July 8, 2019

Students learn about gerrymandering and the Supreme Court's important decision. Why has gerrymandering gotten worse, why does it matter, and what are the prospects for change?

March 31, 2019

Less than half of eligible voters typically vote in national elections in the U.S.. The House of Representatives has passed a bill to encourage voter participation by making Election Day a national holiday. This activity explores the arguments for and against this and other proposals for making it...

November 30, 2018

Does the U.S. political system live up to the principle of one person, one vote? In this lesson, students explore arguments about whether the Electoral College and the U.S. Senate might hinder the quest for fair, democratic representation. 

December 20, 2016

What is the Electoral College, and why does it decide who is president? Students learn about and discuss the pros and cons of the Electoral College system and current campaigns to reform or circumvent it.   

March 27, 2016

In some states, voters have stood in line for hours to cast their ballot. Why? In this short Teachable Instant activity, students explore the controversy over voter suppression in the 2016 election.  

June 7, 2015

In this brief activity, students take a quick quiz on voter access, then discuss the debate over this issue, including Hillary Clinton's recent proposal to make voter registration automatic.   

July 12, 2012

Students come up with a working definition for democracy, then watch and discuss an animated short on the Citizens United Case. Homework prepares students for a liberal vs. conservative discussion over whether the ruling puts our democracy at risk.

January 6, 2010

A classroom activity has students simulate a US Senate filibuster. Two student readings then explore the Senate's less-than-democratic 60-vote rule and possible methods for reforming it. Discussion questions, writing and citizenship activities follow.

April 1, 2009

One student reading traces the orgins of the Voting Rights Act; a second discusses the recent Supreme Court decision limiting the Act's scope when it comes to drawing voter district lines.

February 7, 2007

Student readings explore problems with these machines in the 2006 election and proposals for reform. Suggestions for inquiry and citizenship follow.