Matters of Education

Learning Happens Everywhere

America Votes, Gr 3-5

Length of Time:   4 to 6 Class Periods


This four lesson unit will serve as an engaging introduction to our voting process for students. Using data, visual documents, and complex texts, students will be able to explore Election Results, Political Parties, Election Maps and Voting Rights both in historic and contemporary contexts.  Using one state, Massachusetts as a model, they will learn how these process developed over time and extend this understanding to other states and the national landscape.  Using the Red, White and Blue School, especially designed with them in mind, they will understand how our electoral process evolved and is relevant to them.  Companion lessons on the site include Understanding the Electoral College and What is the President’s Job?

Essential Questions

How has this essential right evolved and been made both more accessible and difficult in our own time?

Common Core Standards

Grades 3, 4 and 5: English/Language Arts

Reading Informational Text: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

RI.3.7. Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

RI.4.7. Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

RI.3.10. By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 2–3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

RI.4.10. and RI.5.10.

By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 4–5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Mathematics, Grade 3

Measurement and Data: Represent and Interpret Data

3.MD.3. Solve one- and two-step “how many more” and “how many less” problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs.

Content Standards

National Geography Standards

Standard 1: How to Use Maps and Other Geographic Representations, Tools, and Technologies to Acquire, Process, and Report Information From a Spatial Perspective

Standard 17: How to Apply Geography to Interpret the Past


Grade 3

History and Geography

The Difference between a contemporary map and a historical map

Civic and Government

Why it is necessary for communities to have governments

Cities and Towns of Massachusetts

Grade 4

History and Geography

Maps Skills; Interpret a Map

Grade 5

History and Geography

Map skills; Interpret a Map; Compare contemporary and historical map

Civics and Government

The Principles and Institutions of American Constitutional Government

5.24 Principles of American Democracy

5.27 Participation of American citizens in government