The Hill's editor-in-chief Bob Cusack talked about policy priorities that the incoming Biden Administration might focus on. He discussed the possible legislation that might pass with a Republican controlled Senate and the use of executive orders to enact policy.
This lesson uses primary sources to explore the upcoming Biden Administration. It has student analyze speeches and comments that President-elect Biden made previewing his plans for his administration. Using these primary source video clips, students will make predictions about what President Biden will focus on during the first 100 days of his administration.
Teachers can choose to have students access a Google Doc handout or a Google Slides presentation. Both resources link to the video clips and allow students to directly answer questions on the resource after they make a digital copy. Students can submit the unique URL for the assignment to you when they have completed the activities.
Have students brainstorm a list of answers to the following question or use the Google Slide presentation to prioritize which issues that they feel are most important.
INTRODUCTION: Use the following video to introduce the political landscape facing the Biden Administration and the tools that his administration can use to enact its agenda.
Video Clip: Policy Priorities in a Biden Administration (2:37)
What does Bob Cusack see as potential policies that might pass in Congress?
What challenges does President-elect Biden face in passing legislation through Congress?
After reviewing the students’ answers to the introductory assignment and addressing any misconceptions, have students view the video clips of President-elect Biden previewing his policy priorities.
As a teacher, you can decide to have students explore each topic or assign topics to students to explore and report back to the class.
As they view the speeches, they should take notes on the following issues. Students will eventually use this information to predict which priorities and plans they Biden Administration will accomplish in the first 100 days.
Challenges Facing the United States
Priorities and Plans for the Biden Administration
Video Clip: President-elect Biden Previews COVID-19 Priorities for his First 100 Days (6:00)
Video Clip: President-elect Biden Economic Priorities (5:06)
Video Clip: President-elect Biden Foreign Policy Priorities (2:53)
Video Clip: President-elect Biden Infrastructure Priorities (5:17)
Video Clip: President-elect Biden Environmental and Energy Priorities (5: 36)
Video Clip: Video Clip: President-elect Biden Education Priorities (6:02)
APPLICATION AND CONCLUSION:
After viewing each of video clips, students will address the prompt below. This can be addressed as a written response or through a class discussion.
Your First 100 Days- Imagine that you are the recently elected president heading into 2021. Develop a plan for what you would want to accomplish in your first 100 days. For each issue, explain why it is important and what obstacles you might have in getting your agenda accomplished.
Researching the Biden Administration Agenda- Select one of the issues featured on the Biden Transition website. For this priority, provide a detailed summary of what the Biden Administration seeks to accomplish. In addition to this summary, provide your opinion of these policies and if they adequately address the problem.
Which priority do you think is the Biden Administration most likely to accomplish in its first 100 days? Which priority do you think is the Biden Administration least likely to accomplish in its first 100 days?
How can the political makeup of Congress impact how successful a president is at accomplishing its goals?