5 Resources for Teaching the Midterm Elections

Sunday, September 30, 2018

5 Resources for teaching the Midterm Elections to Upper Elementary, Middle, and High School students #civics #usgovernment #activities

Regardless of partisan politics, election time is a magical time for social studies teachers. We love to teach the current events of the time and intertwine it with the history of our country and elections. Here are some great resources to enhance your students's study of the midterm elections.

1) Five Thirty Eight

Five Thirty Eight is one of my favorite websites to help middle and high school students analyze the polls for the elections. The website is the brainchild of Nate Silver, a statistician who loves to use data to describe politics. He and his team offer a number of graphical representations of data that really help students visualize what is going on.

I love the cartogram because it is a much better representation of how people vote in America.

2) 270 to Win
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270 to Win has one of the best interactive maps out there. You and your students can see the people running in each district and state, making it a great way to do some visual research.

3) PBS News Hour #MonitoringTheMidterms

PBS has some amazing lesson plans that come with activities and videos to help your middle and high schoolers understand the important topics that surround a midterm like gerrymandering, the voting age, swing states, misinformation, etc. Definitely head on over and check this out!

4) ICivics

Image result for icivics cast your vote

iCivics has been my go to for a long time so please forgive my fan girling! First off, I love that Sandra Day O'Connor has worked in collaboration with this company to bring civics education to the youth of America. Secondly, every time I used iCivics to reinforce concepts of government in my classroom, the students always walked a way with a deeper understanding. I have had parents tell me that playing Win the White House made them finally understand the Electoral College as an adult!

Although iCivics does not have a midterm election game, they have a bunch that will help your students better understand the legislative branch! Click on each picture to go to the game.

5) Midterm Election Escape Room: Save Democracy!

I have created a super fun and low prep escape room to help teach students about the midterm elections! It covers the topics:

  1. What are the midterm elections?
  2. The House of Representatives and the Senate
  3. U.S. Election Fun Facts
  4. History of Voting Rights
The item comes with a fun launch video to get your kids excited! Each "Lock" comes with a reading and a puzzle activity to solve a combination of a lock! This item would also be a great addition to any government unit, regardless of whether we are in an election year or not!  Click here to check it out!

Happy election season!

1 comment

  1. Hi Kara! Great list! I wanted to share another resource for teaching about the midterm elections - the PenPal Schools project American Perspectives. Students can connect with other students across the country and world to discuss important issues like immigration, healthcare, the economy, and more. This project also challenges students to plan community outreach to encourage their family, friends, and neighbors to vote! Check out more here: https://bit.ly/2EtsBuY