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Early Childhood and Lower School
How Voting Works with Daniel Tiger (Videos)
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood explains how voting works, shows students how adults vote when they are at the voting booth, and how voting can make a difference. (PBS)
Arthur Election (Videos)
Students can watch ARTHUR, The Election the week of October 26 on pbskids.org and discover how to overcome obstacles in order to take civic action for causes they care about. (PBS)
Brainpop and Elections
Understanding the U.S. election process is central to understanding the country’s history and culture. Help your students make sense of elections and the forces that shape them with this collection of relevant content, including learning games from Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s iCivics.
It’s one of the most powerful jobs in the world! In this BrainPOP movie, Tim and Moby introduce you to what it means to be the President of the United States of America! (from Brain Pop)
Articles and Databases for Early Childhood and Lower School
President's job, Who can be President and How we elect a President. (Ask your Librarian for the user name and password to access) (from Pebble Go)
What Does Voting Mean, Who Do We Vote For?, Voting History, Who Can Vote?, How We Vote. (Ask your Librarian for the user name and password to access) (from Pebble Go)
Books and More for EC and LS
Vote for Me! by
Call Number: Lower School Library PIC CLA
Publication Date: 2020-02-04
The donkey wants your vote. So does the elephant. And each will do just about anything to win your support. Brag? Sure! Flatter? Absolutely! Exaggerate, name-call, make silly promises and generally act childish? Yes, yes, yes and yes. Soon, the tension mounts, and these two quarrelsome candidates resort to slinging mud (literally) and flinging insults. And what happens when the election results are in? Well, let's just say the donkey and the elephant are in for a little surprise -- and a certain bewhiskered, third-party candidate is in for a first term. Vote for Me! is a timely satire of American politics, but it's a story readers of all nationalities and ages will recognize. Grades PreK - 2.
What Can a Citizen Do? by
Call Number: Lower School Library 323.65 EGG
Publication Date: 2018-09-11
Rhyming text explores citizenship, showing readers how seemingly unrelated actions, such as planting a tree or joining a cause can create a community. Grades PreK - 3 (Lexile 340).
V Is for Voting by
Publication Date: 2020-07-21
V Is for Voting is an ABC book that introduces progressive families to concepts like social justice and civil rights and reminds readers that every vote counts!
A is for active participation.
B is for building a more equal nation.
C is for citizens' rights and our duty.
D is for difference, our strength and our beauty.
An engaging introduction to the tenets of democracy, V Is for Voting is a playful, poetic, and powerful primer about the importance of voting and activism. Featuring Kate Farrell's rhyming text and Caitlin Kuhwald's bold art, plus thoughtful back matter, the book is a gorgeous, and crucial, addition to every young reader's library. Grades PreK - 1.
Democracy for Dinosaurs by
Publication Date: 2020-09-08
Using accessible dinosaur characters and clear language, Democracy for Dinosaurs explores key civic values on every adult's mind and helps show young readers how the things they do every single day can be guided by principles we must share in a democratic society: freedom, fairness, the rule of law, equality, respect for free speech, and respect for the truth. By modeling accessible ways to practice being a good citizen, children will understand they are part of their country and that they have an important role to play. Grades K - 2.
Vote for Our Future! by
Call Number: Lower School Library PIC MCN
Publication Date: 2020-02-18
Every two years, on the first Tuesday of November, Stanton Elementary School closes for the day. For vacation? Nope! For repairs? No way! Stanton Elementary School closes so that it can transform itself into a polling station. People can come from all over to vote for the people who will make laws for the country. Sure, the Stanton Elementary School students might be too young to vote themselves, but that doesn't mean they can't encourage their parents, friends, and family to vote! After all, voting is how this country sees change--and by voting today, we can inspire tomorrow's voters to change the future. Grades K - 3.
I Voted by
Call Number: Lower School Library PIC SHU
Publication Date: 2020-01-21
I Voted explains the concept of choosing, individually, and as a group, from making a simple choice: "Which do you like better, apples or oranges?", to selecting a class pet, to even more complicated decisions, like electing community representatives. Grades PreK - 3.
What's the Big Deal about Elections by
Call Number: Lower School Library 324.6 SHA
Publication Date: 2020-08-25
Did you know that we have more than ninety thousand state and local governments in the US? Or that Election Day celebrations two hundred years ago featured marching bands and bonfires? How about that George Washington was our only president who ran unopposed?
Elections allow adult citizens the chance to choose how our cities, states, and country are run. Even kids who can't vote yet can make their voices heard by helping the candidates they like get votes! Our elections can seem complicated, but at their core they're all about having a say in our own lives and future. In this fun and fact-filled chapter book, readers learn just how important being an active participant in our democracy can be through one simple message: Elections matter, and we can all play our part.
Grades 1 - 4 (Lexile 1030).
Middle and Upper School
Setting Ground Rules - Civil Discourse and Difficult Decisions
Use these ground rules and the examples written by other students to develop your own norms of civil discourse. (from United States Courts)
Infographic: 3 Branches of the U.S. Government
Learn the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government and see a lesson plan for teachers. (from USA.gov)
5 Ted-Ed Animations to Watch this Election Season
The first US president was elected in 1789, and while some traditions remain, many voting laws have changed and evolved since then. So, who gets to vote? Why do Americans vote on Tuesdays? And, what’s even on the ballot?
Let’s face it: Politics can be baffling. As important as it is to research the candidates, it’s just as important to understand the political system, so you can be empowered to participate effectively in your government. Here are a few TED-Ed Animations that can help to demystify US elections:
Civics Online Curriculum. Lessons and assessments that help you teach students to evaluate online information (from Stanford History Education Group)
Articles and Databases for Middle and Upper School
U.S. Presidential Campaign - 2020
Full coverage of the candidates during the 2020 presidential campaign, as well as the primaries, the conventions, the debates, and the election and aftermath. (Ask your Librarians for user name and password) (from NewsBank)
NewsBank Database. UPDATED DAILY
(Ask your Librarians for user name and password)
ABC-CLIO Database (Ask your Librarians for user name and password)
Books and More for MS and US
America's Electoral College: Choosing the President by
Call Number: Schlesinger Library 324.6097 3 SHE
Publication Date: 2007-07-15
Describes how the electoral college works and answers such questions as "What is the difference between the popular vote and the electoral vote?" and "Why doesn't the popular vote decide the election?"
Call Number: Schlesinger Library 320.6097 3 AND
Publication Date: 2011-07-19
A primer of critical events in American history and the structure of the U.S. government provides insight into the American electoral system, the world economy, the role religion plays in world conflicts and America's place in world affairs
Fault Lines in the Constitution by
Call Number: Schlesinger Library 342.73 LEV
Publication Date: 2017-09-01
Many of the political issues we struggle with today have their roots in the US Constitution. Each chapter in this timely and thoughtful exploration of the Constitution's creation begins with a story-all but one of them true-that connects directly back to a section of the document that forms the basis of our society and government.
Stolen Justice by
Call Number: Schlesinger Library 324.62 GOL
Publication Date: 2020-01-07
"Following the Civil War, the Reconstruction era raised a new question to those in power in the US: Should African Americans, so many of them former slaves, be granted the right to vote? In a bitter partisan fight over the legislature and Constitution, the answer eventually became yes, though only after two constitutional amendments, two Reconstruction Acts, two Civil Rights Acts, three Enforcement Acts, the impeachment of a president, and an army of occupation. Yet, even that was not enough to ensure that African American voices would be heard, or their lives protected. White supremacists loudly and intentionally prevented black Americans from voting - and they were willing to kill to do so. In this vivid portrait of the systematic suppression of the African American vote, critically acclaimed author Lawrence Goldstone traces the injustices of the post-Reconstruction era through the eyes of incredible individuals, both heroic and barbaric, and examines the legal cases that made the Supreme Court a partner of white supremacists in the rise of Jim Crow. Though this is a story of America's past, Goldstone brilliantly draws direct links to today's creeping threats to suffrage in this important and, alas, timely book.
Votes for Women! by
Call Number: Schlesinger Library 324.623 CON
Publication Date: 2018-02-13
The story of the American women who demanded, fought for, and finally won the right to vote
Brainpop Educators Games and Lessons
Election-Themed Games from iCivics: On The Ballot and Debates and Mock Election Lesson Plan: Battle for the Presidency
This collection includes some of our favorite resources for civics education, with a focus on elections and voting. Includes posters, videos, lessons, texts and student tasks for K–5 and 6–8 classrooms. (K-5 Resources are at end of the document)
2020 Election Resources
The 2020 presidential election is already shaping up to be one of the most intense of the last few decades. We at Classroom Law Project are pleased to offer you a series of lessons targeted to middle and high school level grades to help you and your students sort through this year’s election issues. (from Classroom Law Project)
Day After Election Guide A Resource for K-12 Educators and Administrators
This Day After Election Guide is designed to support educators and administrators in preparing for the 2020 Presidential election. The key message is that a school’s plan for the day after the election should actually be their plan for the entire school year. That means that classroom lessons, educator professional development, and communication with parents and guardians throughout the 2020-2021 school year should clearly establish and reinforce expectations about how to show respect for one another and how to explore controversial or difficult subjects.
All schools should be places of belonging for every student. When students feel like they fully belong, they are more likely to raise their hands, do their homework, care about the quality of their work, look out for others, and perform at their best. Schools that foster inclusion and belonging therefore become more successful. Especially at moments that can feel divisive like an election season, schools have an important responsibility to foster a sense of belonging.
Election 2020: Engaging Students in Civic Discourse
A guide for school teachers and administrators on how to manage political discussion and promote civil dialogue in the classroom. (from John Hopkins University)