Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Who Will Be Our Mayor?

Johnnie Bush
Leon County Schools


After learning about the roles of citizens in selecting a mayor to run a city, students work in groups to research candidates' viewpoints on the improvement of Parks and Recreation and then select a candidate to support for Mayor.


The student understands the importance of participation in community service, civic improvement, and political activities (for example, becoming informed about qualifications of candidates).


-District Adopted Social Studies Book
-Copies of Newspaper In Education election series (Contact your Local Newspaper and request an order)
-KWL Forms
-Venn-Diagram Forms
-Overhead projection sheets for forms and assessment tools
-Overhead markers
-Overhead projector


Create and photocopy class sets of the following (make a transparency for each):

1. KWL form
2. Venn Diagram for students to use.
3. Divide the students up into teams.
4. Prepare desks/chairs in advance for cooperative groups.
5. Take out chart paper and tape it to the walls/boards.
6. Have markers prepared for groups.


1. Students will be given a KWL form. They will be instructed to write down everything that they know about the Mayor and his responsibilities, the campaign process, who is running for Mayor, parks and recreation.

2. To activiate the students’ interest, take out a football and throw it to someone in the room. Allow him/her to throw it to someone else. Have that person throw it back to you. Tell the students: I am going to ask you some questions, I want you to answer when I throw the ball to you. Give an example by asking, “What is your name?” Throw the ball to a student (maybe an ESE or special needs student). Have him throw it back to you with an answer.

3. Ask the question, “How many of you like to play football? Throw the ball to someone to answer. He/she throws it back to you with an answer. Ask, “How many of you know someone who likes to play football?” Throw the ball to a student. Have him return it back to you with an answer.

4. Take out a basketball and ask, “How many of you like to play basketball?” Throw the ball to someone and ask him, “When is basketball season in the community leagues?” Have him to throw it back to you with an answer. Throw the basketball to another student and ask, “What is so good about basketball?”

5. Take out a baseball. “Ask how many people like baseball?” Throw it to a student who raised his or her hand and ask, “Why do you like baseball?” Have him throw it back to you. Throw it to someone else and ask, “How long has baseball been a part of our community?” Have him throw it back to you. Ask another question, “Can anyone tell me the name of a famous baseball player?” Throw the ball to someone and have him answer. Continue with questions, such as, "Who are famous football players, basketball players, etc.…?"

6. Tell the students that officials at Parks and Recreation are recommending that all sports be cut out. They are recommending that the parks only be used for Senior Citizens. Ask, “How does that make you feel?” (Write it on chalk or paper as they reply.) Ask, “How would that affect the children in our city?”

7. Lead the students in further discussion on their knowledge of Parks and Recreation and how they benefit the community.

8. Assign the students into teams of three and have them sit with their teammates.
(See modifications list.)
Instruct teams to brainstorm problems and solutions for parks and recreation.
Have them write them down on their chart papers. Each team is to assign a recorder (writer), a communicator(speak in front of class), and a resource manager (person to hold the chart paper).

9. Have each team to take turns sharing their ideas about parks and recreation. (Don’t worry about the time. Students who do not get to share on Day 1 will be the ones to open up on Day 2. This will also serve as a refresher of what was being covered on day 1).

Day 2:

10. Have the remaining teams from the previous day to share their ideas.

11. Lead the class into a discussion (or read from district approved books) on the role of the mayor and how the position is filled (i.e., elected or appointed).

12. Have the teams use the Newspaper in Education copies to discover who the candidates for Mayor are.

Day 3

13. Model for the students how to use a Venn-diagram for those who may have forgotten. Using a Venn-Diagram for notes, Newspaper in Education will be used to read about the various candidates. Remember, this is during the election period in your city.

14. Students work in teams to determine the candidates' points of view on Parks and Recreation.

15. Students cooperate in their team by sharing notes and identify a candidate to support. They will be told to prepare to explain why they chose that candidate.

Days 4 & 5

16. Teams present their information and why their candidate of choice should be Mayor.

17. Students will be assessed by the teacher.


A formative assessment will take place while the students are working, as well as during group presentations on why they chose their candidates.
The teacher will also complete a checklist for Goal 3 standards. See the attached document.
Offer feedback and suggestions as needed.


You may vary the sports used in the introduction to what is popular in your community with parks and recreation (i.e., hockey, gymnastics).
Duration of lesson may vary depending on how much class time you need to give to your students. Make sure to match your ESE, ESOL/ESL students with students who can compliment or help them.
During the introduction, teacher can ask the question and give students a chance to raise their hands with an answer and throw it to them.
Tell the students a day in advance that they are assigned to a team. Tell them who their teammates will be and that they are to sit together on tomorrow.
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