Civics Today Citizenship, Economics, & You

Chapter 9: Political Parties and Politics

Web Activity Lesson Plans

In this chapter students have read about political parties in the United States. George Washington disliked political parties and hoped that they would not develop in the United States. Today, however, two major political parties and several third parties are part of the American political scene. The Democratic Party and the Republican Party are the two most important political parties today.

Lesson Description
In this lesson students will have the choice of visiting the Web site of either the Republican National Party or the Democratic National Party. They will browse through several sections of the site and then answer questions. Finally, they will imagine that they are the party's membership chairperson and write a letter to prospective members that would convince them to join the party.

Instructional Objectives
  1. The learner will be able to name the founder and current chairperson for one of the major political parties.
  2. The learner will be able to identify the party's mascot and its history.
  3. The learner will be able to describe the party's stand on one issue.
  4. The learner will be able to write a persuasive letter.
Student Web Activity Answers
    If students chose the Republican Party:
  1. As of January 2007, Mike Duncan was the party's chairman.
  2. Anti-slavery activists founded the Republican Party in 1854.
  3. The party's mascot is an elephant, first used in 1874 by cartoonist Thomas Nast.
  4. Answers will vary.
  5. Letters will vary.
    If students chose the Democratic Party:
  1. As of October 2005, Governor Howard Dean was the party's chairman.
  2. Thomas Jefferson founded the Democratic Party in 1792.
  3. The party's mascot is a donkey, first used in a political cartoon to represent the Democratic Party in 1837.
  4. Answers will vary.
  5. Letters will vary.
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