SAN JOSE, CA - The last two full weeks in April and September are designated as High School Voter Education Weeks. This semi-annual event provides an opportunity for high schools and their students to partner with county elections officials to promote civic education and participation on campus and foster an environment that cultivates lifelong voters and active citizens.
To help educators, we have assembled a list of resources to promote this important observance in the classroom. The resources we have gathered are inclusive and can work with many student groups.
How to Pick a Political Party
The League of Women Voters has gathered information about the statements and top priorities of the American Independent, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, Peace and Freedom, and Republican and discusses selecting "No Party Preference."
Register and Pre-register to vote
The State of California provides voter registration materials online in the following languages: Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese.
What Responsibilities Accompany Our Rights? Grade Level 3-5 & 6-8
From Teaching Tolerance, this lesson looks at an important question students will face as citizens: What responsibilities accompany our basic rights?
The New Deciders Grade Level 6-8 & 9-12
From Teaching Tolerance, "The New Deciders" examines the influence of voters from four demographic groups—black millennials, Arab Americans, Latino Evangelicals and Asian Americans. Viewers will meet political hopefuls, community leaders, activists and church members from Orange County, California, Cleveland, Ohio, Greensboro, North Carolina and Orlando, Florida, all of whom have the opportunity to move the political needle, locally and nationally.
Lesson Plan: Political Party Platforms –Beyond the Sound Bites
A project of KQED Learning. Allow your students to analyze how Democrats and Republicans view major election issues.
Media Literacy, Voting Rights, and More Grade Level 9-12
iCivics provides lessons on News literacy, local governments, and voting rights.
iCivics will help students understand laws and amendments that altered US Voting laws, identify obstacles to voting, understand Susan B. Antony's role in securing women's right to vote.
Teach the Vote
Many teachers perceive teaching about voting to be too political. Especially during election season, teachers often feel more pressure to keep their classrooms as completely neutral space, worried that discussing voting might lead to students, parents, and administrators thinking that the teacher is biased in their delivery of content. It is more important now than ever for teachers to teach about voting laws and procedures and give students the resources they need to be informed voters. The good news is this can be done without showing a bias in ways that can inform, inspire, and empower students to vote.
U.S. Vote Foundation
Find useful voter information including:
The task card lesson below were created using Fostering Civil Discourse from Facing History and Ourselves.
BAROMETER- TAKING A STAND ON A CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE
Students can constructively discuss and share opinions on controversial topics in a guided supportive atmosphere.
Allow students to respond to questions, quotes, historical documents, and other stimuli while working in pairs and sharing in a group context.
SAVE THE LAST WORD FOR ME
Literature or video catalyzes student discourse.
Do you think you can vote? A brief history of America's voting rights
This bright, friendly PowerPoint reviews many barriers to voting including sharing excerpts from various literacy tests which barred voters and covers voters rights through the years.
Five myths about voting
Does the Constitution guarantee all U.S. Citizens the right to vote? Does your vote count? Find out!
This colorful poster from Teaching Tolerance illustrates the John Lewis quote, "Change happens one step at a time, keep picking them up and putting them down."
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