Andrew Jackson Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Use this lesson plan to teach students about the campaigns of Andrew Jackson. Explore the concept of the common man and dirty politics. Finish up with a high-level thinking activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define key terms
  • describe the impact of the election of 1828
  • compare and contrast the election of 1828 to modern elections


1 hour


  • text books or historical documents
  • graphic organizers

Key Vocabulary

  • corrupt bargain
  • caucus
  • watershed moment
  • electoral college
  • amity
  • common man

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.3

Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.9

Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4

Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


  • Prepare for this lesson by having students read the lesson John Quincy Adams as President: Facts & Accomplishments, focusing on 'The Presidency' section, Andrew Jackson, and the term 'corrupt bargain' for homework the night before.
  • For a warm up exercise, ask students to write about the 'corrupt bargain'. Discuss the term, why Jackson used it, and if it was valid. Share and defend opinions.
  • Tell students they will be exploring Andrew Jackson's campaign in 1828. Ask students to share ideas of what the term 'common man' refers to, then show our video lesson President Andrew Jackson and the Age of the Common Man.
  • Have students take notes, or print copies of the lesson's transcripts and have students highlight.
  • After the video, break students into small groups. If desired, assign roles to groups, such as the recorder, the speaker, and the questioner.
  • Ask them to:
    • Discuss the evolution of the two party system. How and why did this come about?
    • List the changes that occurred due to the 1828 election.
    • Decide what role the common man had in Jackson's election and presidency.
    • Discuss how the idea of the common man has changed.
  • Share answers as a whole group.


  • Discuss current campaign strategies and practices, such as advertisements on television and print, and campaign speeches.
  • Tell students they will compare and contrast the campaign and election of 1828 to modern campaign and election practices.
  • Allow students to work in small groups, partners, or individuals as your class needs dictate.
  • Provide resources if necessary, such as copies of related lessons (see below), text books or historical documents. Allow students to use graphic organizers if necessary, such as a Venn diagram or t-chart.
  • Allow students to present information in a way of their choosing, such as a skit, presentation, using technology, or speech.
  • Encourage students to support and evaluate one another's work.


  • Research campaigns for the past 100 years. Examine video and photographs as well as historical documents. How has campaigning changed throughout the years?
  • Invite historians to speak in your classroom to discuss campaign practices or Andrew Jackson.
  • Look closely at voter numbers in the election of 1828 and compare to current statistics. Compare and contrast. Discuss.

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