#SOTU, wordles, and historical thinking
Tough choice. Today is Kansas Day. Last night was the 2014 State of the Union address.
But it’s the #SOTU. How cool is that? As an old poly sci major, there’s nothing like listening to a good political speech. Heck, sometimes even the bad ones are fun. And the 2014 State of the Union had the best of everything – all three branches of government in one place, cranky opposition, pundits, social media, Sarah Palin references, multiple GOP / Tea Party responses, and no out of control yelling from the audience.
So today you Kansas Day fans are on your own.
How best to use last night’s festivities? Some thoughts:
1. Use the official White House site for video clips, official transcripts, behind the scenes, and other goodies.
2. Big Block of Cheese Day. If you’re a West Wing fan, you know exactly what this is.
The current White House has tapped into that idea and is hosting a Virtual Big Block of Cheese Day. Sweet. What sorts of questions would your kids ask? Who would they ask? How would they ask?
3. Have kids fact check both the SOTU and the different Republican responses. Discuss sources for this information – where can we find the facts? Are there citations available from the White House and the Republican party? FactCheck and PolitiFact are also good for that sort of thing. Have them compare two different news sites to see how the fact checking might be different – CNN (or here) and Fox News, for instance.
5. Use Wordle.net to help kids visualize themes in both the SOTU and the Republican response. Actually this year, three different Republican responses. Official. Tea Party. Tea Party / Libertarian / Running for President. How are they different? The same? Why are they different? Why the same?
President Barack Obama‘s speech
Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers with the official Republican response
Representative Mike Lee with the Tea Party response
Senator Rand Paul with the Tea Party / Libertarian / Running for President response
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