To understand the method used to elect the President of the United States.
1 class period
You can begin this lesson by reading with the class the introductory paragraphs about the establishment of the Electoral College and how it functions. This is followed by chart and map exercises pertaining to the Election of 1968 between Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, and George Wallace. Class members will use a chart on page 53B that shows the popular vote results in each of the 50 states in order to determine which of the three candidates won that state's electoral votes. Students then look back at the map on page 53A to see how many electoral votes each state has and that number is recorded on the chart for the winning candidate. After all of the electoral votes have been recorded, the kids will then shade in each state on the map on page 53A using one of three different colors or markings that corresponds with the winning candidate.
When the Map and Chart exercises are finished, students complete 12 short answer follow-up questions and then a written Thought Question about the Electoral College, which helps develop critical thinking skills.
Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.