The 2016 Election cycle is an excellent opportunity to teach students more about the political system and how we elect a president.
There are a wide range of lesson plans and digital resources available for teachers who want to give their students a chance to learn about the election. So whether teachers want to delve into the differences between the Democratic and Republican caucuses, explain the electoral college, highlight the importance of voting, or illustrate a candidate’s opinion on issues such as healthcare or immigration reform, there is plenty available to keep students busy and learning.
The videos below are great examples of how to use animation to explain complex topics.
Simplifying Complex Topics with Animation
Schoolhouse Rock Electoral College:
BIPAC uses GoAnimate to explain the Democratic caucus
Last year, we added the 2016 candidates to the Business Friendly theme. As you can imagine, we’ve had to make some additions since that release, and now the video maker contains Barack & Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, all of the Supreme Court justices, and the current presidential candidates.
If students want to create their own customized candidates, they can also do that in the character creator. Students can make videos about the debates, election issues, and demonstrate their understanding while, at the same time, being creative.
Election Resources & Lesson Plans
Following the candidates’ progress is fun and easy with this lesson plan from PBS. It gives teachers options for tracking the progress of the election and promotes student engagement.
For an in-depth look at the electoral college, Gilder Lehrman has created a series of lesson plans, entitled “How We Elect a President: The Electoral College” as well as a database of when the election results are available, and even an interactive presidential timeline.
Voting is where it’s at, and Learn Everything About Voting: Citizens, Not Spectators is a program from the Center for Civic Education that takes the guesswork out of voting. Issues covered are how to become an informed vote, voter registration, and how voting works.
Teachers can create lesson plans that will give students the opportunity to learn about the political process in the United States, as well as the means to showcase their knowledge in a variety of formats, allowing them to better understand and engage with important current events.
Happy Election Season!