The Purpose of Political Parties

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 10978

A political party is not held for the President's birthday; it's a group of people who want to influence government. Create an essay or slides using info from a rapid-fire video and custom worksheet!


United States

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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What comes to mind when you hear the term "political party"? Do you see specific images or think of a particular terminology? Or, maybe an animal?

Take a moment to discuss with your parent or teacher what the term "political party" means to you.

Or, write or draw what comes to mind on a piece of paper and explain what you wrote or drew.

As you probably know, political parties have nothing to do with things that are typically associated with parties, such as celebrations, balloons and streamers, and music. Rather, political parties are groups of people who influence the way the American government operates.

Today, in the first Related Lesson of our Political Parties and American Government series, you will discover exactly what a political party is and why we have several parties in the United States.

Maybe you heard the term "political parties" on the news. Today, political parties define our political ideology and the way we participate in government. You may wonder, "What is a political party and what does it do?"

Political parties consist of a group of people who try to control government so legislation they think is important can be enacted. Watch the Crash Course video Political Parties: Crash Course Government and Politics #40 (below). Throughout the video, the narrator will provide the five main objectives of political parties. Write down each of the objectives as you recognize them in the video:

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Did you write down all five purposes of political parties? According to the video, the five main roles of political parties are:

  1. Recruit candidates.
  2. Nominate candidates.
  3. Get out the vote.
  4. Facilitate electoral choice.
  5. Influence national government.

Share this list with an adult. Ask the adult to explain ways they have seen political parties work.

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