Lesson PlansBack to lesson plans archive June 9, 2016
“We Polked you in ’44, we shall Pierce you in ’52!” Presidential Campaign Slogans
Slogans are a critical aspect of a political campaign: In just a few words, they must summarize the candidate’s brand and win over voters. Most importantly, they must be memorable enough to stand out among the barrage of advertisements during the campaign season. How well do you know presidential campaign slogans from history?
Social studies, history, government
1-2 50 minute classes
As a warm-up, click here for a PBS NewsHour media gallery on presidential campaigns through history. What techniques have candidates used for campaigning in the past? Are those techniques still useful or popular today? Explain.
- With a small group of classmates, write down as many presidential campaign slogans as you can remember. What characteristics of these slogans make them more memorable than others? How does a memorable campaign slogan influence an election? Discuss.
- Click here for a detailed list of historical presidential campaign slogans. Find at least three slogans that you have never heard. What characteristics of these slogans made them less memorable? Do you tend to remember the slogans of winners or losers? Why? Discuss.
- Many campaign slogans allude to important historical events such as the Civil War and Great Depression. Find at least two examples of allusions that allude to historical events. How and why does the allusion impact the effectiveness of the slogan? Discuss.
- For example, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Happy days are here again” encourages voters because it alludes to Roosevelt’s ability to rehabilitate the economy following the Great Depression.
- Click here to play a fun Scatter game on Quizlet. Match the slogan with the presidential candidate and race your peers for speed and accuracy. Play it more than once to get different quotes. No registration information is necessary.
With a small group of classmates, create a list of campaign slogans used by the three remaining presidential campaigns in the 2016 race. Rank the slogans in order of effectiveness and memorability. How and why do unofficial slogans such as #FeelTheBern affect a candidate’s success? Discuss.
Click here for a PBS NewsHour “Brief but Spectacular” video story about Fred Davis, a leading political consultant. How does Davis’s take on what makes a political advertisement stick compare to the characteristics of memorable slogans that you listed previously? Discuss.
Amanda Wilcox is a graduating senior at T.C. Williams High School. She will be attending Wake Forest University in the fall.
Tooltip of standarts
Relevant National Standards:
Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.
Tooltip of related stories
More Lesson Plans
Tooltip of more video block
Tooltip of RSS content 3
Talk with your students about Aretha Franklin: They all know the Queen of Soul
Legendary singer Aretha Franklin, the ‘Queen of Soul,’ died at her home in Detroit on Thursday at the age of 76. Use this NewsHour lesson to find out what it is about the Queen of Soul that makes both young and old dance and sing along to her music. Continue readingAretha FranklinArts & Culturecivil rightsgospelin memoriamMedia LiteracyMusicobituariesQueen of Soulsoul musicUS history
Lesson plan: Solar invention makes safety and production levels shine
Hit the lights, please! In this lesson, students will learn about emerging technologies that are bringing new light sources to remote, poor areas of the world. Students will then invent their own light source using the steps of the invention process and share it via social media using #PBSInvention. Continue reading#PBSInventionAgents for ChangeAlfredo Moserbottle lampbreakthroughsbusiness educationdeveloping worldDIYEconomicseconomyenergyentrepreneurgrassroots movementgreen energygreen technologyIllac Diazindustrial designInnovation & Inventioninventioninvention educationinvention processLemelsonlesson planlightLiter of Lightmanufacturingpatentrenewable energysmall businessessocial entrepreneurshipsolar energysolar powerSTEMThe Leading EdgeU.S. patent and trademark officeUSPTO
Lesson plan: Watergate and the limits of presidential power
August 8, 2018, marks the 44th anniversary of the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Use this resource to teach young people about this period in U.S. history. Continue readingDemocratic National CommitteeGerald FordGovernment & Civicslesson planOval OfficePoliticsPresidencyresignationRichard NixonSocial StudiesU.S. historyWatergateWhite House
Monitoring the midterms: Political parties continuing role in U.S. elections
What issues will inspire voters to turn out to vote in November? Check out NewsHour Extra’s “Monitoring the Midterms” classroom series ahead of the 2018 midterms. Continue reading#MonitoringTheMidterms2018 midterm elections2018 midtermsdemocracyDemocratsElection 2018Government & Civicslesson planMonitoring the Midtermspartisanshipparty identificationpolitical partiespolitical partyPolitics MondayRepublicansSocial StudiesUS historyVotersvoting
How Monticello’s exhibit on Sally Hemings deepens our understanding of U.S. history
Share the story of Sally Hemings with your students and Monticello’s latest efforts to set the historical record straight. Continue readingAmerican Historyenslaved peopleEthicslesson planMedia LiteracyMonticelloSally HemingsslaverySocial IssuesSocial StudiesThomas Jeffersonunited states historyUS historyvideo lesson