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As we enter into the second semester of the school year, we here in Florida are probably approaching the following benchmarks:

SS.7.C.2.8 Identify America’s current political parties, and illustrate their ideas about government.
SS.7.C.2.9 Evaluate candidates for political office by analyzing their qualifications, experience, issue-based platforms, debates, and political ads.
Also Assesses: SS.7.C.2.7—Conduct a mock election to demonstrate the voting process and its impact on a school, community, or local level.
SS.7.C.2.10 Examine the impact of media, individuals, and interest groups on monitoring and influencing government.
SS.7.C.2.11 Analyze media and political communications (bias, symbolism, propaganda).

Many of these benchmarks ask you to help your students understand the role of media in pushing candidates, in organizing for action, and in shaping the image of a campaign or a party. During a webinar I did last night with wonderful teachers at Challenger K8 School of Science and Mathematics in Hernando, it occurred to me that some folks may not be familiar with an incredible resource: The Living Room Candidate.

The Living Room Candidate, a great resource for media literacy in civics and the social studies!

The Living Room Candidate, a great resource for media literacy in civics and the social studies!

The Living Room Candidate, from our friends at the Museum of the Moving Image, contains EVERY broadcast campaign ad from 1952-2012. It includes a wonderful overview of each campaign, each ad, and the issues in the race. Our lesson for Benchmark 2.9/2.7 contains links to a variety of different campaign commercials in order to provide students an opportunity to interpret ads so that they can understand what it says about a candidate.

What ways might you use this site in your own classroom? Have you used this site before?

Let me leave you with a couple of the most famous and classic ones as you contemplate the questions! Click in the caption to play the ad.

'We must love each other,  or we must die'-http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1964/peace-little-girl-daisy -Courtesy Museum of the Moving Image

‘We must love each other, or we must die’-http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1964/peace-little-girl-daisy
-Courtesy Museum of the Moving Image

'It's morning, again, in America.' http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1984/prouder-stronger-better -Courtesy Museum of the Moving Image

‘It’s morning, again, in America.’ http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1984/prouder-stronger-better
-Courtesy Museum of the Moving Image

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