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A lesson on presidential campaigns


Social Studies  


4, 5  

Michelle Hofmann

Covering the Campaign

4th and 5th grade

October 1, 1996, 45 minutes, allot time each day for 6-8 weeks

Performance Expectations:

Students will be able to follow assigned/chosen areas of the upcoming political election, focusing upon the major candidates and issues. They will compile two editions of a class campaign trail newspaper.

Materials Needed:

Paper, writing utensils, markers, plain white drawing paper, markers, computer, Pagemaker program (if possible,) large paper for the actual newspaper (can use legal paper if necessary.)



Provide the class with several updates in weeks prior, posting newspaper articles, newsletters, editorials, pictures, magazine articles, etc. around the room and discussing them at the beginning of the day and after lunch briefly. As the time draws near to begin the lesson plan, begin focusing on article writing and how to follow different candidates. Have the children choose one aspect in pairs, or you may assign the topic that they will be covering. They will follow and report on that candidate or issue for about a week.


  1. Have the students decide on the different sections of their class newspaper. Students will also

brainstorm and determine a title for their newspaper.

  1. They will research their assigned topics with their partners. They will prepare a rough draft of the

newspaper feature to present to the other section members.

  1. Students will share their rough draft with their other section members for editing and proofreading.
  2. Revisions are made and presented to the teacher.
  3. Final copies are organized by the students on physical layout within each section.
  4. Students then take turns entering their features into the computer program the teacher has set up.
  5. After printing, students who have been working on cartoons and graphics may paste those or scan them into the computer.


Once the class agrees on the entire newspaper’s final draft it may be printed and posted outside their classroom and a copy given to the principal. Start the process again after 3 or so weeks.


Account for cooperation, participation, rough draft improvement, and final feature quality. A peer evaluation should be included as well. 1-5 rubric should be compiled and used.


The newspaper idea can be used to cover past political topics or other curriculum areas of study. A newsletter is a simpler, shorter format that can be created more often at less cost.


Some schools will have limited funding for computers and programs.


Michelle Hofmann

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