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LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Read about voter suppression tactics; evaluate the impact of activism on voting rights.

HEALTH ED STANDARDS

NHES 8: Advocate for personal, family, and community health.

CASEL COMPETENCY: Social awareness; responsible decision-making

KEY VOCAB

nefarious, eligibility, erroneously

Lesson Plan: Fighting for Voting Rights

Voter suppression robs people of their right to vote. Find out how November’s Changemaker is fighting to give everyone a voice in the 2020 presidential race.

ESSENTIAL QUESTION

How can activism help give everyone a voice during an election?

 CLOSE-READING QUESTIONS

  1. What is gerrymandering? How do candidates use it to help themselves in an election? Politicians use  gerrymandering to re-draw the borders of a congressional or local legislative district so the district contains more of the candidate’s supporters.
  2. Why did James take the internship with the group Students for Justice? He took the internship to stop voter suppression and help give people a voice.
  3. What other voter suppression tactics did you read about? Name at least two. Possible answers: poll taxes; laws requiring ID at polling stations; voter roll purges.

 CRITICAL-THINKING QUESTIONS

  1. In your understanding, why is voting such an important right for people to exercise? Possible answers: Voting is a way to ensure that you have a say in what happens in the country; voting is a way to express your political beliefs.
  2. What other forms of civic engagement are important besides voting for president in an election year? Possible answers: Voting in local and state elections; contacting Congresspeople with your concerns; writing a letter to the editor about an issue of national or local concern.

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

EXTENSION ACTIVITY

NHES 7

CASEL Competency: Social Awareness

Have students watch this video from We the Voters  to learn more about the history of voting rights and the ways activism has impacted voting rights through history.  Use the activity YOUR STATE’S VOTING RULES to have them compare their state’s voting rules to other states. Finally, have students prepare a short talk on what they would change about voting in their state if they could. (Click here to find this Skill Builder.)

EXTENSION ACTIVITY

NHES 8

CASEL Competency: Social Awareness

 After the extension activity, students may feel inspired to change some of the rules around voting in their state.  Have students use this outline to write and send  A LETTER TO THE EDITOR of a school, local, or even national newspaper. Be sure you recognize students who get published! (Click here to find this Skill Builder.)

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