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Aims of the Simulation

AIMS OF THE SIMULATION:

1.To introduce students to the world of election politics.
2.To help students develop a deeper understanding of how an election is run.
3.To develop students skills in research, writing and public speaking.
4.To improve students ability to work with others on a team project.
5.To deepen students understanding of the role that the media and special interest groups play in the political process.
6.To increase students, ability to critically analyze what they see and read so that they can make informed decisions rather than simply accept the propaganda of one group or another.

Introduction:

The purpose of the Election Simulation game is to create a total political campaign experience that is enjoyable and parallels the real world of American politics. In class we will discuss the real world of politics and what you think of it, viewing a documentary on how an actual campaign (the 1992 Clinton Campaign) was run before we actually begin the simulation.

There will be three major events in which all Emersonians will participate. First, a Kickoff rally where the candidates and their campaign staffs will try to get you to support them, and the rules of the game will be clearly explained. Second, there will be an interest group rally, which will show some of the issues that are important to these groups, and a presidential debate. Each Emerson student will get to cast his ballot right before the actual 2004 Presidential election and we will see if our results match the national results.

The role of Emerson 10th graders in this simulation is to role-play a variety of interest groups. Each group in class will be assigned a different interest group, which are sometimes called a lobby. important to note the resources of each interest group are different. Some groups have a lot of money (such as the major political parties or business), while other groups have very small budgets (such as the National Organization for Women). Even if you don’t have a lot of money (in the game money will be called Simbucks), you still want to use what you do have to influence voters because what you believe in is very important to your group.

As the game begins, you will be told how many Simbucks you have and how you are able to use them.

WHAT IS YOUR GENERAL ROLE AS A MEMBER OF A SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP?

1.Some groups seek the election of a particular candidate.
2.Other groups are more concerned about influencing the electorate’s and candidates’ position on a particular issue. Sometimes candidates will change their minds about what they want to do, so if you speak strongly enough, they might think they could lose votes if they opposed your group’s interests.
3.As you can see, you are actually running a campaign of your own to see that people are elected who will serve your interests.

WHAT ARE THE JOBS OF EACH INTEREST GROUP?

1.First of all, each group has to do research on the agenda of their organization. Here is how you do that:

a.Look up your interest group in the library. Ask the librarian how to find information about that group.
b.Go to the internet and find the website of the group. Most, if not all, of the groups have websites.
c.Look up the telephone number of the group. Find someone to talk to who can tell you more about the group. Sometimes groups will be willing to send you information about their organization. MAKE UP A LIST OF QUESTIONS THAT YOU WANT TO ASK BEFORE YOU MAKE THE CALL.

SPECIFIC ROLES:

1.CHAIRPERSON: Organizes the work of the group. Assigns other students to their roles. Works to keep each member of the group on track. The Chairperson will also speak for the group when necessary.
2.POLICY ANALYST: Responsible for conducting research on the issues. You need to know your group’s position on all domestic and foreign issues that the group cares about most. You do not have to do all the research yourself, but you assign who is going to do the research and, with the Chairperson, be sure that they do it.
3.MEDIA CONSULTANT: Is in charge of all the publicity for the campaign.
a.For example, you can prepare ads (on audio cassettes or written) that will be read to students in the 9th grade to try to get them interested in your group and its issues.
b.You can design and help people create posters to advertise your group and its ideas.
c.If you have access to a video camera, you can create a television advertisement, for voters to see your position.
4.FINANCIAL TEAM:
a.Controls the treasury.
b.Works with the Chairperson to decide how to spend their Simbucks and how to raise more Simbucks.

CAMPAIGN ACTIVITIES:

1.Research your issues.
2.Develop ads to advertise your view. BE SURE YOUR ADS ARE COLORFUL AND FUN.
3.Ads should be upbeat and positive. Negative ads may also be useful if they contain honest, issue-based reasons why viewers should not support the opposition. Negative ads of this type are not examples of mudslinging. Mudslinging refers to personal attacks based upon lies, half-truths and innuendo. The use of mudslinging as a campaign tactic must be addressed from an ethical standpoint. The ultimate decision as to the use of mudslinging, however, is up to the Chairperson. Mudslinging is not against the rules.
4.Each group will create an informative skit about its mission, point of view, or your group’s position on some issue. Do your best to make your skit lively and entertaining.

ASSESSMENT:

1.The Chairperson must turn in a progress report to the teacher each day of the simulation.
2.DAILY LOG: Students must keep a daily log of their activities as a member of an interest group. Entries into the journal should focus on what you did that day to help advance the goals of the interest group. You also could write some notes on some of the issues you’ve researched that will be part of your final paper.
3.SKIT: Students will prepare a skit to be presented at the interest group rally. The Chairperson, once the research is done, should assign several students to write the skit. Everyone in the group should perform in the skit.
4.CULMINATING PAPER: What should be in the paper?
a.What was your role in this game? What did you actually do?
b.What was your greatest accomplishment? Why?
c.What was your greatest frustration? Why?
d.How did playing this game change your knowledge or attitude toward American politics?
e.What advice would you give to future players of the game?
f.What suggestions do you have for changing the real American electoral process? Give two or three examples.

GRADING:

You will be graded on the rubrics that have presented to your social studies class. Each student will be graded both on their individual work and their participation in the group process.

Daily Logs: To be turned in each day.
Kick-Off Rally: Friday, October 15
Interest Group Rally Skit: Friday, October 22
Due Date for Culminating Paper: Friday, November 10

"Making Democracy Work"