To understand the process by which Presidents are elected to office.
2 class periods
Students begin this lesson with a Chart Exercise. The chart gives state-by-state popular vote results for the Election of 1968. The candidates were Richard Nixon (Republican), Hubert Humphrey (Democrat), and George Wallace (American Independent). Starting with Alabama, class members use the chart to determine which candidate received the most popular votes, and then award that state's electoral votes to that candidate. (Students can see the number of electoral votes each state has on a map on the next page.) This continues in the same way with the other 49 states and the District of Columbia.
Next, students do a Map Exercise where they use three different colors or markings to fill in the boxes next to the candidates’ names to make a map key. These colors or markings are then used on the map to show the states won by Nixon, Humphrey, and Wallace. Students can look back to the chart they just completed on the preceding page to see which candidate won each state. I provide my students with colored pencils, which they always like to use.
After completing the Chart and Map Exercises, class members will answer chart and map questions.
At the beginning of the next class period, go over the directions for the section Campaigning for President. This involves a fun activity where students pretend to be a candidate running for President. Only 10 days are left before the election. Public opinion polls show that the candidate and their opponent are involved in a very close race. Therefore, it is important to carefully plan the remainder of their campaign. Class members complete the activity by writing the details of these plans on a daily schedule, which includes a morning, afternoon, and evening portion for each of the last 10 days of their campaign. More specific directions, along with a list of suggested campaign activities, is provided for students to help them fill in their campaign schedules. When making their plans, the students should use a map in the textbook which shows states and cities. Also, the class members need to know which states have large numbers of electoral votes.
Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.