Interest Groups and Lobbying


Civics Citizen Participation and Government Interest Groups and Lobbying
Students are introduced to interest groups by watching an interest group ad. They learn what interest groups are and why they exist, as well as their role in the political system. In small groups, students research an interest group and share what they learn with the rest of the class. Finally, students return to the original ad they watched and analyze it.

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

1:1 Devices
Teacher Pack

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Here are the teacher pack items for Interest Groups and Lobbying:

Preview - Scene 1
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Overview

In this experience, students are introduced to interest groups by watching an interest group ad. They learn what interest groups are and why they exist, as well as their role in the political system. Then they research a specific interest group. Finally, students return to the original ad they watched and analyze it.

Students will work in small groups in scene 3.

Objectives

  • Describe what interest groups are and what they do.
  • Explain how special interest groups influence public policy.


You know what it’s like to watch TV and see an advertisement. You might think, “Hey, I’d like to buy that type of cookie” or you might think, “That looks like a ridiculous pair of shoes; I’d never buy those.” Some ads are not for physical items but for causes—like protecting the environment or supporting a certain type of healthcare system. In this experience, you will learn more about some of the groups that develop those kinds of ads—and you will learn why they do it.

Objectives

  • Describe what interest groups are and what they do.
  • Explain how special interest groups influence public policy.




Offshore Arctic Drilling Platform


Watch this video.


What do you think the purpose of this video is?

Post your answer

Discuss student responses. Tell them that they will return to this video at the end of the experience.


The video was created by an organization called Greenpeace, which is an interest group.

You may not know what an interest group is. Instead of reading a definition, go to this site: Public Interest Groups.

Scroll down the long A-Z list, reading some of the names.


Based just on the names on the list, can you make a guess what an interest group is?



Discuss student responses and highlight the responses that are closest to a definition of an interest group. A public interest group promotes issues that are of general public concern. A special interest group seeks special benefits for a specific organization or issue. Both types of interest groups typically utilize political lobbying.

Explain that students will learn more in the rest of the experience.


When everyone is ready to continue, unlock the next scene.

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