Contested Ballots: You Be the Judge

This lesson uses the example of the 2008 contested Senate election between Al Franken and Norm Coleman in Minnesota to discuss contested elections, counting votes, and recount laws. Looks at recount laws in your own state.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Voting and Elections in Early America

Google Cultural Institute exhibit by Constitutional Rights Foundation & Barat Education Foundation’s Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program. Long before the pilgrims landed, voting and elections were taking place in America. For example, the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, a powerful alliance of Native American tribes who inhabited territory west of the Colonies, had established a system of representative government sometime around 1500 that lasted until the Revolutionary War. Women played a prominent role in choosing its political leaders.

  • Resource Type: Interactives, Media, Photography, Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Presidential Campaign Memorabilia on DocsTeach

This page includes a variety of primary sources in the form of artifacts, photographs, documents, and more; as well as additional online resources. Themes highlight political memorabilia from presidential campaigns from the 1850s through the 1990s. Items come from the holdings of the Presidential Libraries of the National Archives.

  • Resource Type: Editorial Cartoons, Lesson Plans, Media, Modules (Teaching Unit), Photography, Primary Sources, Video
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Voting: Should voting be compulsory in our democracy?

Free and fair elections are essential to a democracy. Through voting, people express their views about government. They choose leaders who will improve their country and community. But what happens when people choose not to vote? Does that indicate democracy is thriving or failing? What, if anything, should be done to improve voter turnout? This lesson provides students with background information and arguments for and against making voting compulsory.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Decoding Elections: Getting Counted

Throughout U.S. history, Americans have silently stewed and actively protested that presidential elections are unfair and fixed against them. Do they have a point? In this lesson, students will understand why people are critical of the political process. They will discuss the topic: Do all voters have an equal voice in American democracy? Registration at NewseumED is required to view this resource.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Open Captions, Photography, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Decoding Elections: Media Mayhem

See how the candidates, special interest groups and news outlets compete to get their narrative of the campaign heard – and evaluate the value of seeking multiple sources of information about the candidates and their campaigns. Registration at NewseumED is required to view this resource.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Crisis in Venezuela

The United States historically had strong diplomatic and economic relations with Venezuela. Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves and is the third largest source of imported oil for the U.S. For decades, Venezuela was a democratic state. The positive relationship between the U.S. and Venezuela changed in 1998. Venezuelans elected Hugo Chavez president that year. His political program was known as Chavismo.

  • Resource Type: Descriptive Text, Interactives, Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Should Our State Require Photo ID for In-Person Voting?

The right to vote is a fundamental right, protected by the U.S. Constitution. But there are limits to this right, and states can establish reasonable restrictions on time, place, and manner of voting. This deliberation lesson sets up the question of whether states should require a photo ID to vote at the polls.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Is the System Fair?

Throughout U.S. history, Americans have silently stewed and actively protested that presidential elections are unfair and fixed against them. Do they have a point?

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Debate Watching Guide

This lesson is designed to help students view political debates. The resources provided support the critical evaluation of the candidate’s performances. Body language, demeanor, appearance and positions on key issues are analyzed in an attempt to help students determine the importance of debates to the election cycle. This lesson could be used in class or as a homework assignment.

  • Resource Type: Audio, Editorial Cartoons, Essays, Lesson Plans, Surveys, Video
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12