Elections and Civics Lesson Plans

FREE classroom activities and lesson plans on U.S. Presidential elections

Welcome to GrowingVoters.org

We provide engaging hands-on classroom activities on electioneering, campaigning, and voting to support teachers as they help students develop into informed and motivated participants in the U.S. electoral system.
Election and voting lesson plans for elementary school students

Elementary School Lesson Planson elections and voting

These learning activities get young students to create their own voting-related content to help them begin to understand the election.

View Elementary Lessons
Election and voting lesson plans for middle school students

Middle School Lesson Planson elections and voting

Help middle school students develop a voice by learning to express themselves and communicate their understanding of the election to others.

View Middle School Lessons
Election and voting lesson plans for high school students

High School Lesson Planson elections and voting

These creative student-produced materials mean high school students can already begin participating in the political process.

View High School Lessons
Voting and election lesson plans for college students

Assignments and Exercises for Collegeon elections and voting

New this year, these hands-on college assignments make students critical thinking producers, not just consumers, of the campaigns.

View College Lessons

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Free Classroom Tools

These online resources can supplement our classroom activities.

Voting-related links for teachers

We maintain an extensive set of voting-related links of sites with helpful materials that have been vetted by the Growing Voters team.
Take a tour or view the list

Free online surveys

SurveyMonkey is a free online survey tool that can be used in some of our election and voting classroom activites.
Visit surveymonkey.com

Free online slideshows

Tools for students to create slideshow presentations: photoshow.com

Create a free blog

Blogger.com is one of several free online blog resources you can use in conjunction with our lesson plans and classroom activities.
Visit blogger.com


Voicethread.com is a great site for also incorporating recorded voice, audio clips, photo, or graphics with web collaboration. It requires a paid subscription.
Visit voicethread.com

Presentations and Collages

Take student presentations to the next level with these resources:

Video Tools

Free video tools:
Limited free trials:

About us: GrowingVoters.org

Growing Voters is a learning initiative project created by Lesley University Professor Jo-Anne Hart. We provide free classroom activities on voting and elections that help students better understand and actively participate in the U.S. political system.

Apathy among young voters is a serious problem because research shows it persists — if young adults don’t see voting as important early on, many will be lost as voters for the rest of their lives.
Click here to learn more about Growing Voters and our contributors

The first version of Growing Voters was produced in 2004. Since then our free election lesson plans and voting-related classroom activities have been used by teachers in every state and encouraged by major professional associations, like the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and the National Council of Social Studies. Project materials are non-partisan and not supported by any grants.

Using the presidential election in classrooms is a good illustration of how teaching materials themselves can be shaped to "bring the student in" and have him or her find things of individual interest, and to construct their own meanings. This is particularly key in civics because it’s how we build democratic norms of participation.

These are the reasons that led to the creation of the Growing Voters learning project. Its purpose is to put ideas, activities, and tools directly into the hands of teachers to help grow in students the habit of participation and ultimately incubate voters. My intended double-meaning is Growing Students / Growing into Voters. The inspiration for me was to help teachers be able make use of the presidential election in classrooms without the burden to produce and vet new materials.

I made these classroom lessons free and easily accessible for busy teachers like yourself. All I ask in return is for you to complete the quick online survey to help us improve.

Contributors to Growing Voters

Contributors to Growing Voters include Masters students from across the United States who participated in the Lesley University Educational Technology program: Jenny Hanson, Montana; Deb Boatwright, New Hampshire; Kathryn Desmond' Florida; Traci Lienhard, Washington; Mark Reynolds, Indiana; Troy Spradley, Missouri; Marla Day, Wisconsin; Mary Ann Seavey, Massachusetts; Andy Siepert, Wisconsin; Jessica Bogie, Illinois; Kessandra Jackson, Ohio; Barbara Green, Georgia; Beth Niece, Massachusetts; Terry Lindgren, Massachusetts; Rachele Hall, Wyoming; Christopher Fuchs, Montana; Kari Wilcher, Georgia; Evelyn Wright, Georgia; Toni Somma-Cavaluzzi, New Jersey; Katie Kanter, Massachusetts; Kristen Stewart, New Hampshire; Jay Daly, Wisconsin; Jason Burland, Massachusetts; Zack Deal, Virginia; Renae Fortin, Massachusetts; William Pullen, Oregon; Keysha McIntyre, Georgia; Tracy Zimmerman, Oregon; Linda Smith, Maryland; Lisa Haunga, Hawaii; Bruce Ledgerwood, Massachusetts

Website: Richard Cranston, Massachusetts; Eric Noble, Florida; The 2012 and 2016 website was designed by Dan Doherty at Archerfish Media.

In The NewsGrowing Voters on FOX TV Providence

Fox TV Providence's Dan Yorke State of Mind featured GrowingVoters.org founder Jo-Anne Hart to provide election analysis on November 1, 2016, one week before the U.S. Presidential election.

Research articleWhy Growing Voters Matters

For additional background on this project, please read the Growing Voters research article in Learning and Leading with Technology: Why Growing Voters Matters: The Need for Engaging Civics.
View research article

WebinarHow to use Growing Voters

To learn more about how to use these activities in classrooms, watch a webinar by the creator of GrowingVoters.org, Professor Jo-Anne Hart, sponsored by Lesley University’s Graduate School of Education.
Watch webinar

2016 APSA Poster PresentationPolitical Media Literacy: Press Spin Room Simulation

By producing their own spin, students can experience the art of "interpretation" as a vehicle used to control the narrative in a political campaign. Electronic presentation the 2016 American Political Science Association Conference.
View APSA Poster Presentation

In the newsArticle: Democracy in America's Backyard

Democracy in America's Backyard is an article examinging the importance of teaching the U.S. Presidential election to strengthen our democracy, written by GrowingVoters.org founder Jo-Anne Hart.
Read article


What do teachers say about our election lesson plans?

"Growing Voters provides students with the opportunity to consider the stakes of a critical and historic election. The lessons are a great way to build critical thinking skills and exercise good habits of citizenship."

Andy Blackadar Curriculum Development Director, The Choices Program, Brown University


"Growing Voters”... includes hands-on exercises to help students experience various aspects of the political process. Younger pupils, for example, are encouraged to interview adults they know about their views on the Nov. 2 elections. Older students are asked to take part in debates about political parties and how citizens should choose a candidate."

Education Week Coverage


"It’s a growing emphasis in education today: 'How do we make students critical thinkers?'"

By using GrowingVoters you'll be "giving them all the possible angles so they can make decisions themselves."

Junior High School Teacher

"Our school principal was most enthusiastic and encouraged the students. Teachers were also interested and cooperative.

This activity created a lot of excitement in our building on election day."

Middle School Teacher Massachusetts


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