Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Presidential Bracketology
Author:
Derek Frieling
Course:
US History
Time Frame:
3-5 class periods
Grade Levels:
8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
  • Students will debate the achievements of the Presidents.

Rationale:
  • This activity is intended to be a review exercise for standardized tests at the end of the school year.

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:


  • MO 2C:  Analyze the roles and influence of political parties.
  • MO 3aJ:  Apply following major economic concept in the context of the historical period studied:  natural resources, labor and capital resources; supply and demand; business cycle; government regulation and deregulation; unemployment and full employment; inflation and deflation; saving and investment; profit.
  • MO 3aP:  Survey the functions and effects of major economic institutions of the United States economy, such as corporations, labor unions, and financial institutions.
  • MO 3aW:  Describe and evaluate the evolution of United States domestic and foreign policies.
  • MO 6L:  Analyze how the roles of class, ethnic, racial, gender and age groups have changed in society, including causes and effects.
  • MO 6N:  Predict the consequences that can occur when institutions fail to meet the needs of individuals and groups and individuals fail to carry out their personal responsibilities.
  • MO 7C:  Distinguish between fact and opinion and analyze sources to recognize bias and points of view.

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
Full description of activity or assignment.
  • Students will debate the policies of the Presidents.  The Presidents will be arranged in a tournament bracket (see bracket).  Students will be expected to know a few events and policies of each President and be prepared to debate another student in support of a President for which they are randomly assigned.  Presidential assignments will not occur until just prior to the debate to ensure students have prepared at least a few issues to support for each President.  Students will be expected to present at least four items to support their President and two items to criticize the opposition.  Each side of the debate will last a maximum of two minutes per student.  Following the debate, the remaining students in the class will evaluate the debaters and cast their vote for the winning President.

Bracket - http://www.trumanlibrary.org/educ/PresidentialBracket.pdf

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
  • Students will fill out the attached scoring guide/ballot.  This will serve as the basis for points for the assignment coupled with participation points.

Presidential Debate Scoring Guide

 

 

Criteria

4

3

2

1

0

Positive Content

Student proposed 4 or more positive policies of the President

Student proposed 3 positive policies of the President

Student proposed 2 positive policies of the President

Student proposed 1 positive policy of the President

Student proposed no positive policies of the President

Negative Content

Student attacks 2 or more policies of the opposing President

Student attacks 2 or more policies of the opposing President

Student attacks 1 policy of the opposing President

Student attacks 1 policy of the opposing President

Student attacks no policy of the opposing President

Presentation

Student is wholly prepared to support their President

Student is prepared and does an adequate job supporting their President

Student is prepared but has poor presentation

Student is unprepared but still attempts to support their President

Student is unprepared

 

 

Winning Candidate:__________________________________________