Election 2004 Web Resources

With the 2004 Presidential Election less than a month away, we have compiled a list of some of the best online resources to help educators teach their students about democracy:

Project Vote Smart covers candidates and elected officials in five basic categories: biographical information, issue positions, voting records, campaign finances and interest-group ratings. Online: www.vote-smart.org

NewsHour Extra: Vote 2004 offers issue backgrounders, candidate profiles, lesson plans and teen perspectives. Online: www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/vote2004/index.html

C-SPAN in the Classroom provides teachers with lesson guides and activities using the vast resources of balanced C-SPAN programming. Online: www.c-span.org/classroom/govt/campaigns.asp

By the People: Election 2004 is loaded with lesson plans that are organized by grade level and topic. The lesson plans are designed to be tied to state and national standards for civics, history, math and language arts. Online: www.pbs.org/elections/kids/educators.html

The Dirksen Congressional Center: Congress for Kids teaches students that democracy requires citizens to participate in their government, beginning with the duty to vote. This site also details the intricacies of the American electoral process. Online: www.congressforkids.net/Elections_index.htm

The Official Site of the Federal Election Commission provides an in-depth look at the FEC, which is an independent regulatory agency. The site details the FEC’s duties, which include disclosing campaign finance information, enforcing provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, and overseeing the public funding of presidential elections. Online: www.fec.gov

Election 2004 WebQuest allows students to research candidates and issues in order to help them answer the question, “Which candidate would you vote for?” Online: www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson202.shtml

National Council for the Social Studies offers a large collection of online electoral resources to help educators navigate the upcoming election and teach about the democratic process. Online: www.socialstudies.org/election

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2004 issue of THE Journal.

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