Google’s Election Tools for Teachers

October 2nd, 2008 by ClickSchooling Leave a reply »

Recommended Website:
Google’s Election Tools for Teachers

Age Range: 5-18

ClickSchooling Reviewer Michael Hardt wrote today’s ClickSchooling Review. (Read Michael’s bio below.)

Google did a real favor to teachers who want to help their students learn about the election process. They assembled a bunch of their free, online tools and customized them for the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Students can enjoy an array of activities that enhance their knowledge of government and the election process.

This site is easy to browse by clicking the links in the text on the landing page. For example:

  • Click “National Student/Parent Mock Election” near the top of the screen and enroll your children to vote in a Mock Election on October 30th. Results will be tallied from schools participating nationwide. Enroll as a “Private” or “Other” school.

Then, in the menu box that starts with the heading “Explaining the Political Process”…

  1. Click “The Electoral College Map” to see which states voted “red” or “blue” in previous elections and which are “swing states” this year. Your children can click on the states to make them red or blue and predict how the states will vote.
  2. Click “YouTube YouChoose” under “Teaching about Issues and Candidates.” Watch the official YouTube videos released by the candidates.
  3. Click “In Quotes” under “Teaching about Issues and Candidates.” See side-by-side comparisons of candidates’ quotations on various issues.

After you click on any menu item, the screen on the right side of the menu box will change to display the content. Notice that the heading includes helpful small print stating recommended age-groups such as “recommended for all ages” or “recommended for Middleschoolers and up.”

There’s a lot more here if you poke around: histories of the candidates, links to news stories about them, how to send letters to them – and even how often people type their names into Google!

This site isn’t a single, coherent lesson. It’s a smorgasbord of different resources. They won’t all fit into your plans for Social Studies or Current Events, but I bet some will!

Michael Hardt and
Diane Flynn Keith
for ClickSchooling
Copyright 2008, All Rights Reserved
www.Homefires.com
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**** ABOUT MICHAEL HARDT *****

Michael Hardt is a homeschool dad to two children ages 8 and 9. He says his wife, Camille, does at least 90% of the teaching, but he tries to get involved where he can. :) The Hardt family lives in rural New Hampshire so Internet resources mean a lot to them. Michael used to teach college literature. Now, he manages an engineering team for a software company that makes digital maps. He has also worked as a software engineer on video game graphics at Sony and Electronic Arts. Michael wrote, “I play piano badly, and I still spend too much time browsing the Internet.” That’s good news for ClickSchoolers! You can read Michael’s blog “Family School” (with the subtitle, “Teaching strategies and family humor from inexperienced-but-trying, homeschooling parents”.

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