## Thursday, November 1, 2012

### Election Math

The United States presidential election (along with many state and local elections) is fast approaching, and it's not too late to get your students involved. Here are some web links and teaching ideas (in no particular order) to start (or continue) the election conversation.

PBS Kids has a democracy website with lesson plans, budget activities, presidential trading cards and a virtual voting booth at http://pbskids.org/democracy/.

Scholastic Magazine has put together lesson plans, games, an election timeline, interviews with the presidential candidates, a parents' guide, and an election glossary at http://magazines.scholastic.com/election-2012.

In Excel Math, we help students learn math facts as well as critical thinking skills. To help your students prepare for their own mock election, let them vote on classroom topics, take polls, calculate data, and create graphs of various kinds. Try this Activity (in the right-hand column) from Excel Math Lesson 52 for Grade 1 to help your students determine which of two containers has the greater volume:
 Excel Math First Grade Activity from Lesson 52
Then have your class vote and tabulate the results. Learn more about these proven math lessons and their unique spiraling  process on our website: www.excelmath.com.

Congress for Kids (from the Dirksen Center) gives students a colorful introduction to elections, voting, and the electoral map with games, reading lists, trivia, and links to other sites at http://www.congressforkids.net/Elections_electionday.htm. Did you know? Election Day is a legal holiday in Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia as well as in the territory of Puerto Rico.

For a step-by-step photo gallery of the election process and a brief recap of the 2008 presidential election, visit this presentation from Pocantico Hills School http://www.pocanticohills.org/election/president.htm.

Washington State has prepared nine classroom lessons and a student ballot so your students can participate in a mock election of their own. Learn more at http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/mock/LessonPlans.aspx
EducationWorld also has some election lesson plans. Here's one on editorial cartoons: http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/00-2/lp2173.shtml

Take a look at an interactive electoral map, graphs, and polling data at http://www.electoral-vote.com/. You can view an explanation of the map algorithm and download polling data for your students.

A list of all past and present U.S. Presidents and their V-Ps http://bensguide.gpo.gov/6-8/government/national/president_list.html
The President's duties http://bensguide.gpo.gov/6-8/government/national/president.html

ABCTeach has some classroom election activities you can use with your students at http://www.abcteach.com/directory/theme-units-elections-8694-2-1

Watch a movie from Brainpop to see the three branches of government and how they provide checks and balances for each other at brainpop.com.

The NCTM (National Council for Teachers of Mathematics) created its own page for class discussions and activities concerning the upcoming U.S. national election.

Kids Voting USA has some sample lesson activities and videos about elections around the country. Create an election bulletin board and download the lesson activities at http://kidsvotingusa.org/curriculum/sample-activities.

Time for Kids has interviews with the candidates, videos of the debates, a mock ballot, and news about the election at www.timeforkids.com/minisite/election-2012.

CNN has up-to-the-minute polls, electoral maps, news, opinions and interviews focusing on the election and the electoral process at http://www.cnn.com/election/2012/

Take a virtual tour of the White House and watch videos of congressional meetings at http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/inside-white-house

Wayback: U.S. History for kids has little-known facts about the presidents (called "Secrets About the President") and some fun lesson plans in the Teachers/Parents section at http://pbskids.org/wayback/prez/index.html. This site is produced by American Experience, television's most-watched history series.

Do you have some favorite election-related resources for your students? Share them in the comments section below.

New to Excel Math? Visit our website at www.excelmath.com for elementary math lessons that really work!