13 Free Election Resources you can use in the Classroom

Election 2012 is just a few days away. Have your students been watching the debates? Are they talking about the electoral process? Do they understand the history and importance of voting?

Check out these great web resources about voting, the candidates, and the Electoral College that you can use in the classroom or pass along to your parents.

1. A History of Voting YouTube Video

This 3.5-minute video provides a concise and easy-to-understand history of voting and voting rights. Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, Grammy Award winning artist John Legend, “Glee??? star Darren Criss and R&B singer Bridget Kelly speak directly to the audience to educate them about the importance of exercising their right to vote.

2. Eight Steps to the White House

This animated look at the major stops on the road to the white house is a useful tool offered by CNN. They also offer other useful tools like “Ask a President??? and “Campaign Trail Jargonbuster.???

3. Candidate Match Game

With USA Today’s Candidate Match Game, your students can learn more about their positions and find out which candidate they agree with most on key issues as the face of President Obama or Mitt Romney shifts across the screen depending on the answers they choose.

4. Political Party Quiz

Students can take a twelve question national survey conducted by the Pew Research Center to see where they fit on the partisan political spectrum.

5. Following the U.S. Presidential Election

The Choices Program offers a free lesson that builds students’ media literacy skills by having them compare sources as they analyze the news.

6. Election Dashboard

Similar to the New York Times’ Electoral College Map, the Huffington Post’s Election Dashboard gives information about which states are likely to vote for each candidate. It goes one step further in that it provides a little bit more history on the voting record of each state. It’s interesting to see the trends over the years!

7. ProCon.org

The most comprehensive tool for researching the candidate’s stance on issues is this nonpartisan nonprofit. The site provides quotations from President Obama, Mr. Romney and the major third party candidates on more than 60 issues.

8. Electoral College Map

This New York Times’ Electoral College Map shows which states are likely to vote for each candidate, and highlights the “toss ups,??? while providing information on why they’re so tightly contested.

9. MTV’s Fantasy Election

An online game styled after the ultra-popular fantasy football leagues. Participants draft a team of presidential and Congressional candidates and rack up points based on how well the candidates perform in various categories such as transparency and honesty.

10. iSideWith

Have your students take iSideWith’s short quiz on important political topics to find out which candidate most closely holds their political views.

11. 
 Scholastic’s Election 2012 Classroom Magazine

This collection of kid-friendly resources is home to breaking election news, a “what you need to know??? section, lesson plans and even several useful videos.

12. BrainPOP

Animated videos, games and lesson plans that teach lessons about the electoral process. The site also features a special section for K-3 election resources.

13. PBS Learning Media

A collection of classroom-ready content and material about the election. The election-focused digital resources are available to K-12 classrooms and educators nationwide. Features include a student-aimed Elections 2012 newscast, a multimedia glossary, interactive digital games, and lesson plans geared toward high school students and teachers.

How do you teach your kids about voting and the upcoming election? Let us know.

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