Minor Parties


Did you know that the United States is teeming with hundreds of political parties?

Most of us have heard of the GREEN PARTY and the LIBERTARIAN PARTY, but did you know that our great country is also home to the AMERICA FIRST PARTY, the LIGHT PARTY, the MODERN WHIG PARTY, and, my favorite, the PROHIBITION PARTY?

To learn a bit more about minor American political parties I present some background on one minor US political party (this year it was the Green Party) as a model for how I want my students to share their information with class. Once I've presented the background, I answer all my students' questions (they always have tons of questions): Why haven't we even heard of these parties before? Why don't these parties win? Is there really a Monster Raving Looney Party in the UK? - There is! Then my students sign up for their favorite minor party, and off they go to research, using our textbooks and this great link to some of the major minor parties in the US.

For homework, my students will fill in our minor party chart on our class wiki, then the next day, in class, we'll project the chart with their information on the overhead and they'll present their findings.

If you don't have a class wiki for them to store their findings, your students can create a Tumblr, wiki, Google doc, Prezi, PPT, or other online home for their data, or if you want to go Luddite, you could kill the link/video part of the assignment and put a chart on the board where students can write in their major findings. 

Let me know how this lesson worked for you! Rave On, minor parties!!!!