Political Ideology Teacher Resources

It seems like American politics are more divided than ever before, but a quick glimpse through American history may change your mind. Whether you’re teaching the littlest social studies students or government classes who are old enough to vote, it’s important for them to understand the full spectrum of political ideology.

For a history context, check out this lesson on the ideological differences between patriots and loyalists during the Revolutionary War. A brief presentation discusses the history of the two-party system in America and how it remains in place today.

To bridge the gap between the 18th century and today, show an informative video that covers the basic ideologies of American politics. Another video discusses the rise of American conservatism in the 20th century—and a class activity details the liberal backlash of the 1990’s.

How do your students align themselves on the current ideological spectrum? Discuss the characteristics of the extremes and moderates of the political spectrum, and have class members take a test to see how they identify. Another resource explains the processes of caucuses and how they affect our political system.

No matter how you or your students plan to vote, we’ve got the social studies resources you need at Lesson Planet!

Showing 49 - 72 of 214 resources
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How Are People Portrayed by Different Media?

For Teachers 8th - 11th
Student investigate the media portrayal of 9/11. In this media instructional activity, students analyze how the media portrayed a person in power during the 9/11 attacks. Students gather information about the person's beliefs,...
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Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X: A Common Solution?: Lesson Plan

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Students explore the ideological and political development of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X through primary source documents. They identify the various personal, social, and political factors that influenced Martin Luther King,...
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Hitler's Fatal Gamble

For Teachers 7th - 12th
Students consider the differences between totalitarianism and democracy. In this comparative politics lesson, students will read a handout describing the major components that comprise totalitarianism and democracy, then they will apply...
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Designing a Political Campaign

For Teachers 12th
Twelfth graders create an original political campaign complete with a party, ideology, slogan, poster, and brochure. They work in collaborative groups to complete this assignment using Microsoft Word and a drawing program.
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PD Learning Network

Bias in News Sources

For Teachers 9th - 12th
As young consumers of media, it is important for high schoolers to explore concepts of bias and prejudice, and how they may be present in media. After discussing ideological messages that media can contain, individuals complete a warm-up...
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Anna and the King: The Real Story of Anna Leonowens

For Teachers 5th - 12th
Students explore the true life of Anna Leonowens and how the mythic story of her relationship with the King of Siam evolved. They explore the systems of nineteenth century colonization as well as twentieth century political ideology.
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The Challenge of Selecting an Ideal Supreme Court Nominee

For Students 10th - 12th Standards
Nearly every president has had the opportunity to name a nominee to the United States Supreme Court. But what makes someone an ideal candidate to become a Supreme Court justice? High schoolers test their prior knowledge about the Supreme...
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The Origins of American Government

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Students create an advertising campaign to persuade the Founding Fathers to adopt a particular political philosophy. Working in groups, they conduct research about a certain political philosophy. Students create a pitch to be made to...
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History by Heroes

For Teachers 6th - 8th
Middle schoolers role play one of the Presidents between 1877 and today. Individually, they use the internet to research the President through official documents, political cartoons and various editorials. Throughout the year, they are...
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The Progressive Movement

For Teachers 10th - 11th
While the Progressives never formed a political party they did develop an ideology. Provide viewers with an interesting, yet challenging presentation on the Progressive Movement that introduces key individuals and highlights key events...
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Courting Controversy?

For Teachers 6th - 12th
Students consider their own personal opinions on divisive issues. They examine the confirmation of Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and investigate issues from different ideological and philosophical perspectives.
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Using Torture on Suspected Terrorists

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Students asses the ethical, ideological, and political advantages both domestically and internationally. They analyze if it is beneficial to have terrorists share information or not and consider what is fair or unfair punishment for...
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Causes of the American Revolution

For Teachers 4th - 8th
Students answer the question of: How did England impose its political and economic control over the colonies? They create a comic strip depicting the event of the Boston Massacre. Students complete a Wordstoming activity to anticipate...
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Truth Or Consequences

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Students examine historical works of art and analyze how these paintings could be used for personal, cultural, and/or political purposes. This exploratory lesson on art ideology includes two handouts/worksheets for student use and...
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Violence Prevention

For Teachers 6th - 8th
Compare and contrast the ideologies of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle schoolers conduct research regarding civil rights and rhetorical strategies used in political speechs. They examine the strategies that both men employed...
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Korean War

For Teachers 7th - 8th
Students identify and interpret general information about the Korean War, including important dates, terms, events, and participants. They also identify what the Cairo Declaration was and what military forces, political forces, and...
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Fundamentalism

For Teachers 8th
Eighth graders explore the historical roots of fundamentalism and determine whether fundamentalism is a religion or a political ideology. They will examine different religious fundamentalist movements around the world noting any...
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Trial at the Turn of the Century

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Young scholars examine and explore various aspects of change at the turn of the century including economic, political, civil and others. Students then locate and analyze various primary sources to write an essay that demonstrates their...
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Conflict Diamonds

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Students examine how diamonds are portrayed in American culture. They identify the political and social implications of conflict diamonds and the locations of these diamonds in Africa. They evaluate the effectiveness of the Kimberley...
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Foreign War and Domestic Freedom: A Delicate Balancing Act

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Students investigate civil liberties in the U.S. They watch and discuss a PowerPoint presentation, conduct research on an event from a timeline, complete a worksheet, take an ideology quiz, and conduct a debate.
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Northern and Southern Differences in 1856

For Teachers 4th
Fourth graders investigate differences between the ideology of the Northern and Southern states in 1856. In this states' history lesson plan, 4th graders examine the needs for slaves in the Southern agricultural economy, and compare it...
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Science and Politics in the Soviet Union

For Students 8th - 12th
In this Soviet Union worksheet, students read a 2-page selection about scientific work in the country and then respond to 4 short answer questions based on the selection.
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Eleanor Roosevelt and the Rise of Social Reform in the 1930's

For Teachers 11th
Eleventh graders explore the various roles that Eleanor Roosevelt took on.  In this US History lesson plan, 11th graders analyze the views that Eleanor Roosevelt held as an advocate for social justice.  Students evaluate her...
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America's Civil Rights Movement

For Teachers 11th
Eleventh graders explore, analyze and study the background to America's Civil Rights Movement through the court system, mass protest, public opinion, political cartoons and legislation. They research Rosa Parks, Brown vs. Board of...

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Political Ideology