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Best 2020 Election Sites and Apps for Education

"I voted" stickers on white table
(Image credit: Unsplash/Element5 Digital)

With the 2020 U.S. election only three weeks away, now is the time to explore these top election teaching resources from respected, non-partisan sources. Most are 100% free.  For extra fun and student engagement, check out the games and interactives.  

BEST 2020 ELECTION WEBSITES

  1. Britannica ProCon.org - 2020 Presidential Election Site (opens in new tab)
    The go-to site for controversial issues provides a wealth of information for the 2020 election, including candidate statements on diverse issues from “defund police” to “border wall” to “tuition free college.”  Even better, the Teachers' Corner features 2020 election lesson plans and tools for teaching two dozen AP courses, plus ideas on teaching critical thinking.
  2. Center for Civic Education - Voting Lessons (opens in new tab)
    Browse the ample selection of detailed lesson plans, organized by elementary, middle, and high school. 
  3. C-SPAN Classroom- Campaign 2020 (opens in new tab)
    Extensive 2020 election resources from C-Span Classroom include the basics of American democracy, candidate comparisons, issues, lesson plans, campaign strategy, and much more. Much of the material is based on news videos, creating a golden opportunity for independent student research. 
  4. Facing History and Ourselves - Teaching Resources for the 2020 U.S. Election (opens in new tab)
    Facing History's U.S. election-season resources are designed to guide teachers and students in examining the history of voting rights, media literacy, and how young people today can participate in the democratic process.  Three online professional development events (opens in new tab) explore ways for educators to support student civic participation. 
  5. iCivics - Election Headquarters (opens in new tab)
    From the highly respected iCivics.org site comes a complete look at the 2020 U.S. election, from the 2020 Presidential Candidates Guide to lesson plans to games and infographics. Bonus: “Students Power Elections,” an election guide written by and for students.  
  6. PBS Learning Media - Election Central (opens in new tab)
    Features a robust collection of 2020 election video clips, documents, lesson plans, and interactives for grade 4 and up. Be sure to check out the awesome KQED Youth Media Challenge: Let's Talk About Election 2020 (opens in new tab) .
  7. PBS NewsHour Extra Election 2020 (opens in new tab)
    2020 election campaign teaching resources include downloadable news videos, voting lesson plans, and “Educator Voice(s),” topical articles written by teachers.  
  8. ReadWriteThink (opens in new tab)
    Although not specific to the 2020 election, ReadWriteThink’s election-related lessons and classroom activities cover important topics such as propaganda, political commercials, and speechmaking. Resources are conveniently organized by grade. 
  9. Share my Lesson - Elections And Democracy: Free Lesson Plans And Resources (opens in new tab)
    Explore myriad preK-12 civic education resources created by and for teachers. Highlights: Voter Registration Action Plan and How To Get Along With Our Political Opposites. 
  10. Teaching Tolerance
    Teaching Tolerance’s Future Voter Project provides resources to educate kids voting rights and voter suppression, and more importantly, a guide for registering all eligible students by the time they graduate high school. To examine controversial topics, visit the Civil Discourse in the Classroom (opens in new tab) page.
  11. The New York Times - Teach and Learn With the 2020 Election (opens in new tab)
    These free writing prompts, challenges, lesson plans, and other resources invite teachers and students to dive deeply into 2020 election topics. High school students and above are encouraged to share their opinions in a productive and respectful fashion with the Civil Conversation Challenge (opens in new tab).

BEST 2020 ELECTION GAMES AND INTERACTIVES

  1. 2020 Presidential Election Interactive Map (opens in new tab)
    This 2020 Presidential Election Interactive Map is a fun and instructive way to examine the likely scenarios for the outcome of the 2020 Presidential race. Bonus: Share your map via social media, email, or website embed. 
  2. 270 | Two Seventy U.S. Election Android (opens in new tab)  iOS (opens in new tab)
    A great game to teach and practice strategic thinking in the context of U.S. Presidential elections. 
  3. Campaign Manager - An Election Simulator (opens in new tab)
    Choose your role and your election, from 1992’s Clinton vs. Bush to 2020’s Biden vs. Trump. Then manage advertising, events, volunteers, staff, and money to see if you can make history—or reverse it. The app’s model uses real-world polling data, population demographics, and historical voting trends.
  4. The New York Times: The Battleground States Biden and Trump Need to Win 270 (opens in new tab) Simple drag-and-drop interface allows users to see which combinations of states win the election for either candidate.
  5. Win the White House (opens in new tab)  Android (opens in new tab)iOS
    (opens in new tab)
    Players learn the ins and outs of Presidential campaigns by debating opponents, raising funds, polling voters, launching media, and making appearances. Gameplay includes a daily leaderboard.