The Political Spectrum
Activity Type: Group
Objective: Students will be able to place issues on a political spectrum and identify where they are most likely to position themselves
- On a classroom wall post the numbers 1-10 on 8x11 sheets of paper. 1 is most conservative. 10 is most liberal.
- On sticky notes write the following and give one set to each group (one word/phrase per card). (Note: feel free to add others.)
Have student groups decide where on the spectrum each sticky note should be placed.
Once all are posted, hold a full-class discussion.
Ask the students to write a short reflection on their individual position on three of the above statements.
- Pro choice under all circumstances
- Pro-life except for rape or incest
- Increase taxes on top 1% of earners
- No bailouts for companies
- Increase military spending
- Increase environmental regulation
- Privatize education
- Decriminalize marijuana
- Anti gay marriage
- Pro nuclear power
- Anti nuclear weapons
- No women in combat
- Race should be a factor in college admissions
- Public access to all public buildings
Extension Activity: Ask the students to find an OpEd or letter to the editor in a newspaper that clearly has a liberal or conservative bias. Ask them to write a five-paragraph commentary on how and why they believe it is liberal or conservative. Ask them to also articulate their personal views in relation to the author’s opinions.
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