★ TASK: The Campaign Issues and Where the Candidates Stand

In this task, you will...
    • learn about which issues and topics are discussed in the election campaign.
    • specialize in individual issues like the economy or immigration and research them in U.S. news media.
    • research the candidates’ profiles to find out their stance on these issues.


1    Get a first overview  

a. Get an overview (homework)

As a homework assignment, browse one or several of the news media sources to find out which topics or issues American voters are concerned about in the 2016 election race. (Note that these sources cover different parts of the political spectrum and thus might report different topics.)


b. Make a mind-map

Brainstorm and discuss in class the central campaign issues in 2016. Make a mind-map with all important issues and contoversial challenges that are discussed in the campaign.
(Select 5-6 of the most significant or interesting issues to investigate in more detail.)


2    Specialize on one issue    

Form small expert groups and select one of the campaign issues. Your task is to determine what the core issue and the candidates' stance on that issue.

Discuss the issue you selected and take detailed notes. Try to answer the following questions.

   Guiding questions
  • What is the overall issue and what are the most important sub-issues?
  • Who is most affected by the issue, e.g. age, ethnicity, gender, region?
  • What are possible solutions?

Look up your issue in the sources given below and summarize the relevant information for your issues chart.

Summarize your findings and write them into the first three rows of the issues chart (see handout), or use the Project Journal or use the Google Classroom Document. Don't forget to include references to the sources consulted.


3    Where do the candidates stand on the issue?   

Find out where the candidates stand on the issue. Distribute the two candidates among the group members (for example, two students for Trump, two for Clinton). Start your research with the following links.


4    Galery Walk or Presentation 

Work on the subchapter in the Project Journal or a page in the Google Classroom Document.

Or create a poster and display all posters in your classroom.

Or brief your classmates on your group’s research findings in a short oral presentation (3-5 minutes).



    Self-study tips for this task     Doing research    Giving presentations