Civics Today Citizenship, Economics, & You

Chapter 11: Influencing Government

Web Activity Lesson Plans

In this chapter students read about the many different people, organizations, and institutions that affect our government. Mass media affect people by what they choose to cover and how they choose to cover it. Mass media also affect government officials. Those running for office want the media to cover their campaigns and portray them in a positive light. Our nation's highest elected official, the president, has a press secretary to brief reporters on the president's plans and to respond to the media's questions. In this activity, students will take a closer look at the role of a White House press secretary.

Lesson Description
In this lesson students will read an interview with White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. They will answer several questions about the job of press secretary and prepare a briefing on a current event.

Instructional Objectives
  1. The learner will be able to identify the skills necessary to become a press secretary.
  2. The learner will be able to describe the job of the press secretary.
  3. The learner will be able to prepare a briefing of a current event.
Student Web Activity Answers
  1. The skills a good press secretary needs are the ability to study and learn the necessary background information, public speaking and debating skills, listening skills, patience, and a sense of humor.
  2. A gaggle is a 15-minute briefing that tells reporters what the president is doing that day.
  3. He must serve the interests of both the president and the press corps.
  4. Read the newspaper every day and think about what information is in the stories as well as what is not in the stories.
  5. Students' briefings will vary.
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