Run for Office

Run for Office Lesson Plan

Run for office! Discuss the characteristics that are important for leaders to have. Design a poster showcasing the qualities you have that would win you votes in the next election!

  • 1.

    Elections are important events in society. They give people the opportunity to voice their opinions and have a say in decisions being made. Elections also give leaders a chance to shine. During elections, candidates can campaign to win the hearts and votes of the people. What qualities do you think leaders should posses? Does the leader of the school's student council need to have the same skills and characteristics as the leader of a country? Allow time for discussion.

  • 2.

    Invite students to make a list of elections familiar to the class. What school clubs hold annual elections? What elections are there in the town? Discuss the qualities students think are important for the candidates to portray in each of these elections. Look at examples of campaign posters with the class. What do the candidates focus on in these posters?

  • 3.

    Ask students: What elected position do you think is a good fit for you? Would you like to be Treasurer of your school’s Honor’s Society? Perhaps you dream of one day running for President of the United States!

  • 4.

    Ask students to design a campaign poster. Students highlight the qualities they possess that would make the best candidate for the job. On a piece of poster board or oak tag, use Crayola® Metallic Colored Pencils to illustrate words and symbols that represent the candidate in the campaign. Remind students to include names so voters will know who to choose. For extra eye-catching sparkle, use Crayola Metallic FX Crayons and Crayola Glitter Crayons to add color and a decorative border to the poster.

  • 5.

    Students display posters for the entire class to enjoy!


  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grade level text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
  • LA: Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
  • LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • LA: Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • MATH: Develop understanding of statistical variability.
  • SS: Explore factors that contribute to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.
  • SS: Explain the purpose of government.
  • SS: Distinguish among local, state, and national government and identify representative leaders at these levels such as mayor, governor, and president.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.


  • Possible classroom resources include: Presidential Races: The Battle for Power in the United States (People's History) by Arlene Morris-Lipsman; Presidential Races: Campaigning for the White House (People's History) by Arlene Morris-Lipsman; Campaign Speeches of American Presidential Candidates, 1948-1984 by Gregory Bush; Presidential Elections: And Other Cool Facts by Syl Sobel, J.D.
  • Invite an elected official to meet with the class to discuss the campaign process. Prior to the meeting, students compose questions for the visitor. Afterwards, students post learning to a class blog.
  • Students work in small groups to investigate campaign slogans from past presidential campaigns. Students then write campaign slogans for an imaginary campaign.
  • Students work in small groups to create a campaign to elect a class mascot. Select a mascot that the class believes best represents the dynamic and unique qualities of the class. Design posters to win your proposed mascot votes. Display all posters for the class to view and cast votes in order to select a single mascot to represent the class.