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American Government--Voting Rights--Literacy Tests

American Government--Voting Rights--Literacy Tests
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Note to educator:

These are a few questions from actual literacy tests given in the states of Louisiana (first one) and Alabama (second one). The purpose of these tests was to prevent certain individuals from voting.

When using these “tests” make the students struggle. Provide the experience for your students by being picky in what you demand in the answer and set the passing rate high. Remember that the person who gave the test was also in charge of what was a correct answer and the passing rate. In almost all questions you could make the answer wrong. You want your students to feel frustrated and annoyed at you.

I typically give one test. Then we exchange papers and grade. After the students fail to meet the requirement to vote tell the students you feel sorry for them and give them another opportunity to prove their intelligence. Give the second test.

Use the literacy tests as a requirement to “vote” in your mock election. Deny your students voting rights and see what conversations result.

I've had excellent conversations and enjoyed every moment when I use these tests in American Government or US History classes.

Enjoy!


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