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

The Constitution in Action – Political Parties and Presidential Electors: The Election of 1800

History is the chronicle of choices made by actors/agents/protagonists in specific contexts. This simulation places students in the Early Republic and asks them to engage in the politics of those times. Acting as either Federalists or Republicans, they will be asked to develop strategies for electing their party’s standard bearer as president, using the Constitution’s complex system of presidential electors to their advantage.

  • Resource Type: Interactives, Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Primary Sources
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • 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

Going for the Jugular

It happens sooner or later in every presidential race: attack ads drown out the promises of positive campaigns. Do these dark battles have any value?

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

Exploring the United States Constitution eBook

Each chapter connects one or more of the billions of primary source documents in the holdings of the National Archives to the principles found in the United States Constitution. These documents exemplify the workings of the three branches of the federal government as laid out in our Constitution. This eBook is available as a Multi-Touch book for iPad and Mac on iTunes, or for PC, Android devices, Mac, iPhone, iPad, or eReader with Scribd.

  • Resource Type: Modules (Teaching Unit), Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Constitutional Index – Presidential Election Clause

The Constitutional Index breaks down the U.S. Constitution by Section, Amendment, and Clause and contains broader topics and themes. These are used to cross-reference Library resources in an effort to annotate constitutional history.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Who Elects the President? Understanding the Electoral College

The election of 2000 marked the third time since the Civil War that the presidential candidate who won the popular vote did not win the electoral vote and therefore did not become President. Despite the discussion prompted by this controversial election, many citizens still do not fully understand how the electoral college functions. This three-part lesson helps students understand how the electoral college works and why the Founders included this structure in the Constitution.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8

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

Destination White House: Grades 3-5

This lesson is designed to be used in conjunction with the National Constitution Center’s Destination White House show, which is available as part of themed museum packages for groups and the Traveling History & Civics Program for schools.

Together, they provide an in-depth look at presidential elections, specifically the role of television commercials in campaigning.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: 3, 4, 5