CHECK THE FACTS
With all of the TV advertisements being aired, why not have students investigate the truth and trustworthiness behind the claims and charges being made in various advertisements. A quick Google Search using the term political ad checker revealed three very promising resources. First on the list is FactCheck.org from the Annenberg Public Policy Center. According to the mission statement, their goal is to "apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."
LIVING ROOM CANDIDATE
While this is not a Presidential Election year, by far my favorite election related resources comes from the Museum of the Moving Image and is called THE LIVING ROOM CANDIDATE. This site offers a collection of Presidential Campaign Commercials from 1952-2012. The site presents not only presents the commercial, but provides and explanation and historical context. In addition, the site also has a collection of lesson plans in the FOR TEACHERS section including What Makes An Effective Ad, Developing Critical Analysis, and Playing On Emotions.
REMIX A POLITICAL AD WITH AD MAKER
While this is a great content resource, I think that the really interesting part is the AdMaker. Here you and your students can re-edit a commercial from a presidential campaign or create a new one using historical footage. The site features a web based video editing interface complete with historical video, audio, and images. I think that it is exactly this type of tool that can help students develop a much better understanding or the power of the advertising to manipulate and aid them in becoming more critical consumers of the information that they encounter.