Students are provided with excerpts from the platforms adopted in 2012 at the national conventions of the Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, and Green Parties. They are also given a worksheet (adaptable by the instructor for group-work, whole-class discussion, individual work, etc) to compare and contrast the viewpoints of the parties and provides an opportunity for students to examine their own views.
I spent HOURS going through the party platforms to cut them down to a size that would be accessible to students. Politicians sure know how to use a lot of words without saying much of substance!
It was still a worthwhile endeavor for sure, and I did it again for the 2016 party platforms! Check out the updated version here