The Role of Media in Elections:
Helping Students Understand Media’s Influence

by Frank Baker, media educator
(Workshops available; contact me)


Links to Other Political Ad/Media Lesson Plans 
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Lesson plan title Grade Source
Active Citizenship:
Judging Propaganda
Ad Nauseam: Exploring the Role of Special-Interest Groups in Campaign Advertisements 6-12 New York Times
Analysis of Campaign Advertising  (page 7) MS-HS Washington Post NIE
Analyzing & Creating Political Advertisements Upper EL Ronald Reagan Foundation
Analyzing Campaign Ads(worksheet) MS-HS Nebraska Unicameral
Analyzing Media-Political Ads 10 ClassZone  McDougal Littell
Analyzing Political Advertising 12 UTOPIA, UT-Austin
Analyzing Political Campaign Commercials MS Loudoun Co (VA) Schools
Analyzing Political Campaign Commercials MS Everyday Americans, Exceptional Americans curriculum
Analyzing Political TV Advertising HS Organization of American Historians
Anatomy of a Politcal Ad HS KQED
A Race To Watch:
Campaign 2008, The Role Of Technology and the Internet
9-12 PBS Newshour
Art, Advertising & Propaganda 9-12 PBS
(How Art Made the World, 2006)
Be Ad Smart: Understanding Political Advertising 3-6, 6-8 Scholastic
By the People: Analyzing Political Ads HS PBS (By The People, Election 2004)
Campaign Ad Critique 6-12 Education World

Campaign Ads 2008:
Storyboarding Ads
Types of Ads
Strategies for Ads
Historic Ads

6-12 C-SPAN Classroom (archived)
Campaign Advertising MS-HS Youth Leadership Initiative,
UVA Center for Politics
Campaign Advertising:
Selling the Candidate

(page 7)
MS-HS Student Voices
Campaign Finance Reform HS PBS (NOW)
Creating Campaign Commercials Houghton Mifflin
Critical Voter Curriculum  MS-HS (2012)
Decoding Elections  MS-HS Newseum (2018)
Deconstructing campaign messages & perceptions  MS-HS Center for Action Civics/Mikva Challenge
Developing Critical Analysis MS-HS The Living Room Candidate
Diagnosing Propaganda Techniques in Campaign Ads Secondary
Dissect An Ad MS-HS PBS
Election 2008
Campaign Advertising
Election 2012 Campaign Ads MS-HS CSpan
Evaluating Election Ads MS-HS Newseum (registration required)
Evaluating Historial Presidential Ads MS-HS CSPAN (registration required)
Explore Political Advertising 6-12 Classroom Law Project 2004
Eye of the Beholder: A Media Literacy Activity 9-12 Education World
Is That A Fact?  Understanding Persuasive Strategies in Election Campaigns 9-12 Scholastic
Fighting The Horse Race: Creating Ads Which
Explore 2008 Presidential Candidates & Issues
MS-HS Media Literacy Clearinghouse Inc.
Getting To Know The Candidates:
Analyzing Their Campaign Ads
3-12 Education World
Government Lesson Plan 4 Maryland Dept of Ed
How are Political Commercials Manipulated to Influence? 6th The Dog At My Homework/PBS
How Effective Are Presidential Campaign Ads? C-SPAN 2020
Is That A Fact? 3-8 Scholastic (2008)
It’s An Ad Eats Ad World 6-12 New York Times
The Language of Politics 9-12 Assignment Media Literacy
Lights, Camera, Politics: Create Your Own Presidential Campaign Ad 7-12 PBS Newshour 2012
Media And Elections 12 University of Texas
Media Construction of Presidential Campaigns MS-HS Project LookSharp
Media Images of the President: Web Quest Secondary; College Appalachian State University
Political TV Ad
MS-HS HRW: Elements of Literature
Playing On Emotions: Focus on Political Ads Featuring Children MS-HS The Living Room Candidate
Political Advertising   Student Voices:
Candidates In Their Own Words Unit 3
Option 2  (pages 5-7)
HS Annenberg Public Policy Center
Political Ads In Historical Context MS HS The Living Room Candidate
Political Ads: Leading or Misleading Voters? HS PBS
Political Advertising:
Be Prepared
NA Philadelphia Inquirer
Political Advertisements 3-12 Election Co-nnection
Political Advertising & Propaganda Techniques Secondary Common Sense
Political Campaign Advertisements 2016 Secondary PBS
Political Commercials:
Leading or Misleading Voters
HS PBS Newshour Extra (2004)
Political TV Advertisement Project 9th-12th 2011, Curriki
Presidential Ads Lesson Plan MS-HS Flocabulary
Presidential Election: Making TV news HS Teachable Moment
Propaganda Techniques in Literature and Online Political Ads 9-12 Read, Write, Think
Ready to Vote: Look Out MS-HS (SC ETV)
Lesson Plan on Political Ads 5-12 Scholastic Magazine
Social Media and Advertising in the 2012 Elections 9-12 PBS Newshour (2012)
Students Create Video Ads For
Historial Presidential Elections
9-12 NY Times Learning Network
Questions for Analyzing Ads 6-12 C-SPAN
Road to the White House:
Understanding Pres. Elections
HS Students for Educated Democracy;
US Hispanic Leadership Institute
Selling Candidates: 7th, 8th grade, Campaign Ad Unit 7-8 ACME, Vermont
Selling of A Candidate: Political Advertising at its Worst and Best Secondary University of Houston
Ten Ways to Write about Election Time Secondary National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE)
The People’s Choice: Digital Imagery and the Art of Persuasion Secondary SEDL
The 2004 Election: Kids Can Make A Difference Elementary-
Instructor Magazine
Understanding Political Advertising 9-12 Hot Chalk
Understanding The Language Of Political Ads MS-HS The Living Room Candidate
Use Editorial Cartoons to Teach About Elections Past and Present MS-HS Education World
Using Political Propaganda During Elections  9-12
View Smart To Vote Smart MS, HS Cable TV Industry
Watching The Elections 8-12 MediaSmart
What Makes A Good Campaign Ad? Secondary CSPAN
What Makes An Effective Ad? MS,HS The Living Room Candidate
Winning Campaigns-2008 6-8 Scholastic


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