Matters of Education

Learning Happens Everywhere

Math of Partisanship, MS

Length of Time:   45-60 minutes


We like to think of voting as a straight forward process—one person, one vote. But the actuality is quite different thanks to the structure of the Electoral College, limits on the total number of representatives and Congressional districts that have been gerrymandered, packed, and fracked. The activities in this lesson allow you to explore these issues with your students and question the fairness of our electoral system and perhaps, suggest something more equitable.

Essential Questions

Are all votes equal? What is the math of political partisanship?

Common Core Standards

ELA, Anchor Standards, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words

Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.


Math Practices

2.Reason abstractly and quantitatively

  1. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  2. Model with mathematics         7. Look for and make use of structure

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


Grade 5

History and Geography

Civics and Government

The Principles and Institutions of American Constitutional Government

US History 1: The Revolution through Reconstruction, 1763-1877

The Formation and Framework of American Democracy

Political Democratization, 1800-1860

Civil War and Reconstruction