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!

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Political Ideology: Crash Course Government and Politics #35

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
Scholars investigate the various political ideologies that exist in the United States government and politics. The 35th video in a 50-part series outlines the sources that create a person's political ideology. 
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Political Ideological Spectrum

For Teachers 8th - 12th
Students explore the ideologies of the American political spectrum. In this American politics lesson plan, students examine the characteristics and platforms of liberals, conservatives, libertarians, and moderates.  Students complete the...
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Development of American Political Parties: The Two-Party System

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Was American politics always bound to the two-party system? Learn how the two-party system developed, why third parties tend not to do so well, and all the various political parties that have emerged throughout US history. Each party is...
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Shaping Public Opinion: Crash Course Government and Politics #34

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
Have you ever wondered why you believe what you believe? Scholars research how opinions form in United States government and politics. They view the 34th video of a 50-part series to analyze and discuss the impact media, religion, and...
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Art in Nazi Germany When Art and Politics Didn't Agree

For Teachers 10th - 12th
Five lessons display the art created by Germans under the Weimar Republic. The focus of these lessons is to help learners understand the role of art in politics, government censorship, and Nazi tactics. Web links are included.
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Homemade Political Parties

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Use this 5-day lesson to clarify the platforms of the two major parties, comparing and contrasting against students' beliefs. Begin by looking at unlabeled summaries of both party platforms, having learners identify most with one. Groups...
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Comparison of Political Ideologies in the Context of Constitutional Preambles

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Young scholars examine the various philosophies that form the foundations of political systems of major world countries.
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Political Parties

For Teachers 9th - 12th
High schoolers engage in a lesson that is about the development of political parties in the United States government. They conduct research using a variety of resources. They use some key focus questions to guide the activities and...
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The Art of Political Cartoons in Revolutionary America

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Students analyze political cartoons. In this colonial America lesson, students examine the provided political cartoons and respond to analytical questions about each of them.
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Creating a Cartoon of the Philippine-American War

For Teachers 9th - 12th
During the Industrial and commercial expansion of the United States, war broke out between America and the Philippines. Explore conflict, American Imperialism, and political cartoons with this creative project. Learners view the film,...
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An Introduction to Roland Barthes's Mythologies

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
Teenagers are the first to agree that they are the frontrunners in popular culture. But how much of their image is constructed by individualism, and how much of it have they bought from capitalistic sources? Roland...
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Political Movements: Political parties

For Teachers 7th - 12th
Students list current federal parliamentary parties, consider the role of political parties, practice party based representation, state the relationship between parties, elections and Australian policy, and define specific parliamentary...
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Political and Social Origins of the Civil War

For Teachers 6th - 8th
Students examine the difference in politics in the North and South during the Civil War. Using that information, they discuss how politics and ideologies led to the war. They explain the causes and effects of the war and evaluate the...
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Political Movement: Political Parties

For Teachers 3rd - 7th
Students explore politics by researching Australian government law. In this political parties instructional activity, students define the different active parties in Australia and their roles within the country. Students complete a word...
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An Introduction to Immigration and the Canadian Political System

For Teachers 12th
Twelfth graders take a citizenship test before learning how their own ideology fits in with current political parties. They create questions for a debate and learn the process of registering to vote.
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Art, Commentary and Evidence: Analysis of "The White Man's Burden"

For Teachers 9th - 12th
A cross-curricular lesson combines poetry and history for your middle and high schoolers. The class critically examines Kipling's poem, "White Man's Burden" as historical evidence of the Imperialist ideology popular during his time. The...
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The Rise of Conservatism

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
Check out this fascinating, in-depth look at the rise of conservatism in the United States during the 1960s. The narrator discusses increased support for unregulated capitalism and individual autonomy, reaction to what appeared to be a...
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Writing Exercises: Economic and Social Revolutions IV

For Students 9th - 11th
Any revolution is going to impact both society and economy. The class works to grasp the effect of industrialization on the environment, government, and politics. They respond to three critical thinking questions which require them to...
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The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
Check out this entertaining, speedy, and highly informative overview of the founding stages of the United States government. The video includes a detailed discussion of the limitations of the Articles of Confederation, the eventual...
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Adolf Hitler in World War 1

For Students 9th - Higher Ed Standards
Most learners are already familiar with the horror wreaked by Adolf Hitler during World War II, but few may understand the impact the Great War had on him. Hitler felt his time at the front for Germany during the Great War were some of...
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Linkage Institutions: Political Parties: Option A

For Teachers 9th - 12th
How is the Iowa Caucus like a one-topping pizza? Find out in this engaging lesson plan about the electoral process.
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An Introduction to Samuel Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
In 1996, Samuel Huntington predicted that in a post-Cold War world, the primary source of conflict would be due to cultural and religious differences, rather than ideological ones. Introduce The Clash of Civilizations with a short,...
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The Founding Fathers and the Constitutional Struggle Over Centralized Power

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Believe it or not, the Constitution was America's second attempt at a democratic government. Academics travel back to the past to explore the shortcomings of the Articles of Confederation that would eventually lead to the Constitutional...
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Campaign Coverage Map and Campaign Strategy

For Teachers 7th - 12th
A candidate's campaigning history can reveal a lot about his or her election strategy. Analyze the way that the 2016 presidential candidates traveled through the United States during their campaigns with an interactive map. High...

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