Related Political Resources:

Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids ★★★★★
This site by the U.S. Government Printing Office teaches K-12 students how the U.S. government works. The link takes you to their Election Process section which explains the process for federal officials. ★★★★☆
This hypertext “Directory of U.S. Political Parties” outlines the two major political parties, Democratic and Republican, as well as the “Big Three” minor political parties: The Constitution Party, The Green Party, and The Libertarian Party. It also describes smaller minor political parties.

U.S. Political Parties: The Principle of Legitimate Opposition ★★★★☆
An EDSITEment lesson plan from the National Endowment for the Humanities about the formation of U.S. political parties. Grades 9-12.

Political Parties: Two’s a Party, Three’s a Crowd ★★★★☆
In this PBS lesson plan, students examine the rise of the two-party system in the United States and the effect this has had upon hopeful third parties. Grades 7-12.

SWOT Teams: Analyzing the Political Parties for the 2010 Midterm Elections ★★★★☆
In this New York Times lesson plan students act as “political strategists” to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of both major political parties as well as the opportunities and threats facing them both.

Elections… the American Way: Party System ★★★★☆
This Library of Congress Teachers presentation explains the American electoral process. The link takes you to The Party System section.

Political Parties: Mobilizing Agents ★★★★☆
This Annenberg teaching unit helps students understand the nature of American political parties.

Historical Elections Results ★★★★☆
View the electoral votes, popular votes, electors, and certificates of past presidential elections.

The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2008 ★★★★☆
Since the Eisehnower era television commercials have impacted voters and The Living Room Candidate contains more than 300 commercials, from every presidential election since 1952. A neat feature is the ability to create a commerical using historical footage and your own video, images, and sounds.

“The 30 Second Candidate” by PBS ★★★★☆
Features a timeline of the history of political commercials and interviews with experts on political commercials.

Federal Campaign Finance Laws ★★★★☆
The Federal Elections Commission administers and enforces provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act, Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act and Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act. This page provides access to those statutes and to other documents relevant to federal campaign finance legislation.

The Redistricting Game ★★★★☆
The game introduces the redistricting system, explores potential abuses, and offers info about reform. ★★★★☆ “monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases.” ★★★★☆
Guide to presidential candidates and campaigns from 1960 to the present. ★★★★☆
This interactive website helps students “examine how issues they consider important are played out in their own governments and election campaigns.” The site features information on issues and candidates, news, discussion forums, and teacher resources. The Student Voices Project is an initiative of the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden ★★★★☆
This Smithsonian site explores the history and operation of the American presidency. The exhibit displays more than 375 images of documents, paintings, photographs, buttons, posters, paraphernalia, and objects along with short texts explaining their significance.

The First Amendment: What’s Fair in a Free Country ★★★★☆
This EDSITEment lesson plan explores the difficult issues that arise related to our freedoms.

Preserve, Protect and Defend? Considering Violent Protests and American Values ★★★★☆
In this New York Times lesson plan students explore if ever Americans should ever use threats and violence to promote and defend their definitions of America,

The Right and the Power ★★★★☆
In this New York Times lesson students explore how the president and Congress made decisions about the war in Iraq and write letters to their representatives expressing their opinions on the issues.

On the Edge and Under the Gun ★★★★☆
This middle school lesson will expose students to the issues of gun control, the right to bear arms, and the overwhelming seriousness of gun related violence. After exploring the complexities of this problem, students will then examine what can be done and what has been done to redress the situation using the Million Mom March as a reference point. Students will be required to synthesize web information on the topic in the form of a research paper.