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NewsHour Extra Lesson Plan: What is the Role of Civil Disobedience - PBS

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6 to 12
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This site, affiliated with the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, presents a lesson plan related to the history of civil disobedience. The site provides a short handout for students, and...more
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This site, affiliated with the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, presents a lesson plan related to the history of civil disobedience. The site provides a short handout for students, and a more detailed summary for teachers to prepare for discussion on civil disobedience and its role in creating change. There is also a collection of historical quotes focused on the issue, including the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Henry David Thoreau, and Bishop Desmond Tutu. You need Acrobat Reader to print the quotes and other downloadable documents. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil rights (117)

In the Classroom

Encouraging students to think of disobedience (of any kind) as a positive force for change will delight some students and confuse and trouble others. Depending upon their age and their intellectual and moral development, teachers should be prepared for these varied reactions. Although there is brief mention in the lesson plan of Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war protestor, there is no discussion of other contemporary issues related to terrorism, freedom versus security, or privacy. Teachers should also be prepared to have these topics enter the discussion. The historical quotes would make good bulletin board fodder or discussion (either verbal or written) prompts. Maybe try one on your class blog!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Virtual Freedom Shrine - National Exchange Club

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7 to 12
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This searchable, no-frills site brings together thirty historical documents that were instrumental in creating the freedoms enjoyed by Americans. It's all here - the Mayflower Compact,...more
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This searchable, no-frills site brings together thirty historical documents that were instrumental in creating the freedoms enjoyed by Americans. It's all here - the Mayflower Compact, the 19th Amendment, Martin Luther King, Jr,'s "I have a dream" speech, and much more. Good reference site for a history or civics class.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), constitution (79), presidents (131), speech (92), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Have each student in your class research one of these documents or speeches. Challenge students to create a multi-media presentation: PowerPoint, blog, wiki, or video. Share these documents around Martin Luther King's birthday or President's Day.

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African Americans- Biography, Autobiography, and History - Yale University

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9 to 12
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This section of the Avalon Project's extensive collection of documents in American law, history, and diplomacy deals with the African American experience. It consists of a selection...more
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This section of the Avalon Project's extensive collection of documents in American law, history, and diplomacy deals with the African American experience. It consists of a selection from each of the following: Martin Luther King, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, W.E.B. DuBois, and Booker T. Washington. This is a great source for teachers writing document-based questions.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), civil rights (117), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research projects. Divide your class into cooperative learning groups and have each group research one of the five resources (and people) highlighted.

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Powerful Days in Black and White - Kodak

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4 to 12
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Kodak's site featuring the photos of Charles Moore contains many images of Dr. King and the nonviolent struggle for racial equality in the American south during the 1960s. These are...more
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Kodak's site featuring the photos of Charles Moore contains many images of Dr. King and the nonviolent struggle for racial equality in the American south during the 1960s. These are striking images. Preview before sharing with younger students.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), civil rights (117), martin luther king (37)

In the Classroom

Share the photos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Discuss the pictures as a class. What were the lives of those in the photos like? Have students choose one photo that was the most powerful and write a journal entry about that photo.

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Day of Service - U.S. Government

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4 to 12
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Here's a site that asks students to live up to Dr. King's ideals by engaging in a service project to help those less fortunate than they. Learn about King, his ...more
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Here's a site that asks students to live up to Dr. King's ideals by engaging in a service project to help those less fortunate than they. Learn about King, his ideals, and how to serve.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), civil rights (117), martin luther king (37)

In the Classroom

Teachers looking for a meaningful way to honor Dr. King might find this approach attractive. Share the Why Serve link with your class and discuss how serving can change their lives. Why not come up with a class community service project to do in honor of Dr. King?

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March on Washington Lesson - PBS Newshour

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6 to 12
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This lesson, from the web site for the PBS Newshour, offers both a set of structuring questions about integration and racism and a set of resources that documents Dr. King ...more
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This lesson, from the web site for the PBS Newshour, offers both a set of structuring questions about integration and racism and a set of resources that documents Dr. King and the struggle for equal rights in America. The lesson includes links to important documents (some PDF files, others require Flash), extension activities, thinking questions, audio and video footage, and correlations to National Standards in history, civics, culture, and more. This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (180), civil rights (117), martin luther king (37)

In the Classroom

This lesson plan is ready to use and easy to follow! The extension activities offer some excellent higher order thinking questions. After sharing video footage with your students, why not project one of the extension activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create a blog answering the questions in the extension activities.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Monitor - Lincoln's Secret Weapon - Nova

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5 to 12
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The PBS Nova site about the Civil War ironclad the Monitor offers some unexpected treats. Students can see whether they can run the steam engine without blowing it up, and ...more
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The PBS Nova site about the Civil War ironclad the Monitor offers some unexpected treats. Students can see whether they can run the steam engine without blowing it up, and the curious can take a simulated 360 degree tour of various parts of the ship. This site includes several lesson plans (most linked to standards), and more. You'll need a speedy connection and the Flash plug-in, but this one's a great Civil War diversion. You can get Flash from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Share the interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students work in cooperative learning groups to try some of the science experiments at this site. Challenge students to create fictitious blog entries (written by Lincoln) about what they learn at this site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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This Day in the Civil War

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4 to 12
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Those interested in a different take on the Civil War will enjoy this one. Each day offers a different set of events drawn from Civil War history, along with links ...more
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Those interested in a different take on the Civil War will enjoy this one. Each day offers a different set of events drawn from Civil War history, along with links to oddities such as Civil War recipes (tread cautiously), trivia, birthdays, interactive puzzles, and the like. There are also message boards. So if you allow students to navigate independently, be sure to watch carefully!

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

While it's short on pure education, there's a wealth of spice here that could liven up a Civil War unit.

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Civil War Time-Line - A Nation Divided - The History Place

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4 to 12
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This site, created by The History Place offers a chronological listing of Civil War events (with pictures) and is easy to navigate. This site features topics such as Fort Sumter...more
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This site, created by The History Place offers a chronological listing of Civil War events (with pictures) and is easy to navigate. This site features topics such as Fort Sumter Attacked, Gettysburg, Shiloh, and several others. The timeline format is easy to understand. The photos are authentic and informative.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research about the Civil War. Have cooperative learning groups research various battles of the Civil War. Or have students create their own interactive timelines using a tool such as XTimeline (explained here).

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The life of Abraham Lincoln - History Place

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4 to 12
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Although this site is "plain vanilla," it offers some nice research information and photos of five "Lincoln" topics: Lincoln Becomes President, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle...more
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Although this site is "plain vanilla," it offers some nice research information and photos of five "Lincoln" topics: Lincoln Becomes President, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle of Gettysburg, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Dred Scott Decision. Nearly all of this site is displayed in a timeline format. There are some basic advertisements at this site, nothing too distracting.

tag(s): emancipation proclamation (12), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Have students recreate their own "Lincoln timeline" highlighting one are of Lincoln's life and legacy. Have students work in cooperative learning groups to create interactive timelines using a tool such as XTimeline (explained here).

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Abraham Lincoln Online - Abraham Lincoln Online

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K to 12
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An extensive online collection of Lincoln information. This site has nearly everything you could want to learn about Lincoln. Some of the highlights include speeches, lesson ideas,...more
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An extensive online collection of Lincoln information. This site has nearly everything you could want to learn about Lincoln. Some of the highlights include speeches, lesson ideas, "This Week in History" (Lincoln history, that is), and more. Be sure to check out the Education link to find many classroom resource. Some of the links require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these ready to use classroom resources. There are lessons available for grades K-12. Use this site to share the speeches of the famous president. Have students dissect the words of one of the speeches, break it down into "today's language."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lincoln, Douglass, and Black Emergence (Literature and Politics, 1840-1865) - Yale University

Grades
10 to 12
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This site (although very "plain vanilla") does offer some interesting research information about the Civil War. This is basically a lesson plan (designed for grades 11-12). There are...more
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This site (although very "plain vanilla") does offer some interesting research information about the Civil War. This is basically a lesson plan (designed for grades 11-12). There are no interactive elements. But details, research, and review exercises are provided.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research about the Civil War. Have students investigate the site independently and then create a multi-media presentation (of their choice) to share the topic they have researched.

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African-American Soldiers in the Civil War - Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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The Library of Congress demonstrates the depth of its archival image and documents collection in this site, which records first-hand accounts of the accomplishments and difficulties...more
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The Library of Congress demonstrates the depth of its archival image and documents collection in this site, which records first-hand accounts of the accomplishments and difficulties of African-American soldiers during the Civil War. Although rather "plain vanilla" this site is definitely one to explore if you or one of your students are interested in the Civil War.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

The site could be the basis for dozens of lesson ideas, as well as an ideal starting point for a research paper. Have students view authentic letters from Abraham Lincoln on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge students to write a letter (or a blog) in response to Lincoln's letter.

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Lincoln Log - Brown University

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9 to 12
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Based on a daily chronology of Abraham Lincoln's public life, this site enables you to enter a date and see what the famous president was doing that day. While the ...more
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Based on a daily chronology of Abraham Lincoln's public life, this site enables you to enter a date and see what the famous president was doing that day. While the result will be a very narrow slice of history, the site could be used to show how Lincoln's approach to issues and events evolved over time. Secondary students learning to use primary sources could find this one useful, but it will take some work to use it effectively. There is also some additional research links at this site.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research projects. Share the "Lincoln Log" everyday in February to celebrate his birthday. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share his daily accomplishments, schedules, and more that occurred in February.

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Crisis of the Union - Univ. of Pennsylvania

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6 to 12
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The department of history at the University of Pennsylvania developed this searchable collection of primary source materials dealing with the Civil War. The collection includes editorial...more
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The department of history at the University of Pennsylvania developed this searchable collection of primary source materials dealing with the Civil War. The collection includes editorial cartoons, images, and manuscripts, all grouped by subject and time period. While some of the material will require interpretation, this would be a useful site for secondary research that requires the use of primary sources. Some of the sources require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your students while researching the Civil War.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lincoln Goes to War - National Endowment for the Humanities

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7 to 12
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Get inside of the mind of our sixteenth president with this thoughtful lesson plan that analyzes the complex factors that led to the Civil War. Using primary source documents, students...more
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Get inside of the mind of our sixteenth president with this thoughtful lesson plan that analyzes the complex factors that led to the Civil War. Using primary source documents, students become part of the decision-making process as they consider the critical issues that faced the nation as Lincoln came into office, debate the risks and benefits of withdrawing Union troops from Fort Sumter, and investigate the Confederate reaction to Lincoln's ultimate decision. Students take on the roles of Secessionists, Non-Secessionists, Unionists, Abolitionists, or Compromise Proponents. This lesson is aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): civil war (145), debate (41), lincoln (86), slavery (72), states (163)

In the Classroom

This lesson plan is ready to go and offers step by step instructions! Divide your class into five groups (based on the roles listed above). Allow them time to research and prepare for the debate. Consider having students tape the debate using YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here). Why not have each group (or student) write a blog defending their position (role).

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Abraham Lincoln - American President - University of Virginia

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6 to 12
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This Lincoln page includes a quick fact sheet, a short biography, and links to additional information on Lincoln's advisors, administration, and accomplishments. It is part of a very...more
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This Lincoln page includes a quick fact sheet, a short biography, and links to additional information on Lincoln's advisors, administration, and accomplishments. It is part of a very complete collection of presidential resources that could be a staple of an American history curriculum.

At the bottom of the page you will find links to read Lincoln's most famous speeches. You have to scroll to his name. The list includes all presidents (up to G.W. Bush). You can also click to hear podcasts that are focused on Lincoln and the Civil War. The podcasts require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): lincoln (86), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Use this site for basic research about Lincoln, to read his speeches, and to even learn more about the former president by listening to the podcasts. Share the podcasts and photos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students write a fictitious blog entry through the eyes of Lincoln after reading one of his four famous speeches listed at this site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mrs. President: From Martha to Laura - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

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K to 12
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This downloadable PDF file offers very detailed lesson plans and classroom activities about the first ladies of America. There are lesson plans for grades K-3, 3-6, 6-12, and 9-12....more
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This downloadable PDF file offers very detailed lesson plans and classroom activities about the first ladies of America. There are lesson plans for grades K-3, 3-6, 6-12, and 9-12. The lesson plans all include Illinois standards, objectives, thinking questions, and explicit instructions. Some of the lessons include Dining Like a President, First Kids, Design a First Lady, How do they Compare, & First Ladies and the Media: Public Image and Private Influence. The site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): white house (14)

In the Classroom

Use these lessons during February as you celebrate President's Day. Have students complete research on the topic of the lesson (for example, the "Design a First Lady"). Then challenge students to create a multimedia presentation, a blog entry from the first lady whom the student researched, or a fictitious audio or video discussion between the current first lady and the "designed" first lady. Have a class discussion on what Mary Todd Lincoln would write if she could email (or text) Michelle Obama.
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The American Civil War Homepage - Dr. George H. Hoemann and Mary E. Myers

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K to 12
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Although TeachersFirst doesn't usually highlight a "hotlist," this one definitely deserves a mention! This set of links (all about the Civil War) includes songs from the 1800s, lots...more
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Although TeachersFirst doesn't usually highlight a "hotlist," this one definitely deserves a mention! This set of links (all about the Civil War) includes songs from the 1800s, lots of general resource sites about the Civil War and the general time period, information about the battles, and much more. The list is huge, so be prepared! Thankfully they have the material divided into logical categories, and the site is simple to use. This site is updated frequently and includes everything from basic research to interactive videos to letters from a soldier in the Civil War. Some of the sites require Flash, Media Player, RealPlayer, and Adobe Acrobat. You can get them all from the a href="/tools.cfm">TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), songs (52)

In the Classroom

Music teachers, why not share some music from the Civil War times. Students may be surprised that they already know some of these famous songs. All grade levels will find something here to share with their class, but you will need to spend some time searching through this list. Share the letters from the soldiers with your students. Have students write fictitious letters (or blog entries) taking on the persona of a soldier.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Presidency of the United States of America - Encyclopedia Britannica

Grades
5 to 12
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This site provides concise information about the men who have held the nation's highest office, their first ladies, and the complex job of the American president. Historical election...more
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This site provides concise information about the men who have held the nation's highest office, their first ladies, and the complex job of the American president. Historical election results, descriptions of political parties, and a gallery of documents related to the presidency are also included. Investigate the audio and video features - where you'll find some true gems! Watch a video of Nixon discussing Watergate, see JFK deliver his NASA speech, view Ronald Reagan's Berlin Wall Speech, and see many animated videos from Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and more!!

There is also a link about the famous 2008 Election. Learn about the candidates and election results. Some of the videos, animations, and audio require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): elections (75), lincoln (86), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Use this site to research candidates in the upcoming elections, and presidents of the past. Have students create a wiki to discuss the candidates viewpoints and if the students agree or disagree. Challenge students to create a political "blog" as a mock candidate. Have a "mock" presidential race in your class (using the mock candidates created by your students). Have the "candidates" go on the campaign trail, research the issues, and provide their solutions to America's problems.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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