Free 2020 Election Lesson Plan for Middle School
With November right around the corner, your students may be asking you about the upcoming presidential election. They may have heard about the election at home but not really understand it. As teachers, it can be hard to find an unbiased and easy-to-understand election lesson plan that is age-appropriate for middle school students.
I know that teaching current events like the election can be difficult, so I’ve created this 2020 election lesson plan using google slides to help middle school students understand:
- basic facts about the 2020 election
- how the president is elected
- the electoral college
- electoral maps
This 2020 election lesson plan will help your middle school students understand what the election is all about and provide a structured way to discuss current events in your classroom. Check out the lesson plan below and don’t forget to click the link at the bottom to download the free Google Slides.
2020 Election Lesson Plan
Lesson Objectives: I can explain what the election is and how the president is elected. I can read and analyze electoral maps.
Basic Facts about the 2020 Election
1. First, have each student pull up the google slides for the lesson (download the resource at the end of this blog post). Ideally each student should have their own device, but students can write answers on paper if not.
2. Next, review the first three slides that cover basic facts about the election. As you go through each of these key facts, students will answer questions in the slides. You can answer these questions together or allow students to do this individually. Students will learn the answers to the following important questions:
- What is the election?
- What are people voting for in 2020?
- When is the election?
- What is the presidential election?
How is the President Elected?
3. Next, ask students how they think the president is elected. They will likely say by voting. Explain to students that although the popular vote is important, the election is actually decided by the electoral college.
4. Show the short video about the electoral college. Then give students time to answer the following questions:
- What is the electoral college?
- How many total electors are there?
- How many electors does a candidate need to win the election?
- Why do Presidential candidates want to win big states like Texas?
- What are safe states?
- What are swing states?
Electoral Map #1 (electors per state)
5. Show students the first map. Ask them what they notice about the map. How is it the same or different from other maps they have seen?
6. Next, guide your students through the parts of the map including numbers, letters, and the map key. After you’ve reviewed how to read the map, students will show understanding by answering questions using an electoral map.
Electoral Map #2 (red and blue states)
7. Before showing the second map, review what “safe” and “swing” states are.
8. Show the second map and guide students through the different parts. Ask students to pay attention to how this map compares to the previous electoral map. What do the colors represent? Using the information on the google slides, explain what red and blue states mean and why “swing states” are important. Using this map, students will answer questions about their state and neighboring states.
What do you think?
9. Finally, let students share their opinions! There is a place in the Google Slides for students to type what they think of the electoral college and who they think will win the 2020 election. Encourage students to use the data from the lesson to back up their opinion.
This could also be a good opportunity to allow students to share their opinions with the class, but make sure to set clear expectations for respectful behavior while sharing.
Download the 2020 Election Lesson Plan for Middle School
I hope this election lesson plan takes the stress out of teaching about the 2020 election with your middle school students. To help you teach this lesson, I’ve created google slides to guide you and provide a place for students to answer questions.
To download the google slide presentation, simply click the button below.
If you need even more help teaching, I’ve also created interactive history units full of engaging and meaningful lessons. Your students will love these units, and I know you will love having everything planned and prepped for you!
Looking for more free social studies lessons? Check out these other free lesson plans I have created. In addition, all lesson plans are Google Classroom compatible – perfect for both in-person and distance learning!