University host of last presidential debate creates free K-12 curriculum to teach children about debates and politics

LatinaLista — A presidential campaign has to be the epitome of reality television. Every speech, interview and ‘spontaneous’ kiss of babies is scripted to the last detail. The only times where candidates may veer a little off script is during the presidential debates.

The debates offer the public a chance to learn more about the candidates: how they think on their feet, defend themselves against political attacks, articulate their beliefs and keep their cool when the rivalry gets tense on stage. It’s safe to say that the GOP presidential candidate debates elevated such political grandstanding to a new form of television entertainment. However, it’s understood that the upcoming presidential debates won’t be quite as entertaining or theatrical, but they will be educational and one debate site host has gone the extra mile to ensure that students, no matter their ages, start learning early about the debates and politics.

Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida plays host to the final presidential debate to be held on October 22. The private college is the only “2012 presidential debate host school to offer a debate-related K-12 curriculum through iTunes U.”

On the university’s web site, the K-12 Presidential Debate Curriculum offers a range of grade level-specific activities. For example, kindergartners will get their crayons out and color each political party symbol; in the process, learning which animal represents which party. Sixth graders will watch past presidential debates and use scoring cards to judge who did the better job.

And high school seniors, among their activities, will be able to take a short quiz titled Am I a Democrat or Republican? where they will check either the “Agree” or “Disagree” boxes in response to questions like: Abortion is a woman’s right; Affirmative action laws are needed; Taxes on the wealthy should be increased to cut the deficit; and Illegal immigrants should be offered a path to citizenship.

There are also worksheets, videos and presidential fact sheets for download. The curriculum is available for free download on the iPad through Apple iTunes U or through Lynn University’s official debate website where it’s available in web format and pdf files.

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