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Five Lesson Plans You Can Use on the State of the Union

February 2, 2013 8:49am (EST)

President Obama is scheduled to give his State of the Union address to congress and the nation tonight at 9 p.m. eastern time. You and your students may watch the speech live on GPB at that time. Here are five lesson plans that can help you teach the speech in the classroom. (These are great for extra credit.)

  1. A More Perfect Union? - Lesson Plan - from the New York Times: Students consider word choice in the State of the Union address and investigate the topics the president raises.
  2. PBS News Hour State of the Union Address: The purpose of this lesson is to teach students about the history and purpose of the State of the Union address, and to teach them how to evaluate the speech.
  3. Congresslink State of the Union Lesson Plans (scroll down to find the lesson): Students will know what the State of the Union Address is and who is involved in it, understand the purposes of the State of the Union Address, know the constitutional powers of Congress, recognize examples of how the President asks Congress to use its powers
  4. State of the Union Lesson Plan from Flocabulary: Introduce the concept of the Word Cloud. It’s simple: the more a word is used, the larger the word will appear. And people who analyze political speeches believe that if a president is using a word more, the idea is probably more important to him.
  5. C-Span: The State of the Union Address: Students will identify the constitutional requirement for the State of the Union address, examine the issues presented in State of the Union speeches and analyze President Obama’s proposals for each issue.

Encourage your students to compare last year’s State of the Union with this year’s speech. Check out our archive State of the Union resource page Teaching the State of the Union.

Also encourage your students to use social media to become politically engaged. They can use Twitter to tweet during the speech using the hashtag #sotu and participate in the Google Hang Out put out by the White House.

What other lesson plans should we add to this list? Let us know.

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