Learn about…Presidential Elections in the United States using this lesson pack and acclaimed board game “1960: The Making of the President”.
This is the second in a new series of classes from Online G3 that pair tabletop games with in-depth, explorations of topics introduced in other Online G3 classes. This particular class is intended to supplement the discussion of presidential elections in America in our American Government, A History of US, History Through Movies, Advanced U.S. Government and Politics, and Advanced U.S. History courses.
For a high-level overview of these classes, see this video.
Participants will need to own or acquire a copy of the “1960: The Making of the President” core game. No expansions are required.
Before signing up for this course, parents should obtain a copy of “1960: The Making of the President” from a local game store or purchase online. The publisher also sells the game (currently available for pre-order at a discount) here: GMT Games
1960: The Making of the President is a 2-player adversarial game.
This lesson pack includes tutorial and instructional videos for young learners on playing 1960: The Making of the President. Once young learners are comfortable with the game and content, they will have several main topics to explore in whatever order they would like. Like all Online G3 history courses, this lesson pack will provide ample opportunities for young learners to learn and deploy critical thinking skills and primary source analysis.
Main Topics and Explorations:
- The 1960 Election and How to Play the Game
- Readings, videos, and discussions allowing young learners to go in depth on the 1960 election using the game as a starting point.
- Projects and discussions include instruction on primary source analysis and critical thinking.
- The Mechanics of a Modern Presidential Campaign
- Readings, videos, and discussions on Primaries and Caucuses, Nominating Conventions, and Presidential Debates.
- Projects include the construction of a party plank from a national platform.
- The Electoral College
- Readings and videos build on electoral college basics derived from earlier sections.
- Discussions allow learners to discuss and dissect the pros and cons of the electoral college system.
- Controversial Presidential Election Results
- Explorations of the moments in U.S. history in which the electoral system failed to produce a clear President Elect.
- Videos, readings, and discussions empower students to explore the political solutions to previous disputed elections and to consider the ramifications of these problems on future elections.
- The Role of Voting Rights in Presidential Elections
- Videos and source readings focusing on the moments that voting rights have expanded in America and their long-term impacts on the American electorate.
- Readings, videos and discussions empower students to explore the expanded voting participation that potentially powered the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828.
- Readings, videos and discussions empower students to explore how a disputed election outcome led to the end of Reconstruction after the civil war and the disempowerment of black Americans.
- Readings, videos and discussions empower students to explore how the Civil Rights movement and Voting Rights Act may have led to the election of Barack Obama in 2008.
- Media and Image in Presidential Elections
- An initial exploration of the first modern media campaign in the 1840 Presidential election.
- Analysis of the role that media and media bias can play in elections.
- A project for students to evaluate and analyze the role that campaign ads have played in elections.
- Election Day
- A brief section on voting and the modern national electorate that also includes an opportunity to participate in Win My Vote national student mock election for 2020 along with all class participants.
- Campaign Finance, 2020, and Beyond
- Videos and readings about the history of campaign finance in elections in the United States.
- An exploration of Citizens United and discussions/analysis of forms of political speech in elections.
- The latest information on the 2020 Presidential Race.
- A final exploration and discussion on the future of the American Presidency and elections.
Besides the above broad topics on elections in America, students will also learn:
- How tabletop games can be used to model real life situations and what we can learn from those models.
- How to ask questions about the world and history using a simulation of a historical moment in time.
- How to solve problems and overcome mistakes in a tabletop environment.
- How figures in the real world competed to become President of the United States.
As noted game designer Volko Ruhnke says, “A [game] puts you into history in a way that no book can…. If I’m doing my job properly, the mechanics of the game will force you to consider the choices that real people had to make. That’s advanced. That’s grad-school history, not grade-school stuff.”
While students progress through the many hours of class content, they will earn experience points and badges for the completion of videos, readings, and projects.
Enrollment in this course includes access to the following educational resources for one year from registration:
- The lesson pack content and existing Online G3 social community, within the class and in social forums
- Discovery Education
When you register for this class, you can choose to register an individual learner OR a set of young learners within the same family, allowing multiple students to explore this class together, simultaneously and with their own individual accounts, including access to BrainPOP and Discovery.