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An Up Close Look at Kim Reynolds

Lesson Plan Item

General Information
Grade 12th Grade Class Government Length of Lesson
Lesson Title An Up Close Look at Kim Reynolds
Unit Title An Up Close Look at Iowa's Government
Unit Compelling Question How do politicians represent Iowa at the national and state level?
Historical Context:

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds was born in St. Charles, Madison County, Iowa in 1959. Madison County is located in south central, Iowa, and is home to around 16,000 people.  St. Charles has a population under 800 people.  Her father worked as a farmer and in the John Deere Factory. 

Reynolds served four terms as the Clarke County Treasurer.  In 2008 she was elected to the Iowa Senate and was a member of five committees: Economic Growth, Environment & Energy Independence, Local Government, Rebuild Iowa, Transportation, and Appropriations Subcommittee. 


In 2010 she was elected Lieutenant Governor as part of the Republican ticket with Governor Terry Branstad.  She served until 2017, when Governor Branstad stepped down to become United States Ambassador to China, at which time Reynolds became Governor of Iowa.  In 2018 she became Iowa's first elected female governor.


This automatic voting machine was used in Shelby County, Iowa until the late 20th century. This machine's patent dates to June of 1911 and was produced by the Automatic Registering Machine Company in Jamestown, New York. The machine itself is a dark, forest green color and includes a matching green curtain. When voters came to cast their ballots, the machine would be switched on and the voter would pull the large lever overhead, which would open the machine for voting and close the outer curtain for privacy. Candidates were chosen with levers and write in candidates were inserted through slots at the top of the voting machine. When voters were done, they would pull the overhead leaver again, opening the curtain, and submitting their votes.

~ Teaching Iowa History Team
Lesson Supporting Question Who is Kim Reynolds? What did she accomplish as Lieutenant Governor? What are her policy positions as Governor? How is she shaping local and national government? How does her election as governor affect the lives of every Iowan? What are her positions on various political issues facing Iowa and the nation?
Lesson Overview

Students will research Kim Reynolds, the newly elected governor of Iowa

Primary Sources Used
Resources Needed



PDF icon kim_reynolds_worksheet.pdf, PDF icon rubric_kim_reynolds_paper.pdf, PDF icon unit_concept_map.pdf
Lesson Target
Lesson Themes Lawmaking, Political System
Lesson Procedure
Step Procedure Time Differentiation plan / Additional Information
1 Have voting machine picture on the board and ask students to write down
what they think this is.
2 Explain that this is the first ever voting machine and with the recent 2018
midterms things have changed a lot. Ask "How do we vote today?" (In
person, computer, absentee)
3 Play campaign ad (Kim Reynolds)    
4 Have students begin writing down things that stand out to them, and share
with class.
5 Short discussion on video.    
6 Research on Kim Reynolds    
7 Hand out worksheet with 5 questions that should guide research.    
8 Give students 15-20 minutes to answer the given questions thinking about
how this could affect her political affiliation.
9 Research on political stance and action    
10 Have students select a political issue and look up Kim Reynolds position on
the issue.
11 Homework - students will write a one page paper that discusses the
selected issue. Students will be graded based on the rubric.
Formative Assessment
(How will you use the formative assessments to monitor and inform instruction?)
  • Students will fill out the given worksheet that has research questions. Answers will be graded based upon accuracy of the questions.
Summative Assessment
(How does the lesson connect to planned summative assessment(s)?)
  • The material gained throughout this lesson will be used to create a 1 page analytical paper that discusses Kim Reynolds background and her political background.
Author Information
Author Logan Benson Reviewer Dr. Lisa Millsaps, University of Northern Iowa Created 03/27/2019 Last Edited 08/22/2019
Lesson Plan Development Notes: Teaching Methods, University of Northern Iowa, Fall 2018

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