Monday, September 24, 2012

Play the Election - Games for Learning About the U.S. Presidential Election

Play the Election from Rand McNally is a collection of games and lessons for learning and teaching about the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election. Play the Election has three main sections that teachers should check out.

An interactive Electoral College map provides students with a current view of polling information and the number of Electoral College votes up for grabs in each state. Students can click on each state to see the current polling data for that state. Students will also find current news stories about the U.S. Presidential campaigns when they click on the states. To get some historical perspective students can view the results of each election going back to 1960.

In Play the Election Game Central you will find eleven educational games about the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election. My favorite set of games in Game Central is State by State. In the State by State games students learn about the issues important to voters of various states. To find this information students click through interactive mini-infographics. After reading about the important issues students vote on which candidate they think will win, which candidate they think should win, and which issues are of the most importance in that state. Right now there are only four states open in the game, but more are on the way.

The third aspect of Play the Election that teachers should note is the Classroom Manager. In the Classroom Manager teachers can find lesson plans about the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election. The lesson plans are aligned to Common Core standards. Teachers can also use Classroom Manager to see the statistics for the games their students play (students have to register and log-in as class members).

Applications for Education
Even if you and your students don't register on Play the Election you can still use the games and the interactive map. You can play the games without registering, but your scores will not be saved. What I like about the games is that students have to consider background information in the decisions that they make while playing the games.