Session three: decisions

American Election_Session 3 Sweet Decisions

Please don't look ahead if you haven't done the session yet in the classroom, as that'll ruin the fun!

STEP 1

Read through the scenario o the right and answer the questions. Make sure you explain your decision.

Which option gives you the most power? Can you explain how this might link to voting for a president?

STEP 2

For the next activity, you'll need a die or you can use an online one here. You'll be making up a American voter and thinking about the choices they'll make in the election.

character.JPG

STEP 3

Now your have your character, put yourself in their shoes.

2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES’ POLICIES

Think about your character. What do you think is important to them? Read each category and decide whose policy they would they agree with the most.

trump.png

Overall, which candidate do you think your character would choose?

  • What influenced your character the most? E.g. age, occupation.
  • What influenced your character the least? E.g. age, occupation.
  • How easy was it to make a decision on behalf of your character?
  • If you were an American voter, who would you vote for? Why?

CHALLENGE: a loyal voter always votes for the same party. Imagine a loyal Democratic voter and a loyal Republican voter. What kind of arguments could you make to encourage them to change their minds?


STEP 4

Some challenging questions:

  • How easy is it to predict what a Democratic voter or Republican voter might be like?
  • What assumptions (judgements) have you made about people who vote for a certain party? For example, all people who vote for the Democrats are X.
  • Do all voters with a similar profile vote the same way?
  • What else might affect how you vote?
  • Some people say this election is less about policies and more about the personalities. What do you think this means?

STEP 5

Sometimes politicians talk about particular groups of people as though they will vote the same way. For example, that all teachers will vote for one party, or that all young people will vote for another party. In this election Joe Biden and Donald Trump have been talking about what they call the “Black vote” (how Black people will vote).

When I hear people talk about the Black vote, what I hear is a loss of individuality.

K.J. Kearney, a Black American man and ex-politician

Do you agree with K.J. Kearney? How might someone feel about being grouped with other voters based on their race/gender/anything else? Would a voter feel more or less powerful if they were put into a group? Why?


Over to you!

Head to the comments section below to share some of your thoughts on the activities and see what club members in other schools think.

Comments (25)

  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg encouraging_mulberry | Michael Faraday School
    29 Sep 2020

    I really like the candy or sweets activity. It kind of represents if you had a vote but the two people that you can vote for are “horrible”, then you pick the one who is the least horrible. Or you let a stranger pick for you by not choosing at all.
    Thank you for reading
    encouraging_mulberry

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      encouraging_mulberry's comment 29 Sep 2020

      I'm glad you like it! Which do you think is the better option?

      Reply to this comment
      1. Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg encouraging_mulberry | Michael Faraday School
        Olivia @ the BNC's comment 29 Sep 2020

        I would chose option A because if I don’t vote for one of the candidates, my vote would go to waste and at least the person I vote for isn’t as bad as the other (in my perspective).

        Reply to this comment
  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg comfortable_chemistry | Michael Faraday School
    29 Sep 2020

    I would pick choice A since it gives the the most power because your managing yourself and not letting others control you I think this shows that freedom of speech is a really important thing nowadays especially during times of inequality. This highlights the BLM (black lives matter)protests and its activists because they're showing freedom of speech through spreading their thoughts about inequality etc. Also this shows us we shouldn't be biased just because of someone's race or who they are but more on what type of person they are.
    thanks you for reading my comment.
    comfortable_chemistry

    Reply to this comment
    1. Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg encouraging_mulberry | Michael Faraday School
      comfortable_chemistry's comment 01 Oct 2020

      Interesting opinion comfortable_chemistry, but how does BLM ( Black Lives Matter) link to the American election?

      Reply to this comment
      1. Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg comfortable_chemistry | Michael Faraday School
        encouraging_mulberry's comment 02 Oct 2020

        Good question encouraging_mulberry. But I was just connecting BLM (black lives matter) to freedom of speech since its known that the activist of BLM would always speak freely of their opinions and wouldn't make others control them.

        Reply to this comment
        1. Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg encouraging_mulberry | Michael Faraday School
          comfortable_chemistry's comment 02 Oct 2020

          Oh ok thank you for explaining comfortable_chemistry, now I understand!

          Reply to this comment
          1. Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg comfortable_chemistry | Michael Faraday School
            encouraging_mulberry's comment 05 Oct 2020

            No problem encouraging_mulberry always here to help.

            Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg terrific_raccoon | Boutcher C of E Primary School A
    30 Sep 2020

    Okay i mexcited to do this in my classroom, if i will

    Reply to this comment
  • Beverley-St-Nicholas-logo-250x250.jpg outspoken_dog | Beverley St Nicholas Primary School
    30 Sep 2020

    I loved all the lessons we’ve done in class thank you for posting them.

    Reply to this comment
    1. katie.jpg Katie @ the BNC
      outspoken_dog's comment 30 Sep 2020

      You are very welcome, outspoken_dog! We are very happy that you are enjoying them.

      Reply to this comment
  • Beverley-St-Nicholas-logo-250x250.jpg spectacular_beaver | Beverley St Nicholas Primary School
    30 Sep 2020

    I would pick option A because if the stranger picks then it’s not at all your decision

    Reply to this comment
  • Braiswick Primary School talkative_language | Braiswick Primary School
    01 Oct 2020

    I would choose option A because you have more control over your option while B you have no control

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg unique_tangerine | Boutcher C of E Primary School B
    02 Oct 2020

    I did this in my classroom and I very much enjoyed it!

    Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo magical_clarinet | Hammond Junior School B
    02 Oct 2020

    that session was amazing it was so fun and i would chose a as then i have an opinion and it will not go to waste

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg terrific_raccoon | Boutcher C of E Primary School A
    07 Oct 2020

    What does this really mean ?
    On November 3rd, voters in America will choose their next president. The presidential campaign is now in full swing and, as always, it is dominating the country’s media and capturing the world’s attention. This half-term, the Burnet News Club will explore where the power lies in the American election: who can become president, who can vote and whether some people’s votes are more powerful than others’.

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      terrific_raccoon's comment 08 Oct 2020

      Hopefully you will be able to answer this by the end of the Issue!

      Reply to this comment
  • Streatham-Wells-logo-250x250.jpg energetic_rambutan | Streatham Wells Primary School
    09 Oct 2020

    For the candy one I would just choose the sweet that I dislike but like a bit better than the other one because the stranger could pick the one you HATE.

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg terrific_raccoon | Boutcher C of E Primary School A
    10 Oct 2020

    It was fun to do in class, talked together and some people would make a stranger choises the sweet or we pick the the one you like less but some people picked stranger and we desscussed why so that was really fun

    Reply to this comment
  • Ditton Logo dazzling_keyboard | Ditton Primary School C
    21 Oct 2020

    On step one I will choose myself as my vote counts and I will choose the better one as they would make difference well even if they don't make a big one it would be a bit better

    Reply to this comment
  • Ditton Logo wise_eagle | Ditton Primary School C
    21 Oct 2020

    This was so fun nobody is picking my sweet

    Reply to this comment
  • Manor Park logo selfassured_journalist | Manor Park Primary Academy
    24 Oct 2020

    Step 1. I would choose option A because if you let a stranger choose, you don't know what they're like. They could be horrible and try to kidnap you.
    selfassured_journalist

    Reply to this comment
  • Cheam Park logo eager_reflection | Cheam Park Farm Primary
    29 Oct 2020

    Eager_reflection here,
    I'm going to answer the challenging questions in Step 4.

    1. How easy is it to predict what a Democratic voter or Republican voter might be like?
    I think that you can get an impression of what they vaguely are like if you look at the policies of each candidate. For example, a voter may have a relative who is Mexican, so they would vote for Joe Biden because his policy is to stop building a wall between America and Mexico, so their family member can come to live in America. Also, if a voter does not believe in climate change and thinks it is a lie, they will vote for Donald Trump, because he does not have a policy about it. A poorer person would vote for Joe Biden because raising taxes means taking in more money from the rich so it can be spent on social services that the poor is more likely to use. A rich person on the other hand, will vote for Donald Trump because they would pay less tax, so they keep more of their money to spend on themselves. Donald Trump gives rich people the independence to sort out the finances of schools and universities, but Joe Biden wants more poorer people to go to university.

    2.What assumptions (judgements) have you made about people who vote for a certain party? For example, all people who vote for the Democrats are X?
    I think that most people who vote for Democrats are poorer people, as I've explained above, but also, the Democratic Party has a significant advantage with women. Thirty-seven percent of women affiliate with the Democratic Party, giving them a sizeable advantage over the 24 percent who identify as Republicans. Also, younger people tend to vote for Democrats as there is lots of young students voting for the first time for Joe Biden because of his education policy. Recent trends have shown large growth in Democratic support among the younger generation, which is a turnaround from the young conservative movement of the 1980s. In 2000, 48 percent of young voters went Democratic. In 2008, the number climbed to 66 percent. The young voting part (46 million strong) is likely to increase to 90 million this year. Their increasing Democratic leaning may be caused by increasing diversity, or be an anti-establishment reaction.

    I think that richer people will vote for Donald Trump, as I've stated above. Also, older voters, on average, vote Republican. This advantage is partially offset by the Democratic slant of younger voters, although older voters are more likely to vote. The average Republican is 50, while the average Democrat is 47. In addition, I think that more white people will vote for Donald Trump because they feel like he gets things done, which he has. An example is that he said that he would build a wall, and he did. He said he would cut taxes, and he did.

    3.Do all voters with a similar profile vote the same way?
    I think that they do because they are in the same situation as each other and probably share similar views about what they want. For example, a poor person is more likely to share the same views as another poor person than a rich person, with some exceptions.

    4. What else might affect how you vote?
    I think that your race may affect how you vote because of the colour of your skin and your own background. If they watched the first presidential debate, Trump did not condemn white supremacists, which could make them quite angry and therefore vote for Donald Trump. He did not answer why he did not support the Black Lives Matter movement, but instead said that these people were rioters and looters and he needed to stop that with the police.

    5.Some people say this election is less about policies and more about the personalities. What do you think this means?
    I think that this means that some people think that the policies don't matter and only vote for a candidate because of their personalities.
    Thank you for reading my comment.

    Reply to this comment

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