This organizational chart helps students analyze political advertisements over the course of American television and now onto the internet. Using this product, students will watch presidential campaign commercials from the 1952 election between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson all the way to the 2008 election between John McCain and Barack Obama.
Students are asked to record the sights and sounds of the campaign commercials. Students will use this handout to write down the images and symbols used in the campaign videos as well as the words and language that they hear.
This product is to be used in tandem with a free, public website listed on the handout itself. In addition to the thirteen suggested campaign commercials, there is also room for two other political ads that teachers may allow students to choose. At the end of the organizational chart is a question for reflection regarding the trend of poltical commercials over the years.
This product can take up at least two full classroom days if teachers decide to use this handout as a class activity. If the teacher is able to project the commercials in front of the entire class, it is recommended that teachers play the commercials at least twice to allow students to write as much as possible. Also, teachers may choose to have the students work in pairs or groups. Otherwise, this product can be used as an activity for computer labs wherein each student or group can explore the website on their own, or teachers can assign this as homework.