Matters of Education

Learning Happens Everywhere

What Does It Mean to Vote?, 9-12

Length of Time:   20-30 Minutes


Voting is both a right and a privilege in the United States. Who gets to vote has been one of the most important parts of our nation’s story. Originally, only white men who owned property were allowed to vote. The struggle to include everyone else has reflected the best and worst of our history.

Essential Questions

How has the right to vote evolved over the course of the nation’s history?

Common Core Standards

English and Language Arts, Grades 11 and 12, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

RI.11-12.8. Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses)

RI.11-12.9. Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.


English/Language Arts; History/Social Studies, Grades 9-12

Key Ideas and Details

RH.9-10-11-12.2. Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

RH.9-12.7. Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Content Standards

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

The Formation and Framework of American Democracy

Political Democratization, 1800-1860

Civil War and Reconstruction

US History 2: Reconstruction to the Present, 1877-Present

The Age of Reform, 1900-1940

American Government Elective