Presidential Election Curricula and Resources

As the excitement builds this fall with the upcoming election, teachers and parents will want to have good resources at hand to help gifted students understand the election process. Here are just a few resources.

Specific Curricula

Interact offers a simulation titled The Presidential Election Process, recommended  for grades 5–8. Interact simulations are often effective in mixed ability classrooms. In this particular simulation, “students exercise their research, teamwork, and creative skills in a simulated bid for the White House. After reviewing the U.S. election structure and learning the histories and philosophies of six major political parties, students form campaign committees and take on roles such as candidate, campaign manager, and speechwriter. ‘Event cards’ require students to think on their feet as they ultimately work towards an election day rally.”

Electing the President is a simulation published by Prufrock Press. This unit lets students experience the exciting process of electing the President and Vice President of the United States. As the two parties square off, students take on the roles of candidates, convention delegates, and members of the Electoral College. Updated to reflect the most recent Census data, this book includes instructions and necessary student handouts to use with small or large groups.

The Center for Gifted Education at The College of William and Mary created The Road to the White House: Electing the American President for gifted students in grades 6–8. The curriculum is offered through the Kendall Hunt Publishing Company. The concept of systems forms the basis for this exploration of American government that focuses on the election of the president within its constitutional context. Students investigate the chronology of the campaign and election, and study documents and statistics related to presidential elections in American history. In addition, the unit explores the concept of leadership as it emerges both in the process of being elected and in the context of being a president.

General Resources

The U.S. government's Electoral College site explains the Electoral College system, presents historical election results, and contains links to many teaching resources. monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. (Click on Truth-O-Meter near top of the page) rates the accuracy of candidates' statements on their records, attacks on opponents, and organizes statements by issue/topic.

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