Unit 5 Resources: Election Season in AP Government

The election season of 2016 was insane and I was so burnt out at the end of it that I promised myself I would never do that again. There is so much information out there and sometimes as teachers, we feel like we have to know everything.

But why?

We should be giving students the tools to learn and know what they want about the election, as well as what they need to know regarding the curriculum.

The last thing we need in a year of asynchronous learning is election fatigue, especially considering that we have both a presidential and Congressional elections, not to mention state and local elections! (Side note: I love the Pew Research website as it has a lot of different topics and you can utilize the charts and graphs for quantitative analysis). Remember, unit 5 is roughly 20% of the exam (or 0% if you look at 2020). Try to utilize the guidelines to keep you from spending too much time.

Keep it simple, give yourself a break from the news cycle, and focus on student outcomes.


Unit 5 Political Participation Resources

Videos

These videos are available without logins or cost

Suppressed: The Fight to Vote (38 minutes)
Electoral Dysfunction (2012), 36 Minutes


Podcasts

I love podcasts, and these are quick, timely, and as middle ground as I have found. NPR has a lot of great things, but their Politics Podcast is one of my favorites. Again, nothing too long and it can lead to a great virtual discussion. Students can also listen without being attached to a screen, which can be helpful.

Brazil's President Sows Distrust In Election — Sound Familiar? The NPR Politics Podcast

As Brazilians head to the polls to vote for president, they're being deluged by a wave of falsehoods that echo Donald Trump's claims of a stolen election. Are there lessons to be learned ahead of future elections in the U.S.?This episode: political correspondent Susan Davis, correspondent Shannon Bond, and voting reporter Shannon Bond.Learn more about upcoming live shows of The NPR Politics Podcast at nprpresents.org.Support the show and unlock sponsor-free listening with a subscription to The NPR Politics Podcast Plus. Learn more at plus.npr.org/politics Connect:Email the show at nprpolitics@npr.orgJoin the NPR Politics Podcast Facebook Group.Subscribe to the NPR Politics Newsletter.
  1. Brazil's President Sows Distrust In Election — Sound Familiar?
  2. Oath Keepers Militia Members Face Seditious Conspiracy Charges
  3. Final Jan. 6 Hearing Is Coming — Here's Everything We've Learned
  4. How Did Russia's War On Ukraine Drive Up U.S. Energy Bills?
  5. Weekly Roundup: September 23rd

Writing/Discussion

Citizens United

Turn this into an argumentative essay or a class discussion.

This was always one of my favorites to do because Citizens United confuses me… however the DBQ uses Federalist 10 and the 1st amendment. Plus I like to overarching question: Assess whether the Supreme Court ruled correctly in Citizens United v. FEC in light of constitutional principles including republican government and freedom of speech. Here is the post. I love this lesson because I challenge my students to show me something new. They LOVE that I didn’t know everything and was learning right along with them!


Other Resources

iCivics has a TON of resources, games, lessons, you name it! This is a one stop shop, and can be utilized for all grade levels, even your AP students!

PBS Election Central

Teach and Learn With the 2020 Election– New York Times


Above all, take care of yourself and don’t try to overdo it. Keep it simple, invite students to take charge of their learning, and invite previous curriculum to engage and reinforce.

Elizabeth Evans, NBCT

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