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The 2016 Presidential Election has given teachers a lot to talk about, but with election day approaching, now’s the best time to incorporate it into your classroom.
After pledging to vote yourself, you can invite your students to join in and create a poll about who they would vote for president, or show them a few local propositions and ask them what they’d choose YES or NO on. Feel free to check out Edmodo’s Voting topic for more ideas or discussions.
If you don’t want to bring current politics into your classroom, you can still talk about some relevant topics and activities:
The Electoral College
Plenty of students might be surprised to find out that presidents aren’t elected by popular vote. You can present a quick explanation of the electoral college to them, and then ask them to see how few states a candidate needs to win, or how many states a candidate can take without winning overall.
Check out this Edmodo Spotlight resource from Khan Academy on The Electoral College to give your students a quick overview.
Voting Rights in the United States have changed substantially since the founding fathers. You can set up a classroom activity where students can guess whether different people would have the right to vote on a given date, like this excellent Edmodo Spotlight resource by Andover Education.
You can also show this Spotlight video that covers Voting and Civil Rights Amendments that paved the way for African American men to vote after the Civil War ended.
Women in Politics
The 2016 election is already historic for having the first female major-party nominee for president. You can use this as a springboard for discussing the history of women in politics, from suffrage in the early twentieth century to the first women in congress, to today’s current nominees.
Try showing this video by Crash Course that covers life for women in the 19th century and the birth of the suffragette movement. Then you can have students form their own version of the Seneca Falls Convention and ask them to discuss the problems that women faced at the time versus the problems women face today. If you have the time, you can even have them create their own Declaration of Sentiments.
When a presidential election comes around, how do you use it in your classroom?