Electing the President - Hyperstudio

Activity Overview: 

The students work in three groups, which represent political parties, to create candidates to run for President of the United States. The students construct HyperStudio presentations and give persuasive speeches to promote their candidates. In their music class, they compose a song about their candidate. After listening to the speeches, the students elect a President and Vice-President.

The purpose is to get children excited and to understand the process of electing a President.  They will construct a HyperStudio program to tell about their candidates, in order to get them elected. When they are through they should know what qualifications a person must have to be President, as well as how to elect a President.  They will also be able to write persuasive speeches and use good speaking skills when they are giving their speeches.

The students each come up with a candidate to run for President of the United States.  They are divided into three political parties that they create.  The candidates each give a persuasive speech and construct a HyperStudio project in order to try to get their candidates elected.  The class votes for a President and Vice-President nominee from each party.  They will work together as a party to get their candidate elected.  They will give another speech and we will vote on a President and Vice-President.  In their music class they compose a song about their candidate in the Keyboard Lab. 

(Note: This is a unit plan that may cover several days to several weeks. Not all of the following activities  standards will appear in the video clips used.)


Curriculum Standards



Standards (NETS) Performance Indicators http://cnets.iste.org/sfors.htm

We will go over the qualifications you have to have in order to be President of the United States.  They must be at least 35 years old, born in the United States and have lived in the United States for the past fourteen years. Each student will come up with a candidate to run for President. They will make their candidates out of construction paper, and they need to come up with a name and tell a little bit about their candidates’ families.

Social Studies: Early Grades V


In class we will discuss the political parties that are in the United States.  We will come up with names for three political parties in our class.  I will divide the children into three parties. Each student will work on their own candidates right now to try to get him/her elected as the Presidential nominee to run for their parties.

Social Studies: Early Grades, V


The children will begin writing a persuasive speech for their candidates. They need to include the name of their candidate, as well as a little bit about their families. They also need to talk about at least two things they would do if they were elected as President. We will practice speaking skills as we prepare for their speeches.

English Language Arts: 1, 4, 5, 6, 12


Communication: 9-8, 10-16, 10-17, 10-19, 10-22, 10-11, 10-12, 10-23, 10-15, 12-5


The children will learn the HyperStudio Program in the computer lab to prepare for this next activity. They will each construct a HyperStudio presentation to tell us about their candidate. They will be given a rubric, which will go over the criteria for each card. We will go over the rubric together. They will be given a HyperStudio planning sheet and they will plan each card before they go into the computer lab.


Grades 3-5: 4, 5

They will go into the computer lab and make their project. When they are done, they will get their rubric and make sure their program is how they want it. Once their projects are checked by me, they will get a star on their computers, and then they can go around and look at all of the candidate’s HyperStudio projects. This should give them a good idea about the candidates and they will become informed voters.


Grades 3-5: 4, 5

In music, they will compose a song for their candidates using the keyboard lab.  This was a wonderful way to integrate with the specials in our building.



After they have viewed the HyperStudio projects, the students will give their persuasive speeches in front of the class. Everyone in the class will vote for one candidate from each political party.  They will have voting booths and will have to register to vote before they can cast their ballot. At the end of this process, we will have a President and Vice-President candidate for each party.

Communication: 9-8, 10-16, 10-17, 10-19, 10-22, 10-11, 10-12, 10-23, 10-15, 12-5,


Each party will then work as a political party to try and get their candidates elected. They will come up with two speeches, one for their President and one for their Vice-President nominee. Some of the children in their party will make campaign signs and others will come up with a campaign motto.

English Language Arts: 1, 4, 5, 6, 12


Social Studies: Early Grades, V


Each President and Vice President nominee will give a speech, and we will finally vote for our President and Vice- President.

Communication: 9-8, 10-16, 10-17, 10-19, 10-22, 10-11, 10-12, 10-23, 10-15, 12-5,


Fleck, T.  (1997).  HyperStudio for Terrified Teachers.  Huntington Beach, CA: Teacher Created Materials, Inc. 

Dell Computers. Dell.  Available: http://www.dell.com

HyperStudio. Roger Wagner Publishing, Inc. Available: http://www.hyperstudio.com

The children were given a rubric for their HyperStudio projects. They were also assessed for their writing of their speeches, as well as speaking skills.  In music the music teacher assessed them on their compositions of their songs.


HyperStudio Rubric

Government Presentation





Title Card:  Card 1

Color enhances presentation                    1       2      3       4       5 
Has Candidate name and  child’s name 1       2      3       4      5

Family Card: Card 2

Color enhances presentation                   1        2        3       4      5

All buttons work                                        1        2        3       4       5

Overall appearance of drawing and text   1      2        3       4        5

Has detailed information about the Candidate’s family     1        2       3     4     5

Spelling and Grammar               1       2       3        4       5

Party & Mascot Card: Card 3

Color enhances presentation            1         2       3        4        5

All buttons work                                 1         2        3       4        5

Overall appearance of drawing and text     1         2       3        4        5

Has detailed information about

the Party and Mascot                 1        2         3        4       5

Spelling and Grammar                 1        2         3        4        5

Issue Card: Card 4

Color enhances presentation    1       2         3       4       5

All buttons work                         1        2         3       4        5

Overall appearance of  drawing and text       1       2        3        4         5

Has detailed information about the issue     1       2        3        4         5 

Spelling and Grammar                  1       2        3        4        5


Issue Card: Card 5

Color enhances presentation      1       2        3        4        5

All buttons work                           1       2        3        4        5

Overall appearance of  drawing and text    1       2        3        4        5

Has detailed information about the issue  1       2        3        4         5

Spelling and Grammar                  1       2        3        4         5


“Why Vote For Me” Card: Card 6

Color enhances presentation        1       2        3        4         5

All buttons work                             1       2        3        4         5

Overall appearance of  drawing and text         1       2          3        4        5

Has detailed information about

Why we should vote for their candidate        1        2          3        4        5

Spelling and Grammar                     1       2        3        4         5




Mrs. Beth Lang, Elementary Teacher, Lakewood Elementary, Overland Park, KS

Mrs. Tracy Rampy, Computer Teacher, Lakewood Elementary, Overland Park, KS

Mrs. Peri Goodman, Elementary Teacher, Lakewood Elementary, Overland Park, KS

This was done within our Government Unit.  They reenacted the planning of the HyperStudio Project.  The children obviously had to have already planned their projects in order to have some of the projects done.  This activity would take about three weeks to get through the entire process.

I had not taught the project before in this way.  I have done HyperStudio before with my class, but it was during the Solar System Unit.  The children created aliens from the planets they were researching.  The aliens gave you a tour of the planets by using the HyperStudio program.  The aliens were also equipped to live on their planets.  I liked using this program during the Government Unit.  It made it more exciting for the children.

Technology Resources:   
I chose the HyperStudio program because of what I believe kids can do on it.  I also have a PowerPoint program I could have used. I like the idea that on HyperStudio kids can draw their own kid looking pictures.  I also like the look of the programs the children create.  It is more individualistic looking.  

School Background Information:

  • Overland Park is located in northeast Kansas in Johnson County. It is part of the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. With a population of about 162,600, it is the second largest city in Kansas. Most of the employed adults occupy executive, administrative, managerial, and professional specialty positions. Sales and clerical jobs are also popular among Overland Park residents. Fewer people are employed in precision productions and machine operations industries. 

  • The enrollment of Lakewood Elementary is 527 students. White students compose 93%, African American – 3%, Asian – 2%, and Hispanic students compose 2% of the overall school enrollment. 

Teaching Strategy:   
I chose this teaching strategy because the children love it.  They thought it was really fun to create these presentations.  It was also a wonderful way for the children to become informed voters.  It was more fun for them to go around and look at each other’s HyperStudio programs and learn about the candidates, rather than just listening to speeches.

Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education Model Components Highlighted in This Activity http://www.intime.uni.edu/model/modelimage.html

(Note: This is a unit plan that may cover several days to several weeks.  Not all of the elements from the Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education Model that are described below will appear in the video clips used.)

Principles of Learning:  I think this made the children actively involved in learning about the process of electing a President. They had Direct Experience by actually running for President.  It was also an enjoyable way for them to learn about the process. They were excited about the process.

Democracy:  This was a wonderful way to show Democracy.  The children had to be critical thinkers and make decisions based on how well their candidates were doing.  They also had to work as a team to come up with a final Presidential and Vice- Presidential campaign. 

Teacher Knowledge: They used multiple intelligences throughout the project.  They used writing, speaking, and computer skills, as well as music to tell us about their candidates. 

Student Characteristics:   
I think this would work well with all students.  Some of my students needed help with the writing of their speeches, but they had wonderful ideas!  Everyone could find something that they were good at.  If they like music they could compose, if they liked writing they learned from the speeches, if they were good communicators they gave speeches, if they were good at technology, they had the HyperStudio project, which also incorporated art.

Evolution of the Activity:   
It was really the first time I had done it this way.  This year we added music to the lesson.  We are working on integrating the other specials into our Government Unit.  The students learned this year about the HyperStudio program as well as how the process of electing a President takes place.  I think they were really excited!

(Learning activity format adapted from National Educational Technology Standards for Students Connecting Curriculum & Technology http://cnets.iste.org/students)