President Obama

Actively seek out information that challenges our assumptions
and our beliefs

On May 2, 2010, President Barack Obama gave a commencement speech at Michigan University.

Watch him deliver the speech Video

Read his speech. Remarks by the President at University of Michigan Spring Commencement, May 2, 2010.

The President challenges us to consider the other side...

"Still, if you’re somebody who only reads the editorial page of The New York Times, try glancing at the page of The Wall Street Journal once in a while. If you’re a fan of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, try reading a few columns on the Huffington Post website. It may make your blood boil; your mind may not be changed. But the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship. It is essential for our democracy. Barack Obama

1. Select an issue in which you have already formed an opinion.

Hints: Global warming, Size of Government, Privacy, War, Health Care, Jobs, Unemployment, Going to college/graduating from high school, Internet neutrality, Voting, offshore drilling, Energy issues, Environmental issues...

2. Select a published or commonly aired media resource that is likely to pose the opposite or sharply contrasting opinion or editorial.

Read an opposing editorial on the issue you selected.

3. Evaluate the experience.

a. Describe it - "Did your blood boil?" Have you been rendered blind or deaf? (Obviously a gross exaggeration)

b. Did the editorial/article use accurate facts?

c. Did it change your mind?

d. Have you gained an understanding of where the other side is coming from?


4. Based on your findings and reflections ... what positive actions will you take regarding preserving the Republic?


"But we cannot expect to solve our problems if all we do is tear each other down. You can disagree with a certain policy without demonizing the person who espouses it. You can question someone's views and their judgment without questioning their motives or their patriotism." President Barack Obama

Extend thinking:

Government Integrity - The Power of Facts from the Web | How to track Federal Legislation using THOMAS

Evaluate your Senator or Representative Project | eGovernment - expectations & evaluation

Develop a Personal, Family or School Creed | Community Projects and School Projects

Sunshine Law - the right to know government | Public's Right to Know

Should Legislative District Apportionment decisions be made to advantage a sub group?


Problem Based Learning Projects / Internet Hunts / Nature / Computers / Pennsylvania Projects / Puzzles & Projects / Site map / Home

developed by Cynthia J. O'Hora Released to public domain and Posted 5/2010

tree icon Save a tree - use a digital answer format - Highlight the text. Copy it. Paste it in a word processing document. Save the document in your folder. Answer on the word processing document in a contrasting color (not yellow) or font (avoid blackmore, brodfont dear or other ornate artistic fonts). Save frequently as you work. Or perhaps you have the resources to record verbal answers. If you do, be sure to first read / record the question. Then record the answer immediately after it.

Proof your responses. It is funny how speling errors and typeos sneak in to the bets work. smiling icon