Voting

In a democracy, making your voice heard is as simple as casting your vote! The idea of giving people a say in government goes all the way back to Ancient Greece. Democracy took a winding path to the system we know today, with a stopover in the Roman Republic, and a really long hiatus—until the Founding Fathers brought it back into style! But even the lofty ideals of the American experiment fell short of a true democracy. For much of the history of the United States, voting was limited to white men only. It took nearly 200 years for women and African Americans to win the right to vote. And make no mistake, voting is more than just a right—it's a responsibility! Elected representatives make decisions about everything from taxes to the minimum wage to declarations of war, so voting affects everyone. Still, less than half of all eligible voters turn out in any given election. So, what can you do about it? Stay informed about important issues, circle Election Day on the calendar, and get your grown-ups to the polls. And get ready: citizens can vote at age 18!

Parliamentary System Lesson Plan: Determining a Government for a New Country

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 6-12, students explore BrainPOP resources to discover what a parliamentary system of government is and how it compares and contrasts with the system of government in the United States. Using what they learn about the two systems, students will write a speech persuading a new country to consider either a parliamentary system or a system like that of the United States.    This lesson plan is aligned to Common Core State Standards.  See more »

From Primary to General Election Lesson Plan: Win the White House

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 5-12, students first watch the movie Presidential Election and then play Win the White House. The game invites students to take on the role of a presidential candidate from primary season through the general election, strategically managing time and resources to win as many electoral votes as she or he can over the 10-week campaign. This lesson plan is aligned to Common Core State Standards.  See more »

The Electoral Process Lesson Plan: Path to Be the President

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 6-8, students use BrainPOP resources to explore the requirements to be President of the United States. Students will also investigate the basics of the election process and analyze data collected from a survey. This lesson plan is aligned to Common Core State Standards.  See more »

The Election Lesson Plan: Your Rights as a Citizen

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-5, students use BrainPOP resources to explore their rights as citizens. Students will explain what a democracy is and its advantages and disadvantages, and make inferences about what America would be like without democracy.  Students then demonstrate their understanding of the voting process, political parties, and candidates through the creation of wikis. This lesson plan is aligned to Common Core State Standards.  See more »

Informed Voting Lesson Plan: Let’s Vote For Our President

In this multi-day lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-5, students use BrainPOP resources to talk, draw, and write about the rights and responsibilities of a good citizen. Students will identify and choose which presidential candidate they would vote for during the upcoming presidential election, and exercise the right to vote by dramatizing a presidential election. This lesson plan is aligned to Common Core State Standards.  See more »

Democracy Lesson Plan: Comparing Direct and Representative Democracies

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 6 through 8, students use BrainPOP resources to explore the differences between a direct democracy and representative democracy. Students will also investigate the meaning and significance of key vocabulary terms, including democracy, citizens, aristocrats, oligarchy and tyrant. This lesson plan is aligned to Common Core State Standards.  See more »

The Electoral Process Lesson Plan: Choosing the President of the US

In this two-day lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 6 through 8, students use BrainPOP resources to explore the full process of the presidential election. Students will analyze political beliefs and how they impact citizens' lives and the outcome of elections. They will also compare and contrast the two major political parties, and describe the opportunities for and benefits of civic participation. This lesson plan is aligned to Common Core State Standards.  See more »

Election Lesson Plan: Cast Your Vote!

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 6-12, students use BrainPOP resources to collect information on the two political parties and compare and contrast them. Students develop an understanding of the voting process and design a mock election. They then create materials to illustrate their own original political parties and platforms. This lesson plan is aligned to Common Core State Standards.  See more »
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