Teaching civics or history courses during an election year automatically provides real-life instances of the game of politics in action. As presidential campaigns get more and more complex, with more and more money being spent, it's important to remind students of our American political history and the leaders it has spawned. Using four films can trigger fabulous lessons and class discussions as 2012's important events in United States history unfold. Slot Game Online.
The Crossing: George Washington earned his rightful place in American hearts as one of the most hailed and revered men in history. To experience the power of Washington, it is best to witness him at one of his most triumphant moments: his desperate and brilliant victory at Trenton the day after Christmas, 1776. Screen The Crossing for students and explain the pivotal importance of the Battle of Trenton. Had Washington not attempted to surprise the Hessians at Trenton or had the Hessians won the battle, the American Revolution would probably have failed and we'd be speaking with British accents. Slot Game Online.
Warm Springs and Eleanor Roosevelt: The American Experience: These two films capture the magic of two of America's most powerful leaders of the 20th century. Like Washington and Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a leader who literally saved the nation. Stricken with polio he gave hope to a people demoralized by the Great Depression. His reforms have been the foundation of American politics and governance for more than 70 years. Seeing the evil of Nazi Germany and Japan, he led the country to break from isolationism to adopt involvement with the world. He then led the Allies to victory in the largest war ever fought. Warm Springs demonstrates how FDR's disability helped strengthen his character, giving him empathy for the suffering of others. The movie will enhance learning about Roosevelt's policies to combat the Great Depression by suggesting interesting parallels between the New Deal and the therapeutic community that Roosevelt helped build at Warm Springs. The movie also highlights innovations in treatment for victims of polio, most of them psychological, that Roosevelt helped pioneer at Warm Springs. Slot Game Online.
Eleanor Roosevelt: The American Experience is a documentary that explores the woman at FDR's side. But she was much more than a hands-off, out-of-reach First Lady; she was an incredibly powerful politician in her own right. Eleanor Roosevelt was the first white person of national stature to champion civil rights for blacks and minorities. She was a necessary precursor for the non-violent Civil Rights Movement that began in the 1950s. Slot Game Online.
Mrs. Roosevelt also fought to increase the political power of women through the ballot box and through the appointment of women to policy making positions in government. Her leadership extended beyond government to hundreds of millions of people throughout the world and in the United States who admired her and respected her opinions. She was one of the driving forces in the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, trouncing veteran Soviet Diplomats who sought to water down the document. Throughout her public career she advocated compassion in public policy and in private action. Her calls for social equality (particularly for women and minorities) were instrumental in moving the national and international consensus toward her position on many of these issues. Slot Game Online.
All the President's Men: A movie not so much about a president, as about two reporters who helped bring down a president, All the President's Men is an engrossing and accurate depiction of the role of the press in exposing the Watergate scandal. This film describes the work of two junior reporters from the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who broke the story. Not only does the movie portray newspaper reporters working to expose criminal activities of high government officials, it displays the inner workings of a major newspaper with almost documentary accuracy. Slot Game Online.
It can also be used as a springboard for discussions about how several government institutions work. The film brings home the fact that Richard Nixon and his co-conspirators attempted the wholesale subversion of the U.S. Constitution and the democratic process. Using this film in conjunction with movies like The Crossing, Warm Springs, and Eleanor Roosevelt: The American Experience shows how people other than presidents can change the political landscape. Slot Game Online.
Teachers probably can't show all of the films in class; however, the movies can be shown after class or watched by students on their own time. Once they've seen the movies, give students a summative assignment tying all four films together. You can ask them to write an essay answering the question, "Out of the four stories shown in these films, which do you find most inspiring? Why?" Slot Game Online.
Teaching students about the American political system is invaluable and immensely important. During an election year, you can draw parallels between the stories shown in these films and the political battles of the election year. Slot Game Online.
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