Republicans and Democrats

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This lesson focuses on the two main political parties in the United States- the Democrats and the Republicans.  The two parties are given “equal time”.  A brief history of each party is given, as well as a summary of its platform and other facts.  Most students will have heard of the two parties, but many do not know their place in the history and influence of American politics.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with a general political party lesson, or other election-related lessons.

Republicans and Democrats Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Republicans and Democrats
  • Hands-on homework activities about the American two-party political system
  • 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

The lesson begins by describing that Republicans and Democrats are the two main political parties in the United States government.  The two parties are given “equal time” throughout the lesson.  A brief history of each party is given, as well as a summary of its platform and other pertinent facts, including how they have influenced government policy.  The lesson can be used in conjunction with a general political party lesson, or other election-related lessons.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Ask students: When is a party not a party with cake and ice cream?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students: What kinds of parties are there in politics?
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Republicans and Democrats.
  4. Distribute Republicans and Democrats content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Group students in 3s, 4s, or 5s.  Each group must review either the Democratic or Republican platform.  Allow students time to discuss and debate the party’s platform, and to make changes based on the group’s beliefs and opinions.
  6. Once completed, the group will respond to the discussion questions based on the party’s platform.
  7. Each group will then share the revised platforms and will discuss the responses to the questions with the class.
  8. Next, tell students to think of their own beliefs and opinions. Ask students if they are conservative, liberal, or moderate, and to explain why.
  9. Allow for responses and discussion.
  10. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.

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.6.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.4

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

Additional Resources: 

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Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Social Studies