High School Voting & Election Lesson Plans

Free election lesson plans and classroom activities on voting for high school students

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We provide engaging election lesson plans and classroom activities on voting to help high school students develop into informed and motivated participants in the U.S. electoral system.

“HACK the Spin" media exercise following student debate

Once students learn how to chop up “analysis” for themselves, they will be able to separate propaganda from process, gain media literacy, and see behind what efforts are directed to get voters to choose a candidate to support.

Candidate debate simulation

Students run debate simulations using political party prep teams, media coverage, and orchestrating “spin”. Focus on the issues and teams must prepare their candidates. Journalist teams research their debate questions and how to “cover” the debate in the news afterwards.

"Who won the debate" activity

In this activity, students assemble clips of candidates' debate performances to construct their own different version of who won the debate. Playing these competing versions in class creates a learning opportunity for students to see that news coverage is constructed to create a message.
Free online election survey or opinion poll classroom lesson for college students

Class creates online election survey / opinion poll

Students design, conduct, and analyze their own free online election survey or opinion poll. Using social media and/or school networks, students generate their own results. Compare to other schools or official public opinion. Predict the election outcome.

Listening with respect to competing ideas

Election campaigns pit candidates and their ideas against one another. It is spirited and often personal. This activity encourages students to develop the ability to discuss the election with respect for competing perspectives. When students look for common ground the discussion shifts.
Election lesson plan for high school students: Produce candidate commercials

Produce candidate commercials for TV, internet, radio, or print

Nothing explains campaign media better than students making it themselves. Research issues, design media, and produce ads. Use easy free tools and put students in the creative driver’s seat.

These can be print, video, or audio. Use anything from PowerPoint to making a video on a mobile phone. Can be posted and shared with other schools.

All Politics is Local: Predict the U.S. vote by local counties

What does your community think about this election? Instead of all the focus on national data, this exercise leads students to look closely at the local vote – what matters in public opinion nearby?

Students will do online research and data analysis to form their own predictions on the November vote.
Design campaign marketing strategy - voting lesson plan for college students

Design campaign marketing strategy

Students design a candidate's campaign marketing strategy. They'll decide the audience and messaging, and then determine how and when to allocate campaign advertising budgets across print, TV, internet.

Class produced newspaper column with election coverage

The class composes op-eds on the election or publishes a regular column with election coverage. These are readily shared online.

The campaign issues, the candidates, reporting the polls, even commenting on the media coverage itself, these student articles can report through the November results, and even onto the inauguration and first 100 days of the new president.
College lesson plan: Using twitter to teach voting and elections

Contribute to Growing Voters on Twitter

Join the national conversation with us on Twitter! Post photos of class activities, results, reactions to share across country with other participants.

Class prepares voting fliers for the public

Create class fliers to be distributed in public. Concentrate on how and where to register to vote, where to cast a vote in November, and other election resources in the public interest.

Research, design, and produce fliers as easy as word documents with students’ creative artwork. Students might also want to make partisan fliers on the issues and candidates.

Class Facebook the issues

Use the national platform of GrowingVoters.org on Facebook to analyze the election, to compare predictions of the outcome, and post student-produced materials like fliers, ads, and strategies.

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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

 

“Now I know more of the background information on the candidates," Taylor says. He says when it's time to elect the next president, he'll not only be ready to vote but will be able to do the research needed to vote intelligently.

Dontrell Taylor, High School Student

 

"Students loved this activity. They were responsible for generating questions (roving reporters), talking to the primary grades, designing posters and ballots, setting up and manning the lemonade stand, distributing ballots and collecting and counting ballots and announcing the winner at the end of the school day. The students also created a graph showing how the school population voted and figured out the percentage of votes cast for each candidate. We used your (Growing Voters) materials almost exclusively."

High School Teacher Massachusetts

"It’s a growing emphasis in education today: How do we make students critical thinkers?" By using GrowingVoters lesson plans, teachers are "giving them all the possible angles so they can make decisions themselves."

Junior High School Teacher

 

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