TeachersFirst's Resources for Elections

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Whether it is a presidential year or an off-year election cycle, there are many excellent election resources on the web to help your students understand and become involved in the electoral process. This collection highlights the TeachersFirst editors' favorite election resources for all levels.

If you wish to choose from a more extensive list election-related resources or to narrow your list for a specific topic and grade level, use the search tool at the left of this page.

 

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Project Vote Smart - Project Vote Smart

Grades
9 to 12
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Students often are confused about how to choose a candidate to support in an upcoming election. Perhaps they haven't read enough about the candidates and are overly influenced by campaign...more
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Students often are confused about how to choose a candidate to support in an upcoming election. Perhaps they haven't read enough about the candidates and are overly influenced by campaign advertising, or they are just repeating what they have heard at home. This site can help them hone in on a candidate whose views are similar to their own. Enter your zip code, and you have data on each candidate running in your area across 12 different issues. Choose either an issue to explore, or complete a questionnaire to see which candidate's views match your own.

tag(s): elections (75)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the basis of a homework or group assignment: students can write about the candidate they would support in an upcoming election referencing the information found on the site about each candidate's views on specific issues. Take it further and have them create a print ad for their candidate or an online "poster" using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here. Alternatively, the site could be used on an interactive whiteboard as a springboard for a class-wide discussion. Be aware that the site uses a "grassroots" theme, and has a barely audible--and at times annoying--sound track of chirping birds. Turn down the sound if it bothers you.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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You Choose: 2016 Meet the Candidates - PBS

Grades
2 to 5
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Involve your young students in the process of electing our next president. Though designed for grades 3-6, this interactive site could easily be used in part with 7th and 8th ...more
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Involve your young students in the process of electing our next president. Though designed for grades 3-6, this interactive site could easily be used in part with 7th and 8th grades, as well. The three main sections: Meet the Candidates, Trading Cards, Campaign Posters, and Videos, provide opportunities for students to learn about the candidates.

tag(s): elections (75)

In the Classroom

The site is designed for students to explore and participate on their own. Start out with a preview on a projector or interactive whiteboard, then allow students to explore with or without a partner, trying to find answers to specific questions. Challenge students to write down unanswered questions they may have and attempt to research the answers.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Gallup Daily - Gallup, Inc.

Grades
1 to 12
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The Gallup Daily offers detailed information about elections, current events, video clips, and much more. There are also graphs and statistical information. Some of this site...more
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The Gallup Daily offers detailed information about elections, current events, video clips, and much more. There are also graphs and statistical information. Some of this site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): elections (75), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Use this site to share current events with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Study the statistics of the election in your math class. Have a mock election in your class, analyze the results of your class election using graphs and statistics.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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How the President Gets Elected - Factmonster

Grades
4 to 12
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This simple seven-step users' guide is a great refresher for older students and an easy-to-understand introduction for those just learning about the election process. The site explains...more
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This simple seven-step users' guide is a great refresher for older students and an easy-to-understand introduction for those just learning about the election process. The site explains common election terminology (caucus, Electoral College, primary) and outlines requirements that must be met to vote and to run for public office. Use this guide to frame discussions and chart the progress in this year's presidential election.

tag(s): elections (75), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Have your students follow this guide to create a fictitious candidate. Challenge students to create a blog about their mock candidate. What issues are important to your students? Do any of the IRL (Internet lingo for "in real life") candidates share the same views as the students' mock candidate?

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If You Were President - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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Do you think you have what it takes to be the President? Students choose their advisors from profiles offered, balance a budget, propose the budget, and are interviewed by the ...more
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Do you think you have what it takes to be the President? Students choose their advisors from profiles offered, balance a budget, propose the budget, and are interviewed by the press. The final, printable page presents a newspaper highlighting the student's presidency and choices.

tag(s): elections (75), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

If possible, have your students work on individual computers to complete this presidential assignment. Have students print off their newspaper page and share them with the class. Extend the assignment by having them create a newspaper with similar articles about a real presidential candidate and what he/she might do if elected. Use a tool like Printing Press, reviewed here, to create the newspaper.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Opensecrets.org - Open Secrets

Grades
9 to 12
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A compilation of data about fund-raising and the financing of political candidates in the United States, this site contains a massive amount of information. You can drill down to the...more
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A compilation of data about fund-raising and the financing of political candidates in the United States, this site contains a massive amount of information. You can drill down to the zip code level and find out who in your local area is donating how much to which political candidates and parties. You can search by politician or by candidates and see where their financial support comes from. You can track particular issues or take a historical look at campaign and political finance.

tag(s): elections (75), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Put this site on your TeachersFirst favorites list or teacher web page so students can use it for research on political candidates and issues. Civics teachers will find it useful in demonstrating the importance of lobbying and campaign finance in the political arena. Economics teachers can use these data to illustrate the connection between wealth and political power. Teachers doing lessons focused on the upcoming elections can track current Presidential candidates and their major contributors.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections - Dave Leip

Grades
6 to 12
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This site has many interactive ways to learn about the history of U.S. elections: interactive maps, discussion boards, predictions, polling data, and much more. Some of the tools may...more
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This site has many interactive ways to learn about the history of U.S. elections: interactive maps, discussion boards, predictions, polling data, and much more. Some of the tools may invite less mature students to enter into discussion boards inappropriately. Even so, it is an interesting and useful resource for students studying the history of U.S. elections or political parties.

tag(s): elections (75), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use some of the interactive maps on a projector or interactive whiteboard or enter into the discussion boards as a class with ONE shared posting and watch the responses as a group.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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