Presidential Campaigning--Front Porch Style

Presidential Campaigning--Front Porch Style
Florence Harding: Law, Politics and Govt

Skill: Elementary School
Time Required: One to two class periods


 During President Harding’s election campaign, the method of communication was drastically different from campaign efforts of today.  He was one of few to use the front porch as a meeting place for speeches and promotional events.  Mrs. Harding was very supportive of his election endeavors.  At one time, he was going to drop out of the race, but partly due to his wife’s encouragement, he pushed on, winning the election.  There is no doubt that Mrs. Harding helped in the ‘presentation’ of her home and, most specifically, the porch, as the ‘front porch campaign’ was under full swing.


Students will investigate the differences and similarities of past “Front Porch” campaigns versus the modern day traveling campaign.  Students will develop a model of a front porch for a presidential campaign. 

Materials Required:

Internet access (website suggestions listed in resources) Computer(s) (to allow student to research topic further) Drawing utensils (or computer drawing program) Paper (could be regular or construction paper) Printer (optional use for printing final projects)


1.  Introduce students to the activity by asking them if they have a front porch (or back porch) and how they utilize it. 

2.  Explain that President Harding used his front porch as a campaign platform during his election.  Have a discussion to compare and contrast the difference between the front porch campaign and modern campaigns.  Explain to students how the First Lady plays an integral role in the campaign during an election.

3.  Ask students to either draw (using utensils or computer program) their front porch or design one within groups or individually, and decorate it as they think Mr. and Mrs. Harding might have for the front porch campaign.

Extending the Lesson:

  • Have students imagine that they are running for president and write a mini-speech to correlate with their new front porch.
  • Have students present their designs to the class as a “show and tell” day.

Sources & Resources:



This lesson was developed by Marian Maxfield, Kent State University