Election Lesson Plans
***** Click Here for a listing of ALL Lesson Plans*****
The Citizen Advocacy Center is pleased to make these election lesson plans available as a free resource for educators*.
While written for specific grade ranges, they can be easily adapted for younger or older students.
Click on the title link to view or download the pdf format.
Funding provided by the McCormick Foundation.
* Regarding the Illinois Learning Standards referenced within each lesson plan:
The New Illinois Learning Standards Incorporating the Common Core are in the process of being written and implemented. Citizen Advocacy Center expects to update lesson plans to reflect the changes when the process is complete.
Ballot Initiatives: Direct Democracy vs. Representative Democracy (Grades 7-12) This lesson poses the question, “How much of a direct say should citizens have in government decisions?” and provides an overview of ballot initiative (referendum) questions in Illinois.
How Hard Is It to Run for Public Office? (Grades 9-12) This lesson provides an overview of how candidates get their names on the ballot and of the different standards that must be met by candidates of established political parties, candidates of third parties, and independent candidates. Students will participate in a mock congressional campaign.
Third-Party Presidential Candidates: Barriers to Ballot Access (Grades 9-12) This lesson provides an introduction to the barriers to accessing the ballot faced by third-party Presidential candidates.
Federal Election Commission (Grades 6-8) This lesson provides an overview of the structure of the Federal Election Commission and a discussion of its strengths and weaknesses.
What Role Does Money Play in Politics? A Mock Campaign (Grades 7-12) This lesson provides an overview of the U.S. election finance process through participation in a mock campaign.
What Role Does Money Play in Politics? A Moderated Discussion (Grades 9-12) This lesson provides an overview of the U.S. election finance process and the values it reflects through an active class discussion.
Who Represents You in Government? (Grades 5-12) This lesson explains who represents students at various levels of government as well as the basic roles and differences between each level of government.
Politics and the Media (Grades 5-12) This lesson provides an opportunity for students to evaluate the importance of the broadcast media in a democracy. This lesson is best used prior to an election and may be used to follow the lesson plan “Media - Young Citizens and Television Broadcasters.”
Illinois Early and Absentee Voting Procedures (Grades 6-8) This lesson explains who can vote early or who is permitted to vote by absentee ballot, as well as the procedures for early and absentee voting in the state of Illinois.
Illinois Election Law (Grades 9-12) This lesson provides an overview of how elections work in Illinois and describes who is eligible to vote. Through a mock election, students will investigate state election law and learn the processes and practices of voter registration and poll watching.
Illinois Voter Registration (Grades 6-8) This lesson provides an overview of elections and describes the requirements for voter registration by giving students the opportunity to engage in a mock voter registration drive.
Voting Systems: What Is Fair? (Grades 9-12) This lesson explores plurality, cumulative and instant run-off voting systems and asks students to evaluate the pros and cons of each system and to consider which one best represents citizens in a democracy.
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