Who Wants To Be President? A Voice and Choice Lesson of Democracy in Action
Chesterfield Elementary School

In this lesson, students use their knowledge of democratic principles to create a fictional presidential candidate, run a campaign for election, participate in a political convention and presidential debate, and vote for president. Student voice and choice is a ribbon that runs throughout the project – from creating the fictional candidates to the final debate and election, the outcome of the project lies in the hands of the students – promoting a high level of interest and achievement of the learning targets (standards).

Students will:
  • Use student voice and choice in a project that is meaningful and applicable in the real world
  • Work cooperatively to foster respect, responsibility, and perseverance
  • Understand that the Constitution is the document that contains the laws and rules that govern our country
  • Define the Bill of Rights as the first 10 amendments to the Constitution
  • Identify the three branches of government and their functions
  • Understand that democratic decision making allows society to function
  • Understand that laws are made, interpreted, and enforced by the local, state, and national government
  • Identify qualities of a good citizen
  • classroom set of the instructions for students. These should also be available on the computers the students will be using so that they can directly access the website links in the instructions
  • computers with internet access, Word, PowerPoint, and, if possible, MovieMaker

  1. Tell your students that they will be participating in a series of activities designed to let them actively explore the presidential election process. Their mission will be to create a presidential candidate and help him or her to become the next President of the United States.
  2. Place students in groups of four and provide them with the student handout and access to computers with internet access.
  3. Guide students through the activities listed in the handout. Help them to print worksheets.
  4. After students have completed their activities and prepared their campaign materials, hold mock nominating conventions, a mock presidential debate, and a mock election.

Determine how you will collect student work. Students might turn in activities as they complete them or keep all completed work in a notebook or portfolio to be turned in at the end of the project.