McComb Legacies Blog


Lessons on Elections

September 30, 2009 by Admin in Uncategorized

In the month of October, the McComb School District is participating in the Promote the Vote campaign. McComb teachers will use selected lessons from the statewide campaign and additional lessons designed to help students understand the history of the voting rights struggle nationally and locally, how elections work, the importance of voting, and current issues in the elections.

Grace for President. When Grace’s teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. She immediately starts off her political career as a candidate in the school’s mock election. The picture book introduces the concept of gender equality in elections, campaign promises, and the electoral college. The book can be borrowed from the Civil Rights Movement and Labor History Initiative resource collection by contacting Ms. Stubbs. Elementary and Middle School. [Coming soon.]

  Promote the Vote Lesson. Introduce how low voter turnout can impact the outcome of an election and how that outcome impacts everyone. In the lesson, students are asked to vote on something that is important to them. The teacher then removes some of the votes and the students see how the outcome is impacted when their voice is not heard. Download lesson. Middle, Junior, and High School.

  African Americans Face and Fight Obstacles to Voting.  In this lesson from Teaching Tolerance, students learn about the Reconstruction Amendments (13th, 14th and 15th) that abolished slavery, guaranteed African American citizenship, and secured men the right to vote. (Note: The Additional Resources include a useful document to print and share with students, the timeline from the website: Voting Rights History.) Go to lesson. Junior and Senior High School.

  In the Land of Decisions. A 1.5 hour lesson to build participants’ skills to ask questions and make the connection between decisions made by elected officials and their daily lives. Download lesson in PDFMiddle, Junior, and Senior High School.

  Beyond Personalities: Examining the Issues and Positions in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election. This lesson offers three ways to help students focus on the issues and the political positions rather than the personalities in the 2012 election, using information from a newspaper for grades 4-7 called The three approaches are called  (1) What do you think you already know?, (2) Create your own party platform, and (3) Election Jeopardy. Download lesson in PDFJunior and Senior High School.

  Seneca Falls, 1848: Women Organize for Equality. This role play allows students to examine issues of race and class when exploring both the accomplishments and limitations of the Seneca Falls Convention. Download lesson from this page. (Note: You will need to register for the Zinn Education Project website to download the lesson. Registration is free.) High School.

  Securing the Right to Vote:  Using Primary Documents.  Based on a lesson from the Gilder Lehrman Institute, students work in groups to analyze one of several key documents relevant to the voting rights struggle, using the Document Analysis Worksheet to guide their work.  High School. [Coming soon.]

  Women in the Voting Rights Struggle in Mississippi. This lesson is based on the film Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders about the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi with a focus on the role of women. Because so much of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi was focused on the basic democratic right to vote, this is included as a lesson on the history of the voting rights struggle. Borrow the film from the Civil Rights Movement and Labor History Initiative collection. Ms. Stubbs coordinates this collection. Download lesson in PDF. Junior and Senior High School.

  The Split Over Suffrage: How was the struggle for suffrage by African Americans and women similar and/or different? This lesson introduces the 15th and the 19th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and allows students to compare African American and women’s suffrage. It includes the use of powerful primary documents. Download lesson in PDFJunior and Senior High School.

  What is the Electoral College and How Does it Work? Interactive lesson using the Constitution and other primary documents on the electoral college. Developed by CUNY. Go to lesson in PDFJunior and Senior High School.

  Murder Mystery – Shining a Light on the Story that the Newspaper Left Out. This lesson is about the murder of Amite County farmer Herbert Lee in 1961. He was murdered for his efforts to secure voting rights for African Americans. This lesson is in the form of a role play and murder mystery. Because this lesson is still being field-tested, we are not posting it on line. However, we encourage junior and high school teachers to use it and give us feedback. If you would like to use this lesson, contact Ms. Stubbs who can bring you a copy. Junior and Senior High School.

  Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. One of the most important stories in the history of voting rights in this country took place in Mississippi, and that is the story of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP). A role play to introduce students to the people and events will be ready by 10/5 to post online. It will introduce students to the enduring understanding: “Compromise does not always equal justice” and poses two essential questions: “What would it take for there to be full democracy in the United States?” and “Why did Mississippi take the leadership in challenging the national politic party structure?” High School.  [Coming soon.]

Note to McComb School District teachers : Thank you for joining the Promote the Vote campaign. In appreciation, every teacher who uses one of the lessons above at a time when Ms. Stubbs, Ms. Washington, or Mr. Jeanson can observe will receive a box lunch from PJ’s on Election Day. Please contact them at least three days before you plan to deliver the lesson so we can be sure someone is available to observe. The purpose of the observations is two fold: (1) to assess the lessons and the initiative overall and (2) to collect stories and photos from the Promote the Vote campaign to share on the McComb School District website and the state campaign website.

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