IQ Leaning Network

Subscribe to IQ Learning Network:
PBS Learning Media
PBS Kids

Gubernatorial Debates - 2010

Recommended for Seventh Grade to Twelfth Grade

Video Segments for the Gubernatorial Debates, 2010

Teacher’s Guide With Lesson Plans 

Debates have become a staple of elections at all levels of government, due to the citizen education efforts of the League of Women Voters of the United States. Citizens have become accustomed to hearing candidates debate thereby providing a glimpse into their personality and the positions they hold. The League of Women Voters is pleased to co-sponsor the Alabama Gubernatorial Debates with the Student Government Associations of the University of Alabama and Auburn University, and ADAP for the 2010 election. Two debates will be held, one on Sept 16, 2010 on the campus of the University of Alabama and a second on Oct 19, 2010 on the Auburn University campus. 

This guide will provide lesson plans for use in advance of the debates as well as for the debates themselves.  Beginning with instruction on the importance of voting and the history of political debates in America, the guide will also include lessons on how to evaluate a debate as well as a lesson on evaluating the debates themselves.

Lesson 1: Why Vote?
Lesson 2: Let's Vote! What Do You Need to Know to Vote In Alabama?
Lesson 3: The Impact of Political Debates in the Television Age
Lesson 4: Analyzing Gubernatorial Debates: The 2010 Election 

These lessons may be taught as a unit or may be selected for custom use by the instructor and modified. 

State Standards for the Gubernatorial Debate Guide 2010
Grade 7 Civics
Standard 3
Describe essential characteristics of state and local governments in the United States.

  • Identifying major offices and officeholders of state and local governments
  • Explaining the historical background of the 1901 Constitution of Alabama and its impact on state and local governments  
    Example: lack of home rule
  • Describing how local and state governments are funded

Standard 4 Compare duties and functions of members of legislative, executive, and judicial branches of local, state, and national governments.

  • Identifying geographic and political districts of legislative, executive, and judicial branches of national, state, and local governments
  • Describing the organization and jurisdiction of courts within the judicial system of the United States at local, state, and national levels
  • Explaining concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances among the three branches of state and national governments

Standard 9 Identify individual and civic responsibilities of citizens of the United States.
Examples:    individual—respect for rights of others, self-discipline, negotiation, compromise; civic—respect for the law, patriotism, participation in the political process

  • Describing differences in rights, privileges, duties, and responsibilities between citizens and noncitizens
  • Explaining how United States citizenship is acquired
  • Interpreting an immigration map
  • Identifying character traits that are beneficial to individuals and to the republic of the United States
    Examples:    honesty, courage, compassion, civility

Grade 12 American Government
Standard 4
Describe specific functions, organization, and purposes of state and local governments.
Examples: functions-providing educational funding, ensuring personal security, regulating transportation

  • Analyzing the 1901 Constitution of Alabama to determine its impact on local funding and campaign reform
  • Describing the influence of special interest groups on state government

Standard 5 Trace the expansion of suffrage and its effect on the political system of the United States.  
Example: suffrage for non-property owners, women, African Americans, and persons 18 years of age

  • Describing implications of participation of large numbers of minorities and women in parties and campaigns
  • Describing the impact of the Selma-to-Montgomery march on the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Standard 6 Describe the development and functions of special interest groups.

  • Identifying the impact of campaign contributions by political action committees on the election processes at the state and national levels
  • Analyzing rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States regarding campaign financing to determine their effect on the election process

Examples: Buckley versus Valeo, legislation regarding campaign reform

Standard 7 Trace the development and impact of the media on the political process and public opinion in the United States. 
Examples: party press, penny press, print media, yellow journalism, radio, television, Internet, 2000 presidential election

  • Explaining the effect of media consolidation on public opinion and access to various viewpoints
  • Describing regional differences in public opinion in the United States
  • Analyzing the impact of television on the election process and campaign spending  Examples: John F. Kennedy-Richard M. Nixon debate, Lyndon B. Johnson and the 1964 "Daisy" advertisement, George H. W. Bush and the 1988 Willie Horton advertisement, early returns and media predictions on election night
  • Explaining the effect of attack advertisements on voter selection of candidates

Standard 8 Identify roles political parties play in the functioning of the political system of the United States.

  • Describing the role of third-party candidates in political elections in the United States
  • Explaining major characteristics of contemporary political parties in the United States, including the role of conventions, party leadership, formal and informal memberships, and regional strongholds
  • Describing the changing influence of political parties on individuals and elected officials  Examples: development of party machines, rise of independent voters, disillusionment with party system

Grades 9-12 Computer Applications
Standard 3 Demonstrate advanced technology skills, including compressing, converting, importing, exporting, and backing up files.

Standard 6 Utilize advanced features of multimedia software, including image, video, and audio editing.

Standard 10 Analyze capabilities and limitations of current and emerging technologies.

Standard 12 Use digital tools to publish curriculum-related content.
Standard 13 Demonstrate collaborative skills using curriculum-related content in digital environments.

National Standards
Theme X: Civic Ideals and Practices
Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of the ideals, principles, and practices of citizenship in a democratic republic.
• Middle School - By the middle grades, students expand their ability to analyze and evaluate the relationships between ideals and practice. They are able to see themselves taking civic roles in their communities.
• High School - High school students increasingly recognize the rights and responsibilities of citizens in identifying societal needs setting directions for public policies, and working to support both individual dignity and the common good. They learn by experience how to participate in community service and political activities and how to use democratic process to influence public policy.

Lesson Plans Developed by:
Scarlett Gaddy
Hillcrest High School

300 Patriot Pkwy
Tuscaloosa, AL 35405

IQ Leaning Network

Subscribe to IQ Learning Network:
PBS Learning Media
PBS Kids