For Teachers

Download the Lessons

Lessons have been designed for use by high school teachers and students. Each lesson meets national common core standards in English Language Arts and New York State standards in Social Studies, which are specified at the end of each lesson.

Save Ads and Create Playlists

Save any of the ads on The Living Room Candidate, and organize them into playlists by theme or category. All saved ads and playlists will appear on your MY LRC page. Registration is required to create, save, and share playlists.

Use the Admaker

The Admaker is an online editing tool that allows students to remix a historic campaign ad or to make a new ad. Related lessons are provided below.

Book a Program at the Museum

The Museum offers student programs and professional development programs for teachers related to The Living Room Candidate. For more information, visit the Museum's Education page.

Please note that some ads, including "State of the Union...Not Good" (2004) and "Coalition of the Loud-Mouthed Jerks" (2004), contain language that teachers may find inappropriate for classroom use

LESSONS

WHAT MAKES AN EFFECTIVE AD?
By viewing and analyzing selected presidential campaign advertisements, students will develop criteria for evaluating what makes an effective political ad.
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EVALUATING INFORMATION: FOCUS ON THE 2008 ELECTION
By studying ads from the 2008 presidential race, students will learn how to evaluate the claims and information presented in political ads.
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DEVELOPING CRITICAL ANALYSIS
Students will learn how to be critical viewers of presidential television campaign commercials by analyzing the use of images and sounds in a series of ads.
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UNDERSTANDING THE LANGUAGE OF POLITICAL ADS
Students will understand the nature and uses of language in presidential ads, and become aware of how candidates use words to influence viewer opinion.
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POLITICAL ADS IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT
Students will analyze ads from two presidential campaign years. In the process, they will learn how ads reflect their historical context while also addressing themes and concerns common to most modern presidential campaigns.
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PLAYING ON EMOTIONS: FOCUS ON POLITICAL ADS FEATURING CHILDREN
Students will understand how emotional appeals in campaign commercials—in this case, the use of images of children—are used to manipulate viewers and distract them from more substantive issues.
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ADMAKER  Nixon vs. Humphrey, “Convention” (1968)
By editing an ad from a past presidential campaign—in this instance, the 1968 Nixon ad “Convention”—students will gain a richer understanding of how political commercials persuade voters. In the process, they will develop their ability to evaluate a campaign ad’s effectiveness. Students will also have the opportunity to create a new ad using still images and audio.
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ADMAKER  Obama vs. McCain, “Fundamentals” (2008)
By editing an ad from a past presidential campaign—in this instance, the 2008 Obama ad "Fundamentals"—students will gain a richer understanding of how political commercials persuade voters. In the process, they will develop their ability to evaluate a campaign ad's effectiveness. Students will also have the opportunity to create a new ad using video, audio, and images.
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