In this lesson, students will be using the internet to gather information about their own political views and how they may have developed these views. Students will take a look at political influences (family, gender, education, media, religion, and region). They will take a short quiz to analyze their views, followed by a short web quest. They will then look at media influence with a brief refresher on propaganda techniques. The lesson ends with a short YouTube project.
This lesson focuses on the big idea that a wide range of political beliefs form complicated politics because political beliefs are formed from many factors. Citizens come from many different demographics, wealth, education backgrounds, etc., so they perceive the world around them in various ways. This understanding is necessary to students because it encourages them to take on viewpoints beyond their own perceptions. This lesson not only shows students how the factors around them influence beliefs, but how the media can play a role in spreading political ideas. By studying different forms of propaganda, students will come to the conclusion that the media’s persuasion may not be the most factual source of information. Educated citizens will therefore, consider multiple resources when making decisions. Students whom gather facts will be able to participate in a well-structured debate. Social studies encourages skills that are important to a democratic society. By strengthening debate skills, students will understand that a debate provides different viewpoints. Different viewpoints are what ultimately, creates a democracy.
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