Thursday, October 21, 2010

Candidate Debate Project Description

Hello students! Welcome to the new American Politics blog.

This first post contains the description for your Candidate Debate Project. Subsequent posts will include additional information.

Introduction to American Politics
Senate Candidate Debate Project

Introduction: Because of term limits, major elections take place approximately every two years in the United States. This means that halfway through each president’s term, a series of elections known as the “Midterm Elections” take place. Just like a midterm in school, a midterm election frequently acts as an assessment of the current administration’s progress.
Objective: This year, a number of important seats are up for grabs in the Senate. We will examine the midterm elections as a way to accomplish the following objectives:
·         Examine the issues relevant to the 2010 midterm elections
·         Evaluate needs of student voting bloc
·         Model public speaking and debate skills

Methodology: Each student will be assigned to a group for the purposes of holding a political debate. Each group will contain the following roles:
·         Moderator (Neutral)
·         Candidate 1 (Democrat, Republican or other)
·         Candidate 2 (Democrat, Republican or other)
Each group will be assigned a particular senate race. The group will:
·         Research the positions of the candidates involved
·         Identify which positions held by the candidates hold specific relevance to a political science class at Providence St. Mel School
·         Build candidate-specific arguments (true to candidate’s real-life beliefs)
·         Hold a debate over these issues

Tasks: Each group will:
·         Research three major issues on which their candidates disagree
·         Create arguments for each side of the issue
·         Present the information to the class in a formal debate (see “Senate Candidate Debate Format” handout)

·         Candidates and Moderator: 6-source annotated bibliographies (30 point project, see rubric)
·         Moderator: Introductory remarks and 3-4 questions for candidates (following the example format) (50 point project, see rubric and structure guide)
·         Candidates: Identification Papers to show candidate’s beliefs and stances on three chosen debatable points (50 point project, see rubric and structure guide)
·         Candidates and Moderator: 10-12 minute Debate presentation (20 point project, see rubric and Debate Format handout)
·         Ballot: A ballot containing the candidates for each state. Students watching the debate will vote for a candidate and express their rationale following each presentation (10 point project)

Important Dates:
  • Project Introduced: 10/20/10
  • Lab Days for Research: 10/21/10 – 10/22/10, 10/26/10
  • Annotated Bibliography RDs: Mon. 10/25/10 (30 points homework, see rubric
  • Final Project (materials and begin presentations): Friday, 10/29/10

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