When I taught U.S. Government, I made my students watch the State of the Union address every year. My little secret – I often didn’t watch it myself. (Gasp!) Some years I was in class myself. Other years, I didn’t want to end up yelling at my TV. Let’s face it – the SOTU can be a bit of a slog. While the speech itself only lasts 30 minutes, the President is constantly interrupted by applause. It ends up lasting over an hour. And depending on your politics, that can be a really long hour.
To force myself to watch each year, I started playing bingo with my students. (Shout out to the National Constitutional Center for giving me the idea!) I made multiple boards and randomly handed them out to students. We would all watch the the speech and mark our cards. BTW, trying to follow the speech and pay attention to 4 cards at the same time was an adventure for me! I gave candy to those students who had the winning card. Students were more engaged with the speech, which lead to better discussion in class about the President’s policy agenda.
Even though I’m no longer teaching, I’ve made 4 different boards for this year’s State of the Union address. Each has phrases that might be said or things that could happen Tuesday night. Happy watching (and try not to throw anything at your TV)!
If you play, in the comments below let me know which card wins and what time EST!