they think belong on Mount Rushmore who are currently not on the mountain.