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Teaching the State of the Union Address


  • Analyzing the Messages of the State of the Union Address 
    Mark T. Kissling and Christopher C. Martell
    The president´s annual speech to Congress on the condition of the nation offers students an opportunity to examine key domestic issues as well as the president´s proposals. (From Social Education, NCSS's flagship peer reviewed journal.)

  • During the State of the Union (SOTU) on Tuesday January 30, 2018, students can join a live conversation on social media using #22x20. Afterwards, use the curriculum package “Break-a-Thon in a Box” ( to critique the SOTU and deconstruct its messages in the classroom. An NCSS partner, 22×20 is a nonpartisan media literacy and civics education campaign aimed at equipping 22 million teens to become informed and engaged first-time voters by 2020.

  • PBS NEWSHOUR. This lesson from PBS New Hour for grade 7-12 teaches students about the history and purpose of the State of the Union address, and to suggest how to evaluate the speech. (Great activities, but you'll need to update some content for the current year, 2018),

  • “State of the Union Bingo,” created by The National Constitution Center, is a lesson plan to engage 7-12th grade students (as they watch the president’s annual address to Congress) in a fun and interactive way. Students examine the events and topics (you'll need to update these for 2018), as well as the president’s legislative plan (again, please update) for the coming year. The lesson plan, complete with Bingo cards, is free at