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The State of the Union Address. Business Education. Learning Targets. Students will: D iscuss the elements of a successful political speech. W atch President Obama’s State of the Union Address. Evaluate the President’s speech. Criteria for Success. Students will:

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learning targets
Learning Targets

Students will:

  • Discuss the elements of a successful political speech.
  • Watch President Obama’s State of the Union Address.
  • Evaluate the President’s speech.
criteria for success
Criteria for Success

Students will:

  • Participate in the class discussion.
  • Accurately complete the worksheets analyzing the State of the Union address.
building background knowledge
Building Background Knowledge
  • Who watched the State of the Union last night?
  • Why did you watch it?
  • What does “The STATE of THEUNION” mean to you?
  • Why do all Presidents make this speech every year?
  • Can the President choose whether or not to give the speech?
purpose of the state of the union
Purpose of The State of the Union
  • The purpose of the State of the Union (and the State of the State) is:
  • To fulfill expectations of the U.S. Constitution
    • One of the duties of the President is to report to Congress (Article II, Section III).
purpose of the state of the union1
Purpose of The State of the Union
  • As chief executive officer (CEO), the president helps guide policy by proposing the creation of laws.
  • The president can use this speech to explain his ideas to Congress and to encourage Congress to pass certain pieces of legislation.
  • Congress in “in session” from January through December (fiscal year). Bills are voted on throughout the calendar year.
purpose of the state of the union2
Purpose of The State of the Union
  • As CEO, the president can propose new initiatives.
  • He also uses the State of the Union to speak directly to the American people.
  • He can try to gain public support for new programs.
history of the state of the union
History of The State of the Union
  • See handout.
  • This speech has become more important due to mass and social media.
  • All of the major television networks pre-empt regular shows in order to broadcast The State of the Union address.
the speech
The Speech
  • Who writes the president’s speech?
president has a team
President has a TEAM
  • The president has a staff of advisors, researchers, and speechwriters, who help him write the speech.
  • Key to leadership is surrounding yourself with good, smart, ethical people who bring various skills to the table.
interesting facts designated survivor
Interesting facts-Designated Survivor
  • At every year’s State of the Union address, one cabinet official known as the “designated survivor” is asked to sit out the speech and watch from a distant location.
  • 1. Who and Why?

A designated survivor is a cabinet-level official appointed during the State of the Union every year in order to maintain the continuity of government should a “calamity” happen while all other members of the federal government are in a single location.

interesting facts designated survivor1
Interesting facts-Designated Survivor
  • 2. Line of succession: According to the detailed line of succession,
    • the vice president takes over if something happens to the president, followed by:
    • the Speaker of the House;
    • the president pro tempore of the Senate; the Secretary of State;
    • the Treasury Secretary;
    • the Defense secretary; the Attorney General; and all the way down the line of cabinet officials.
    • The designated survivor takes over if all parties in that line are wiped out.
designated survivor
Designated Survivor
  • 3. Presidential Security: The designated official is given presidential level security in an undisclosed location for the night. A military aide also accompanies the cabinet official, equipped with a briefcase containing the nuclear war plan.
  • 4. Cold War Concerns: Presidential succession and government continuity emerged as a huge concern in the Cold War era, when the possibility of a devastating nuclear attack against Americans hovered uncomfortably over the U.S. government.
  • 5. Tradition: The practice of appointing a designated survivor during State of the Union addresses dates back to (at least) the 1960s. The selection of the designated survivor was not customarily made public until the 1980s.
designated survivor1
Designated Survivor
  • 6. Mini Legislature: Since 2003, Members of Congress from each chamber have also been asked to sit out the State of the Union speech to maintain legislative succession.
  • 7. Secrecy: Each year’s designated survivor must keep their selection under wraps until the night of the speech.
  • 8. Inaugurations: State of the Union addresses aren’t the only occasion in which designated survivors are used. During President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, the outgoing Bush administration and the incoming Obama administration agreed to name then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates the designated survivor. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki was the designated survivor for last year’s inauguration.
  • 9. She’s a survivor: In 2010, both Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan missed the SOTU. Although Donovan was the official designated survivor, Clinton would have been next in the presidential line of succession.
  • 10. Last year: The designated survivor in 2013 was Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
body language
Body Language
what are elements of a good speech
What are elements of a good speech?
  • Content
  • Rhetoric
  • Style of delivery
  • Tone of voice
  • Coherence
  • What makes a speech easy to understand?
so what
So what…
  • Why does this matter to you…
    • As a high school student?
    • As a contributing member of society?
    • As a future employee or business owner or leader?
    • As a future parent or guardian?
apply it
Apply it!
  • Using the worksheet provided make PREDICTIONS. Turn and talk with your table partners about possible topics and issues the president might discuss, such as taxes, Social Security, healthcare, education, the war on terrorism, the economy, welfare, the environment, energy, domestic security, etc. (If you saw the speech listen attentively and provide clues to classmates.). Complete “BEFORE THE SPEECH”.
  • Watch the Speech and make notes “during the speech” then complete the “after the speech” reflection.
  • Complete worksheets
    • “President Obama’s State of the Union Assessing the Speech
    • State of the Union Address Worksheet
class reflection
Class Reflection
  • What was the main topic of the speech?
  • What new domestic plans did the President discuss?
  • What Foreign policy plans did the President discuss?
  • What were TWO ideas the President discussed you most agree?
  • What President’s idea do you most disagree?
  • What would you suggest to the President instead?
class reflection1
Class Reflection
  • What member of the President’s cabinet was missing? Why?
  • Based on what you heard, do you think the President is taking the country in a wise direction, why or why not? Offer reasons for your opinions.
  • Who did you see agreeing with the President? Which constituents (groups) did not applaud?
  • In your opinion, what was the most important part of the Speech? Explain.