The first election I really paid attention to was the 1992 presidential election. To this day when I hear “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac, I can see Bill Clinton and Al Gore triumphantly waving amidst star spangled balloons. Today presidential campaigns don’t use one monolithic song the way they did for generations, which saddens me a little. I wrote this brief, lighthearted lesson to introduce the Clinton administration as well as to get students thinking about the way media is used to shape political image.
Positives: It’s short, sweet and to-the-point. With a group of juniors, this took less than half a class period and produced some good discussion. It also got kids asking good questions about current political campaigns.
Negatives: It doesn’t cover any particular state standards, but at the end of the year when students are in a frenzy to study for finals, a little relaxation isn’t a bad thing.
-CD or MP3s of “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac, “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie (or any other folk singer), “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. This can all be easily obtained on iTunes or Amazon.com inexpensively.
-Printout of lyrics for students (could be done with a partner)