This lesson is to examine political symbols and how they have been used and continue to be used in political campaigns. Students will do individual research of memorabilia, posters, and cartoons using books provided as well as the internet. They will then create their own piece of memorabilia, poster, or cartoon using at least one symbol.
* Packaging Presidents: 200 Years of Campaigns & Candidates by Frederick Voss
* Campaigning for President BY Jordan Wright
* The Race for the 2008 Democratic Nomination: A Book of Editorial Cartoons by Eric Appelman
* The Race for the 2008 Republican Nomination: A Book of Editorial Cartoons by Eric Appelman
* The Encyclopedia of U. S. Presidential Elections by David C. Saffell
* Presidential Campaign Memorabilia from the Duke University Special Collections Library - online
* Adventures of Cyberbee: Political Memorabilia at cyberbee.com
* Begin this activity with a discussion of symbols. In small groups, students will make a list of symbols that are used in everyday life and what they represent. As a class, have students share their symbols and discuss how and why they are used. The small groups will then make a list of political symbols and their meanings. As a class discuss the symbols and meanings. Important symbols are the elephant, donkey, Statue of Liberty, White House, Dollar Sign ($), American Flag, Uncle Sam, and olive branch. Show images of each of these if the groups did not list these and discuss them. Then discuss how these symbols are used in political campaigns. Discuss election memorabilia, posters, political cartoons, and other ways symbols are used in campaigns.
* Students will then do individual research on types of memorabilia, posters, cartoons, etc. using the internet and other resources provided. They are to choose one example that contains at least one symbol and decide whether the item is an effective representation for the candidate. They will then research information concerning the presidential candidate and his election. Information to be found includes the candidate, running mate, political party, year of election, whether he won, and two facts about his election and/or platform.
* Students will create their own memorabilia, poster, or cartoon using information related to the 2016 presidential election. They must include at least one symbol. They will share their project with the rest of the class.
* Teacher will guide the discussion of symbols. Direction will be given to students as they complete each step of the project.