Electoral College Classroom Activities

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

The electoral college is a group of elected officials who represent the people of their state to vote for the President and Vice President of the United States. This asset provides activities for students about the electoral college.

Electoral College

The President and Vice President of the United States are elected through the electoral college. The electoral college is comprised of a group of electors who are chosen by the citizens of their state to vote on their behalf. The electoral college allows each state a number of electors equal to the number of representatives (based on population) and the number of senators (two) from that state. A president must win 270 electoral votes to win a presidential election. The following activities will help students understand the electoral college.

Electoral College Simulation

Grade level: 3-5

Materials:

  • chart paper
  • red, blue, and green sticky notes
  • red, blue, and green craft sticks
  • pocket chart

Procedure:

  • Chart paper will be divided into 3 sections labelled red, blue, and green.
  • Students will be divided into groups of 3-5. Groups of 3 and 4 will be assigned 1 electoral vote. Groups of 5 will be assigned 2 electoral votes.
  • Each student will choose their preferred color (red, blue, or green) sticky note.
  • Each group will determine which color was most popular for their group and select either 1-2 craft sticks (depending on group size) to represent their electoral vote.
  • Students will place their sticky note in the correct location on the chart paper to create a bar graph of the most popular color.
  • Groups will place their electoral vote choices (craft sticks) in the pocket chart.
  • Students will compare the popular vote to the electoral vote.
  • Students will create a T-chart that lists the advantages and disadvantages of using the electoral college.
    • If there are not enough students to divide into small groups, students may be assigned 'states' with a pre-set number of votes to compare popular and electoral votes.

Interactive Map

Grade level: 6-8

Materials:

  • computer/internet/printer

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