The government has created an economic stimulus package with the hope of improving the economy, as fears of a recession increase and candidates for the 2008 presidency
are campaigning for the chance to become America's next commander
While each region of the country has it's own unique challenges,
economic security is shaping up to be a major campaign issue
for the candidates and a pressing issue for current president,
1. Focus attention by reminding students that in November
we will be electing the next president and as candidates
campaign nationwide there
are many issues on the minds of the American people. One that
is of primary importance to most Americans is the economy.
2. Distribute the Economic Concerns Survey to each student.
Review the directions and provide 3-5 minutes for students
to respond to the questions.
3. Tabulate the results of the survey by reading each statement
and asking students to raise their hand if they marked the
statement as one of the three that most concerns them. Record
the results and share them with the class by recording the
number of votes each statement received on an overhead of
4. Facilitate a 5-10 minute classroom discussion about the
survey using question such as:
- Why do you think these three issues were the most concerning
to the students in this class?
- Do you think students in other parts of the country might
have concerns that are different than yours? Why?
- Do you think the concerns you focused on are reflective
of the concerns that your parents and other adults in your
community share? Why?
5. Direct students to the NewsHour
Vote 2008 coverage that contains segments on health care,
spending priorities, immigration and jobs, trade and jobs,
and the housing crisis.
Teachers can also access the NewsHour
Video Clips Archive to search for relevant video materials
in which to show their students.
Select which segments to view by reviewing the survey results
and watching the clips that address the issues your students
labeled as "most concerning". As students watch
each segment, direct them to complete the Note Taking Guide
as a means of gathering additional information about subjects
that were of concern to them.
6. After viewing is complete, facilitate a short class discussion
to review the facts and interesting information students recorded
and utilize questions such as:
- How do your concerns about each issue relate with what
was discussed in the segments?
- Discuss why you are/are not concerned about how this issue
might affect our community.
- Why do you think certain regions have more concern about
some topics presented than others?
- What impact do you believe each candidate's economic platform
will have on his/her ability to become the party nominee
and eventually be elected as president? Why?
7. Explain to students that now that they have a better understanding
of the economic issues that are of concern in various regions
of the country and to them as a group, they will be working
to evaluate the economic security of their own community.
Place students in pairs or small groups and have them utilize
Internet and library resources to learn about their community
and draw conclusions about its economic vulnerability.
Each pair/group will present their findings by creating a
poster board that includes pictures, charts and graphs, statistics,
quotes, or other information related to their conclusions.
Specific directions for completing the project can be found
on the Economic Security in My Community handout.
8. After each pair/group has completed the project, post
them around the classroom for other students to review.
9. Facilitate a closing discussion and encourage each pair/group
to share its opinions about the economic security of your
community and the specific reasons why they have drawn these
1. Invite a panel of local politicians, economists, city leaders,
etc. in to the classroom to answer students' questions about
economic issues affecting the community, what is being done
to secure the economy in your area, and what challenges the
community faces based on the current U.S. economy.
2. After learning more about the U.S. economy and their local
economy, encourage students to read the economic platform
for their favorite Democratic and Republican candidates. Have
students select which candidate they would select for president
based on his/her economic policy and the way it would impact
3. Encourage students to email city, state, or national leaders
about their economic concerns and their suggestions for what
could be done to ensure economic stability in their community
and/or on the national level. Encourage students to include
specific questions for these leaders to address in their response.