Political Parties

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This interesting lesson introduces the students to both major and minor political parties in the United States, including characteristics of each. Most students may be aware of the two major parties, Republican and Democrat, but the other parties will be new to many of the students. Students are encouraged to become aware of politics and its impact on them today, and why involvement, such as voting, is important.

Political Parties Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Political Parties
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

This interesting lesson introduces the students to both major and minor political parties in the United States, including characteristics of each. Most students may be aware of the two major parties, Republican and Democrat, but the other parties will be new to many of the students. Students are encouraged to become aware of politics and its impact on them today, and why involvement, such as voting, is important.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction

  1. Display the symbols of the Democrat (donkey) and Republican (elephant) parties and ask students if they have ever seen the images before.
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students how familiar they are with politics, either nationally or locally.
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce political parties.
  4. Distribute Political Parties content pages. Read and review the information with the students. Tell them to think about the final question for later use. (Related to the lesson closing.) Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity pages. Read and review the instructions. Group students in threes or fours. Explain to students to try and take a unanimous stand on each of the issues listed, even if they may not totally agree, they should try and justify each position. They may vote as well. Give students a sufficient amount of time to complete the activity. (Assign a “secretary” for each group.)
  6. When completed allow the groups to share the new party name and symbol, plus two or three issues and their justification for the group’s (party’s) stand on the issue.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses. Some may lead to a debate, which may be encouraged.
  9. In closing, ask students to write three to five sentences persuading another person to join one of the political parties studied. Allow student volunteers to read aloud their short paragraphs.
  10. When completed ask students which argument was the most persuasive and why.

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.4

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Want more social studies resources? Check out our other Social Studies Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Social Studies