Election Day Rhetoric Activity

Learning Targets for Election Day Activities:

  • I can compare and contrast persuasive commercial advertisements.
  • I can analyze how words, images, graphics, and sounds work together in various forms to impact meaning. This means that I can interpret how visual and sound techniques influence the message.
  • I can evaluate the role of media in focusing attention on events and informing opinion on issues. This means that I can evaluate various techniques used to create a point of view in media and the impact on audience.

Part One: Election Day Trivia

Directions- Read through the following websites to learn about Election Day.

1) Explore current coverage of the election with Scholastic. Make sure to explore the results of the Scholastic Student Election, information about the Electorial College, and more information about each candidate.

2) Read student-generated reports about the election with Time for Kids. Focus on understanding how the candidates view important issues and meet the vice presidential candidates.

3) Learn more about campaign finance and read Tweets from the presidential candidates with CNN.

4) Did you know that there are other candidates besides Obama and Romney running in the presidential election? Meet the third party candidates with Al Jeezera.

Part Two: Rhetoric in Commercial Advertisements

Directions- Follow the steps below to analyze political advertisements from presidential candidates in the 2012 election.

1) Think about what you already know about political commercials:

  • What kinds of commercials have you seen on the TV or internet about the election?
  • What kinds of political ads are most memorable? Why?

2) Watch one of commercial clips listed below two times. Just watch the clip during the first showing, and take notes on the graphic organizer during the second showing.

3) Complete the graphic organizer for the commercial. Now, choose another commercial clip listed below. Watch the clip two times (just watch the first time, and take notes during the second showing).

4) Complete the graphic organizer for the commercial. Repeat for all of the clips below.

YouTube Links for Advertisements:

Obama Sponsored

Romney Sponsored

5) After you have viewed all of the commercial advertisements, reflect in a blog comment below. Look back over your notes. Which campaign has the most effective ads? Why?

Try not to be persuaded by who you think is the best candidate; strictly focus on the advertisements. Post your response and rationale below. Make sure your post is listed under your first name. Do not put your last name; if needed, just put the last initial.

Please refrain from discussing the policies of the candidates. Keep your post focused on the effectiveness of the advertisements. Effective advertisements do not necessarily mean effective policies. Just focus on the ad.

Your post will not immediately show on the site. I will go through this afternoon and approve them. Check back later to see which candidate had the most effective advertisements!

“What do I do when I am finished?”

  • Turn in your completed packet to the tray.
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32 thoughts on “Election Day Rhetoric Activity

  1. Massachusetts Taxes and Fees was the most effective ad because it listed real taxes and fees applied by Mitt Romney during his term as governor of Massachusetts.

  2. The commercials for Barack Obama has the most effective ads. His ads make me feel like he is tellin the truth and makes it sound like we could trust him and his word. In his ads he brings up things that we care about and that we will remember.

  3. I think Obama’s ads were most effective because he listed the facts about Romney and he showed all the bad things about his opponent. Yet at the same time he made the ad lively and entertaining by using different music and techniques to show all the waste he was better. They were more eye catching and fun, which is why Obama’s ads were more effective.

  4. I think that the Massachusetts taxes and fees ad was the most effective because it was a really catchy song and it made you want to pay attention to what was on the screen. The way that they set up the transitions of the words on the screen made me interested and caught my eye so I actually wanted to read them and pay attention too.

  5. I think Obama’s ads were better because they were more direct and had more clear focused ideas. They were also more convincing and more down to earth. I feel like Romney was not as clear in what he wanted to establish in his ads.

  6. “Thirty Seconds to Name All of Mitt Romney’s Taxes and Fees” was the most effective ad because it tore down all of Romney’s comments and promises about the economy under him. It makes his guarantees seem empty.

  7. I believe that Obama’s ads were more effective because they provided solid factual information, and focused on the important issues at hand. For example, in “Thirty second taxes” Obama shows some of Mitt Romney’s taxes going across the screen. The advertisement has catchy music, and allows the viewers to see what Mitt Romney has done wrong.

  8. I think the Obama campaign has more effective ads. His refer to touchier subjects. PBS is something we all watched when we were little. Of course we would be mad if you tied to cut funding. Another ad states outright that Romney was lying when he said “I cut taxes 19 times but never raised taxes” and it appears that he did. There is a very long list of taxes and fees in MA that he created/raised, and that didn’t help Romney’s image too much. Who would want a liar for President of the United States of America?

  9. I feel that Mitt Romney’s ads are more effective then Barack Obama’s ads. Obama’s ads are mainly focused on putting Romney down and some of it even improves Romney’s point. Romney’s ads however, are more focused on how he can fix the problems that Obama caused, which I find is more effective. I wasn’t sure if it posted the first time…

  10. I think that the Anti-Obama ads are most effective. First of all they use real life examples of people that are suffering under Obama’s presidency, which makes you realize that Romney is looking to fix that. It also tells you about all of Romney’s accomplishments in just 4 years, while Obama says that four years is not enough.

  11. I believe that the ads created by Romney that target Obama are most effective. They display actual people who claim to be suffering under Obama’s care, and also do not always focus on where Obama has failed rather than focus on what he can do for America. Romney’s claim to fix the economy in less time than it took Obama to create the mess is very effective

  12. I think that Barck Obama’s ads were more affective because of how they were more intriguing with the catchy music and pop up pictures. I also believe that the deep, bold narrating voice helped his campaign by making the viewer feel like they were required to go with Obama. That is why I personally feel Obama’s ads were more affective!

  13. I like the “30 seconds” ad. I like it because, 1. The background song is catchy and keeps you watching. 2. It is funny because it shows us some funny taxes and fees Romney made. And, 3. It is all displayed it a fun “game-like” way, which keeps us intrested.

  14. I think that Romney had,the most effective ads because he included facts and real people, while Obama’s ads are jokes that ridicule Romney for small comments that he makes.

  15. I do believe Obama’s campaign has more effective advertisements because he presented problems we really care about, especially with the one where it lists only half of Romney’s fees and taxes.

    • I think Barack Obama has more effective ads, especially “Thirty Seconds to Name All of Mitt Romney’s Taxes and Fees”. It’s factual and shows the truth Romney lying.

  16. I think that Obama’s ads were most effective because I felt that he had our backs. He made us feel like he knew what he was doing. His ads were focused. Romney’s ads were not as focused as Obama’s. Also Obama mentioned what Romney was doing wrong and Obama’s music was catchy and he also had factual evidence.

  17. I think Romney’s ads are most effective in some areas, but Obama’s ads are most effective in others. In one of his ads, Romney uses a video of Obama saying things are “fine”, however he rebuttals with stories of very troubled times of real US citizens. Obama’s ads are more laid back, and create a feeling of security because of Obama’s easy-going and very confident attitude. Obama’s ads also use hard facts to support his opinions and convince the audience, much like Romney’s.

  18. I think Romney had more effective ads because they related to the general public more. His best add, the one about rising gas prices, was the most effective because it shows the increase in prices throughout the years. Romney’s ads are better because of his superior persuasive tehniques.

  19. I personally think that Romney’s ads were most effective. Most of his ads showed a damaged country that the U.S. is today, and how happier it will be if Romney gets into office. In the ad “Fine?” there are real people sharing their sad stories and how they’re not really “fine,” which I find very persuasive.

  20. I believe Obama’s campaign ads were most effective due to the content and presentation of his ads: effective humor and satire appealed to the younger population while statistics, facts, and news articles that poked fun at Romney appealed to the older population. Examples of effective ads include the “Thirty Seconds” and “Big Bird” ads, with both utilizing humorous elements such as sarcasm and satire to persuade and appeal to the watcher.

  21. I think Obama had the better commercials because they grabbed my attention and stood a valid point with facts and quotes. Romney’s commercial was just hate against Obama.

  22. I think that Romney’s ads were more effective because they appealed more to your emotions and used real people’s views on the subject. They also used things that the president actually said and using them against him.

  23. I think that the Obama commercials were a lot better than Romney. It showed a lot more points that made sense to me, and Obama’s also had a lot more feeling and depth. It applies to your sense of humor (Big Bird) and your sense of fear (We’ve Heard it All Before).

  24. I found the “30 seconds to name all of Mitt Romney” commercial to be the most effective. A commercial with some kind of punch line or joke in it is more appealing, in my opinion. This commercial was most likely was probably intended to get a laugh out of its viewers, while getting them to realize all of the taxes Romney voted for.

  25. I lost to Barack Obama today, November 6, 2012 at around 11:00 pm. For those who missed the election, I had the most popular vote yet Obama had around 90 more electoral college votes than me, and therefore, he won!

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