This is a complete book for ALL 7 SEASONS!
Like most Social Studies teachers, I’m always very excited anytime a new movie or better yet television series comes out that is about something that I teach in class. Yes, there are often lots of inaccuracies, but it’s about the things I love…and that things I teach….double whammy! The West Wing was one of those series, but more than just watching when it was on TV, I now find myself watching it over and over again in the years since it has gone off the air.
Teaching government, I have often pulled different clips from West Wing episodes to elaborate on a concept I am teaching in class. The problem was, that it often took me hours to dig through the episode that I wanted and then the specific thing I wanted out of that episode. There needed to be a resource guide specifically for teachers that gave lesson ideas, suggestions for use in class, and other resources relevant to teaching government. Well, here that guide finally is for Season 1!
In this guide divided by Seasons, you will find the result of my experiences as a government teacher and how I might use the West Wing in my classroom. Obviously, NBC didn’t film the West Wing with the sole purpose of educating the American public on Article II of the Constitution. There is lots of what I call “dramatic entertaining” throughout the series that is simply just television or elaboration...that’s how you get the ratings and the money. However, there are some great connections to be made as well. Some episodes are more classroom connection ready than others. Depending on the content of the episode, you will find full lesson plans, project ideas, discussion ideas, worksheets, and other readings/resources in this guidebook for you to pick and choose from. Additionally, I have aligned lessons and resources provided to the Common Core which you can find in the Teaching Topical Index
This certainly isn’t the be all and end all of government teaching, but I hope you can use this guide to add one more engagement strategy into your teaching bag of tricks!