Overview

In this lesson, students evaluate hypothetical candidates by establishing and applying their own criteria for selecting public officials. Through a variety of activities, students assess candidates based on their qualifications, experience, campaign speeches and campaign materials. Students track campaign promises, explore voting records and evaluate the legitimacy of information resources. The role of the media, fundraising and opinion polls in the electoral process is also discussed.

Check out our Candidate Report Card activity where students apply the skills they learn in this lesson to current political races. 

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to...

  • Establish, explain and apply criteria useful in selecting political leaders.
  • Evaluate candidates based on their qualifications, experience, speeches and advertisements.
  • Examine candidates’ promises and how they align with the offices they seek and their voting records.
  • Evaluate information and arguments from various sources.
  • Identify stands taken by candidates on issues.

Teacher Files