In the U.S. presidential elections, all the candidates are chasing the youth vote. So Barack Obama has made a short video to encourage young people to sign up to vote. It would make a great classroom activity.
The video shows the President doing "Five things that are harder than registering to vote." Barack Obama is as ever supremely comfortable being "an ordinary guy" in this tongue-in-cheek snippet. Your pupils should be able to identify easily with the activities shown.
If you can play the video from 0:10 to 0:59 (without the introduction saying 5 Things Harder than Registering to Vote), you can ask pupils what they think the video is for. They should recognise President Obama and be able understand the tasks he is attempting (to name all the characters who have died in Game of Thrones, untangle headphones, play the game Operation, make a friendship bracelet and stack Cheerios cereal pieces in a tower.)
Then show them the full thing and ask them to react. Can they imagine their President doing this sort of thing? It's a good opportunity to introduce or revise a few basics of the U.S. election system — in particular that Presidents can only be elected for two terms, so Barack Obama can not be a candidate in this election. Pupils should also be able to brainstorm a few facts about the current candidate (Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump), the main parties (Democrat, Republican), etc.
Older pupils could debate about whether it is good for the president to be involved in an election. Could it be considered biased?
The theme of registering to vote is perfect for the EMC curriculum, or an EPI on Information, communication, citoyenneté. In lycée, it fits into a theme on Lieux et formes du pouvoir.
Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon