Objective for the Lesson:

This is it! The presidential election of 2020. The student mock election is over, and the results are known. Now, it is time to compare what the students thought with what the voters actually did when they cast votes on Election Day.

Student Expectations:

  • Fill in an electoral map that reflects the results of the 2020 presidential election.
  • Interview adults about the reasons for the votes they cast.
  • Research how the news media covered the actual election.
  • List any issues that arose on Election Day.

Lesson Plan:

  1. The night before the election, invite students to interview their parents or other adults about Election Day and their voting choices.
    1. Who did you vote for?
    2. Why did you vote for that candidate?
  2. On the day after the election, have students share their responses with the class. Discuss similarities/differences among voting results.
  3. Using newspapers or the internet, find the electoral results for the election.
  4. Provide students with a blank U.S. political map. Assign students several states each. Students should find out which candidate won the electoral vote in their assigned states and color their maps red/blue respectively.
  5. Students should keep a tally of electoral votes for each candidate.
  6. Students should report the results in their states to the rest of the class, who fill in their individual maps accordingly.
  7. With a partner, have students analyze what they see in the results (potential observations: geographic distribution by party, large state vs. small state results).
  8. Using local newspapers or the internet, have students research any problems that developed either on Election Day or following the election. (potential ideas: voting machines not working, shortage of ballots, long lines at polling places, contested results). Invite students to list any problems they find and how the issues were resolved.
  9. Invite students to look at how the election was covered by different media sources and discuss any differences they observe.
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