Friday, November 20, 2009

Swing Vote: Elections

This movie is surprisingly good. Because Brazilian elections are completely different from American's, this scene is perfect to practice vocabulary about elections and conversation. It is great at election times. I hope you like it. My students did.

A. Match the vocabulary and its definition:

1. polls

2. candidate

3. ballot

4. platform

5. campaign

6. party

7. running mate

8. swing vote

( ) a document listing all the alternatives that is used in voting

( ) the place where people vote

( ) a race between candidates for an elective office

( ) a person who is running for office

( ) the person a presidential candidate will choose to run for vice-president

( ) the vote that unties an election

( ) a statement of principles and objectives used during a campaign to win support from voters

( ) a group of persons with common political opinions and purposes

B. Now fill in the blanks with the words in Exercise A.

1.Everyone needs to go to the ________to vote.

2. Each political party nominates a_____________.

3. He put his vote in the __________ box.

4. The candidate simply ignored the party _______________ and followed his own ideas.

5. An organized effort to gain votes is a _____________.

6. Each political ___________selects a candidate.

7. The vice-presidential candidate is the ____________.

8. Because each of the candidates had 5 votes, mine will be the ___________.

Answer key:

A: 3, 1 5, 2, 7, 8, 4, 6

B: 1. polls, 2. candidate, 3. ballot, 4. platform, 5. campaign, 6. party, 7. running mate, 8. swing vote

B. Interview each other:

1. Do you like to vote?

2. Is it important to vote? Why?

3. Do you remember who you voted for in the previous elections? And for representatives?

4. Should voting be mandatory? Why (not)?

5. What are the best and worst things about elections?

C. Watch the movie segment from the movie Swing Vote. Then describe everything the little girl did on the American presidential election day. Make sure you use the vocabulary you have learned.


D. Talk to a partner:

1. Do you think that what happened in the segment could possibly happen during the elections in your country? Why (not) ?

2. What would the consequences of her act be if the elections were in your country?

3. Is the voting process in your country similar to the one in the segment (USA)? How different is it?

E. Watch the second segment and answer the questions:


1. What were the consequences of the power failure?

2. How did the candidates react? Would it be different if they were in your country?

3. What do you think the candidates are going to do to convince that citizen to trust him his ballot?

4. What would you do if you had the the swing vote?