Connect and Engage: Elections

Use this election season to hone your students' skills in media literacy, deciphering political cartoons, and evaluating candidate voting records.
snapshot of September 2008 Newsletter

Great Resources for Teaching on the Elections

from the September 2008 YES! Education Connection Newsletter

Read the newsletter: Debate Watching 101

Use this election season to hone your students' skills in media literacy, deciphering political cartoons, and evaluating candidate voting records.

:: PBS Vote 2008. Access, Analyze, Act
:: What Are America’s Values?
:: Analyzing Political Cartoons
:: Project Vote Smart


PBS logo
PBS vote page

PBS Vote 2008

SEE WEBSITE :: PBS Vote 2008

PBS Vote 2008 has developed a comprehensive curriculum for elementary and secondary students called “Access, Analyze, Act: A Blueprint for 21st Century Civic Engagement.” Lesson plans on interpreting media messages and creating political videos and blogs will surely pique their interest.

See their materials here. logo
Cover of YES! Magazine's Purple America issue
How to Break Through Red-Blue Politics: Check out the Purple America issue of YES! Magazine

Purple America


Purple America is a grassroots civil engagement initiative for youth. It is committed to working with educators nationwide to engage and empower American youth in civic affairs during an election year and beyond. The site features a video tour that takes you from barbershops and malls in New York City to Little Rock, Arkansas. Travel through the country as you and your students discover what your fellow Americans value. A follow-up discussion guide is included.

Click here to take the tour and see the lesson plans here.


Read Write Think logo
Knitting Cartoon
YES! Cartoon Contest: Submit a caption to our latest cartoon.

Analyzing Political Cartoons

SEE WEBSITE :: ReadWriteThink

As students form opinions about social and political issues, it’s important that they learn to analyze what they see and read from news media. In ReadWriteThink’s lesson plans, high school students learn to evaluate political cartoons for their meaning, message, and persuasiveness.

See political cartoon lesson plans here.

For more curriculum ideas around current polticial cartoons, you can also check the Association for Editorial Cartoonists’s daily lesson plans.


Project Vote Smart logo

Project Vote Smart


Project Vote Smart provides accurate and relevant information about “those who govern us and those who wish to replace those who do.” Voting records, campaign contributions, positions on issues, and more are available for your students to assess state and federal candidates. Lesson plans included.

Check out the lesson plans:
Who represents me?
This lesson plan uses the site’s database to engage your students in learning about their state and congressional representatives.

How do people decide who to vote for?
This lessonlooks at different sources of information on candidates and how useful they are in the decision making process.

Types of Ads
Discuss with your students the purposes and limitations of political ads.


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