Teaching Students about Democratic Debate Candidates: An Engaging Approach



Civic education plays a crucial role in developing future citizens with knowledge, skills, and values to participate actively in the democratic process. One important aspect of civic education is introducing students to the different political figures and candidates who shape policies and advocate for key issues. This article explores practical ways for educators to teach their students about Democratic debate candidates.

Understanding the Debates

Before diving into the specifics of Democratic debate candidates, it’s important to ensure that students understand how debates work. Lessons can include:

1. Discussing the purpose of debates: Engage students in a conversation about why debates are an essential part of the political process. Teach them about exchanges between competing candidates, addressing pressing issues, and making persuasive arguments.

2. Teaching debate rules and formats: Introduce different types of debate formats such as Lincoln-Douglas, parliamentary, or town hall debates. Discuss time limits, rebuttals, and other rules that apply during these events.

3. Watching and analyzing debates: Have students watch a recorded debate or a significant segment from one. Encourage them to analyze language use, body language, argument styles, and other aspects that influence audience perception.

Exploring Democratic Candidates

Once students have a basic understanding of debates, they can begin learning about Democratic candidates—both past and present. Here are some ideas to guide this exploration:

1. Creating candidate profiles: Assign a specific candidate to each student or let them choose one themselves. Ask them to research their candidate’s background, political experience, key issues they advocate for, and campaign highlights.

2. Holding mock elections: Organize a mock election where students present their assigned or chosen candidates to the class. They can create campaign posters or flyers and offer speeches on their candidate’s positions on various subjects.

3. Debating in character: Organize a “roleplay” activity where students adopt the persona of their assigned or selected candidate. Divide the class into two teams, each representing Democratic debate candidates. Conduct a debate on relevant issues, encouraging students to use their candidate’s perspectives, communication styles, and rhetorical strategies to win the debate.

4. Examining party platforms and policies: Organize group discussions about the general platforms and policies of the Democratic party. Compare and contrast these with individual debate candidates to highlight diverse approaches within the party.


Teaching students about Democratic debate candidates can foster an interest in political processes and enhance critical thinking skills. By understanding the importance of debates, learning about different candidates, and participating in mock elections and debates, students gain valuable insights into democracy in action. As they engage with these lessons, they will develop a better understanding of varied perspectives on key issues – strengthening their ability to effectively participate in our democratic society.

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