Politics and Public Policy

This unit is designed to provide students with an introduction to the electoral processes of the American political system. Students will develop a strong foundation that will inform them of their choices and encourage civic involvement. The Politics and Public Policy unit guides students to a deep understanding of concepts and processes through simulations, presentations, vocabulary-building activities and a mock election.


Voting Matters Activity

Your students may be too young to register to vote, but it’s never too early to learn about what it takes to get to the ballot!  This activity is a great way to kick off the election season, and promote voter registration in the larger community.  Students will learn about how registration and voting works in their state, and create a flyer to share with someone in their life. National Voter Registration Day is in late September each year, and has a mission of registering voters across the country.

 


The Electoral Process

Take a peek into the electoral process- from party primaries to the general election. Students will learn the distinctions between the popular vote and the Electoral College, and exercise their critical reasoning skills to analyze the differences between the presidential and congressional elections. Students will also contrast the various nomination processes and learn about the role of party conventions in American politics.

Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDF versions of this lesson's activities below!


Win the White House
Play Time: 30+ mins
Run your own presidential campaign- from the debates to the ads to the fundraising!

*NEW* Win the White House Extension Pack

Make your students’ game play more meaningful by using our activity and assessment set designed specifically for Win the White House. This easy-to-use Extension Pack helps you give context and purpose to the game, as well as reinforce and assess the game concepts. That means deeper learning for students, and best practices around game-centered learning for you!  Extension Packs require PowerPoint and are designed for use with projectors or interactive whiteboards. 


Electoral College

Should the U.S. president be elected by the Electoral College or the national popular vote? It turns out this argument has been going on for a long time – all the way back to the Founding Fathers! Now your students can engage in an evidence-based evaluation of the issue. And in the end, they’ll have to write a effective argument about how our electoral system should work! 

All the tools for using Drafting Board successfully are right here!


One Big Party?

In One Big Party, students learn about the role of political parties in the United States and the influence parties have in our political system, including the role of third parties. This lesson does not cover political party ideologies.

Use our mini-lesson Party Systems to teach students about the different kinds of political party systems that exist in countries around the world. (Party Systems used to be part of One Big Party but now stands alone.)


Party Systems

Does every country have Republicans and Democrats? (Spoiler alert: No.) Use this mini-lesson to show your students that there are lots of different political party systems around the world.

Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDFs of this lesson's materials below!


Got Ballot?

Covering everything from referendums to recalls, this lesson takes students to the voting booth and explains what they might see on a typical ballot. Students will discover how voters have the opportunity to initiate change in state and local government. 

Does your state let kids under age 18 preregister to vote so they'll be all set when the time comes? Click here to find out about preregistration, which states allow it, and what the age limits are.


Candidate Evaluation

In this lesson, students evaluate hypothetical candidates by establishing and applying their own criteria for selecting public officials. Through a variety of activities, students assess candidates based on their qualifications, experience, campaign speeches and campaign materials. Students track campaign promises, explore voting records and evaluate the legitimacy of information resources. The role of the media, fundraising and opinion polls in the electoral process is also discussed.


Cast Your Vote
Play Time: 0-15 mins
Run a political debate by choosing the questions and rating candidate responses.
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