USF's WebQuest 

How to Vote: Understanding Elections

Samina Khaliq

 

Introduction:

The government is asking you and your peers if you want to vie for the presidency in the upcoming elections! This is under the assumption that you know of the inner workings of the electoral process, the agenda of the political party you will be representing, and those of the parties you will be running against. This webquest simulates the 2004 presidential elections. Move on to the task portion to find out exactly what it will take for you to win!!!!

Task:

You are all to create and partake in a campaign advertisement for the candidate of your political party. This campaign ad will be presented during the presidential debate, in which your party's candidate will address the voting public and opponents at the podium. If he/she can sell his platform, win the debate and collect most of the popular votes, then your party and candidate will win the elections and shape the policies of this country for the next four years!!!!

 

Process:

Break up into groups of four. Your group will be assigned a political party that you must represent. Each group member has a special role as part of the presidential candidates team, and each is required to put in his/her two cents. Choose your role and check out the duties they entail.

Objective

Action

I want to be president of the United States!

Reach for the stars!    Find out what you have to do to as the Presidential Candidate!

I want to manage the campaign!

Get into Shape!    Find out what you have to do as Campaign Manager!

I want to advertise!

Take Five!    Find out what you have to do as the Ad Representative!

I want to analyze and report!

Get Some Support!  Find out what you have to do as the Political Analyst!

 

Resources:

Here are some websites to provide the entire group with a general background on the 2004 elections. There are of course more resources for you and your team members, which are necessary to complete this task...

 

Elections 2004 The University of Michigan Library Center offers a comprehensive website covering vast amounts of information on the candidates, the campaign, policy issues, interest groups, campaign finance and the election results. The intricacies of this website will be useful to all members of all groups.
United States 2004 Presidential Elections  Wikipedia offers a website covering the logistics of the elections in an encyclopedia-type format. It includes background information, endorsement details, a timeline on the 2004 elections, controversies surrounding the campaign, and much more.
NPR's 2004 Elections Coverage National Public Radio's website includes information on controversies and events otherwise not mentioned by mainstream news sources. The candidates' platforms are analyzed through various perspectives. The site also lists over 1,300 articles related to the 2004 elections.
CNN.com 2004 Elections Entitled "America Votes," this news-related website is well-known for its election coverage. It offers information on all candidates including those of third parties and gives detailed information about their platforms. Also included is full coverage on the primaries, conventions and debates. 

 While using these resources and preparing your reports, make sure you go over the grading rubric/ evaluation so you know of your responsibilities to the rest of the team.

 

Evaluation:

Group Member & Duty Criteria
Campaign Manager Report -Issues are presented in a comprehensive manner (from many sides of the argument)

-Party's stance on issues is clearly explicated

-Factual Accuracy

-Organization, Mechanics (grammar, spelling,   neatness), and Overall Presentation

-Group input and participation

Advertisement Representative
-Creative Advertisement is produced and directed

-Ad includes two to three significant political issues

-Other party is criticized in a tactful manner

-Organization, Mechanics (grammar, spelling,   neatness), and Overall Presentation

-Group input and participation

Political Analyst
-Report includes at least five supportive interest groups and thoroughly explains how and why they would support your party.

-Factual accuracy of information

-Organization, Mechanics (grammar, spelling,   neatness), and Overall Presentation

-Group input and participation

Presidential Candidate
-Debate action plan is thoroughly explained and includes input of all group members

-Organization, Mechanics (grammar, spelling,   neatness), and Overall Presentation

-During the debate, the candidate properly and realistically represents the party platform

-Group input and participation

Campaign Manager Report

 

 

Conclusion:

Even if you didn't win the elections, you all are winners in unimaginable ways. You are now politically aware citizens who know about the issues and controversies surrounding politics in the United States. You were able to express this knowledge creatively in the form of reports, debates and presentations. You may not have gained the support of all voters, but you learned of the importance of cooperative learning, for you were highly encouraged and assisted by your own team mates. Now, as multi-faceted and highly educated civilians you know what it takes to affect the government and make a difference! Keep up the activism and good luck in your future endeavors!