Lesson Plan

The U.S. Political Spectrum

Students will be be able to describe, provide examples, and evaluate the Politial Spectrum.
Cyril H.
Classroom teacher
Lenape Tech
Ford City, PA
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My Grades 10, 11, 12
My Subjects Social Studies

Students will be able to...

  • identify and define the 5 parts to the political spectrum: Moderate, Conservative, Liberal, Reactionary, and Radical.
  • provide examples of contempory political issues and the difference of opinion due to the spectrum's political philosophies.
  • analyze the political spectrum.
  • evaluate their own political philosophies by discussing contemporary political issues.
Social Studies
Grades 10 - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Other — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wu93sB_C768

We are going to watch, “Second Amendment History” by The Young Turks. It is a 4 minute video that outlines the legal argument for further Gun Control. After the video, using your iPad, post a comment on the class Facebook page under the “Second Amendment History” post.

During the discussion or at the end I will transition into the political spectrum and outline conservative and liberal viewpoints on Gun Control.

Technology: YouTube & Facebook

Student Instructions

Comment Focus: Do you agree or disagree that there should be further gun control? Explain.

Paragraph form, a minimum of 50 words

We will discuss after everyone has posted

2 Direct Instruction

Free to Try, Paid

Please keep your iPads out and open the Popplet app. Together we are going to discuss and break down the U.S. political spectrum. You will be using Popplet to create your spectrum, define the parts of the spectrum, locate political parties, and add contemporary issues to the spectrum.

Technology: Popplet

Student Instructions

Parts of the spectrum we will locate, define, and have examples: Moderate, Conservative, Liberal, Reactionary, and Radical. You will also add Republican and Democrat to the spectrum.

Once the discussion is complete add a visual for Republican and Democrat.

3 Guided Practice

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Open your textbook to Chapter 5 Section 1, and open the document Ch 5.1 Two-Column Notes in the Chapter 5 folder in Google Docs. You will do an extreme paired reading with your table partner, and answer the reading guide’s questions. Once finished save your completed reading guide and submit it by placing it in your student folder.

Technology: Google Drive

Student Instructions

Remember in an extreme paired read you and your partner take turns reading paragraphs to one another. The partner who is listening is searching for answers and key details. When the paragraph is finished, the listener is to share the answers and key details.

Be sure to explain answers when prompted and to use key details from the section. Also, defend your opinions with details from the section.

Your file name should be your first and last name followed by Ch 5.1. Example Cyril Haponski Ch5.1. You and your partner each must submit a copy.

4 Independent Practice

Activity: Other — http://www.classtools.net/FB/home-page

You are going to create a Fakebook conversation, in which multiple characters are going to discuss the U.S. Political Spectrum.  Go to http://www.classtools.net/FB/home-page, and I will show you how the site works. Basically the site creates fake Facebook pages, and you will create a Facebook wall discussion that defines the political spectrum, explains how Republicans and Democrats fit into the political spectrum, and describes 2 contemporary issues in U.S. Politics and how the viewpoints differ on the political spectrum.

Technology: Fakebook

Student Instructions

1. Enter the name of your character (or object, or concept, or whatever!)

An image will automatically appear. Click on this if you would rather change it to an image uploaded from your computer.

2. Add an appropriate cover image. Search Google Images (“Facebook cover images”)

 3. Add some key information about in the ‘About’ box.

 4. Start adding some “Friends” in the first block.

You can add as many of these blocks as you like – for example, add another for ‘hobbies’, ‘likes, ‘hates, ‘places visited, ‘favourite books’ and so on.

An image automatically loads. You can click any image to change it.

5. Add a post. Just provide a name, a date, and write something.

You can add hyperlinks and links to YouTube/Vimeo vidoes too.

An image automatically loads. You can click any image to change it.

6. Add a comment and / or a ‘liked by…’ after the post appears.

Like the posts, comments can be ‘dragged and dropped’ with your mouse.

Your Fakebook discussion must have at least 3 characters, and the characters may be real or fictional characters.

You must add 5 photos and at least 1 website link to your wall discussion.

Complete your main character's biography.

5 Wrap Up

Activity: Other — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-Uaq9G_-XM

Watch the “Political Spectrum Review Song.” It is located on the “Political Spectrum Review Song” post on the class Facebook page. After watching the video answer the following questions as a comment on the post. Where do you think you fall along the political spectrum: Moderate, Conservative, or Liberal? Explain.

Technology: YouTube & Facebook

Student Instructions

Paragraph form, a minimum of 50 words, and you must respond to one classmate’s post for homework.