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Friday, October 12, 2012

10 Great Resources on the Electoral College

As we get closer to the presidential election, the candidates are spending more and more time campaigning in “key states.”  It is frustrating to think that maybe your state “doesn’t count” or maybe even your vote doesn’t count.  Much of this is a result of the Electoral College system.  How can you help your students understand how it works and why we use it?  Here are some great resources, links and lessons that can help them think critically about the issues that surround the electoral college:
This short video:  Electoral College 101 (Op-Ed page of the New York Times -thanks for bringing it to my attention Megan Veschio!) has a great simulation done with 3rd graders demonstrating the popular vote vs the electoral vote using colored pencils vs. markers.  You can see the critical thinking going on in this classroom!
270 to Win is a cool site that shows what states are undecided and what it will take for either candidate to win based on daily polls. 

The New York Times Learning Network has tons of lessons and resources for this years elections including a crossword puzzle on the Electoral College.

Real Clear Politics features maps and polls and how they change and gives students real time data to look at.  Check here for an analysis on “How Likely is an Electoral/Popular Vote Split” in this election?

Check out this free BrainPOP video lesson on Presidential Elections with information and quizzes on the Electoral College.  

Scholastic also offers articles and teacher resources on the Electoral College.

Exploring Constitutional Conflicts offers a great resource on why the framers decided to go with the Electoral College and information to get kids thinking about whether it should be abolished or modified.

Games lessons and activities on the Electoral College can be found on the Congress for Kids site. 

PBS Kids explains why “Being Popular is Not Enough” with lots of other election resources. 

The National Archives also offers lots of resources for  teaching the electoral college.

Why not have your students hold their own debate as they discuss the Electoral College from four different points of view in the in the Free updated SCAN lesson “The Electoral College:  Does Your Vote Really Count?” found at TregoEd?

Check out more ideas on Elections and polling at


  1. Thanks for the great electoral college resources. I'm especially looking forward to showing my class the Third Graders in the NYT video.

  2. Thanks Shannon, I love that video. I think it really helps kids understand the difference between the popular vote and the electoral votes. So glad that someone shared that with me!