Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Five Last Minute Resources for Teaching About the Electoral College

We're one week away from the U.S. Presidential election. While citizens cast their votes next week, the final selection happens in the Electoral College in December. That's a concept that can be tricky for some students to understand. If you're looking for some last minute resources for teaching about the Electoral College, take a look at this small collection. (Related note, I think I need this Electoral College tee shirt). 

DocsTeach is one of my favorite sites for history teachers. It contains tons of online activities built upon primary sources. The activity about the Electoral College asks students to evaluate six primary sources and put them into the correct sequence. The purpose of the lesson is to help students understand the steps taken in the Electoral College process of choosing a President. 

Does Your Vote Counts? is a TED-Ed lesson that offers a short explanation of the Electoral College by answering the question, "does your vote count?" The video for the lesson is embedded below.


How the Electoral College Works from C.G.P. Grey gives a nice overview of the Electoral College. The video isn't perfect, I wish the producer had included that the number of Electoral votes a state receives is tied to the number of Senators and Representative it has. Instead the video simply stated that the number of Electoral votes is tied to population. Overall, it's not a bad summary of the Electoral College.


Electing a US President produced by Common Craft provides a concise overview of the election process. The version embedded below is an update to the original that Common Craft released and I used in my classroom during the 2008 election.


Keith Hughes produced two videos about how the Electoral College was developed and how it works. The first video below is just one minute long. The second video, The Electoral College for Dummies, goes into much more depth.



Disclosure: I have a long-standing, in-kind relationship with Common Craft.