Election day was Tuesday. Take this opportunity to explore the election process with your students using popular PBS LearningMedia elections animations and interactives. From understanding various tactics of a political campaign to exploring how citizens decide who and what to vote for in an election, step inside the voting booth with PBS LearningMedia. And sign up for a free account to access PBS LearningMedia productivity tools to enhance teaching and learning in your classroom.
Inside the Voting Booth
This activity introduces students to the history of suffrage in America, through the “Voting Time Machine,” which presents case studies from different decades. Students also anticipate the time when they will be able to vote, through a customized, printable voter registration card, which also asks them to identify the issues they think are most important today. Understand why it is important to vote, examine times in U.S. election history when one vote made a difference in the election’s outcome, learn several historical facts about voting and vote in a mock issues survey.
Majority Rules: California’s Proposition System Explained
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, propositions are an entrenched part of California’s political system. In nearly every statewide election, voters wade through a slurry of local and statewide ballot measures, part of a system intended to expand direct democracy. In this cartoon infographic created by Andy Warner, learn how propositions make it onto the ballot and what a referendum is.
Getting the Nomination
In the United States, there are a lot of people who want to be president. But when we vote, there are usually only a few names on the ballot. This video will help students to understand the nomination process for political parties. They will learn how primaries and caucuses help determine the candidate that will best represent a party platform, the role of delegates and super delegates in the election process, and the impact of “Super Tuesday.” This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.
The General Election
This animated video helps students to make sense of the American election process by learning how citizens decide who to vote for in the election, the importance of the Electoral College, and how swing states affect the outcomes of an election. This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.
Elections: The Maintenance of Democracy
In this interactive, students determine votes in a mock election based on politicians’ stances on certain issues.
Peter Sagal explores the high ideals of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” endowed with “inalienable rights,” that didn’t make it into the Constitution in 1787. The far-reaching changes created by that amendment established new notions of citizenship, equal protection, due process, and personal liberty and today those notions are being used to fight for same sex marriage, voting rights, affirmative action, and immigration reform.