Click here: The PBS Electoral Decoder
As we navigate this election season, and as we get closer to the finish line, students are going to be more and more vocal and curious about the politics and processes involved with selecting our next Commander in Chief. I really like this tool that PBS created - not only because of it's interactive features, but because it allows us to go back in time (waaaaay back!) to see how elections have played out over the past 200 or so years. With an interactive map at the forefront, students can scroll through the timeline at the bottom and see which candidate won which state, and when you get to 2016, the student can select which state they think each candidate will win, and can see the results at the top. What better way for students to get hands-on with our election?
Additionally, PBS has some fantastic resources for students in their "Election Central". Check them out and let me know what you think!
Wonderopolis is a fantastic, comprehensive kid-oriented "wonder" engine. With a friendly user interface and easy to use layout, kids will get lost in the "Wonders of the Day". The articles are inspired by questions submitted by students from all over the world, and feature rich text with interactive elements. Each article can be read out loud courtesy of a easy to use text-to-speech button at the top of each page. Also, challenge words (or in this case, "Wonder Words") are highlighted in yellow and when the student hovers over them, the definition is showed. Students can even take a quiz at the end of reading the article to check their comprehension of the words. Adding Wonderopolis to your arsenal of student-friendly search engines is a must, and additionally, this is a great tool to offer during free time or independent practice on the Chromebook. Check out this entry which wonders "Do All Trains Run Aboveground?"
ReadWorks.com is an excellent ELA resource that helps teachers find texts that are just right for each of the readers in their class. Recently on ReadWorks, they've developed a list of articles, broken down by grade, that focus on the presidential election. Check it out here!