Every four years, voters go to the polls to elect the next president of the United States. We find ourselves listening to campaign advertisements, news reports on the candidates and their activities and watching debates between the candidates. Bring the campaign to life with primary sources from the Library of Congress.
Our newly updated Elections presentation focuses on the presidential election process, how the founders and others in the United States government determined who could vote in elections, how the right to vote has expanded and been protected, and the different issues that have played a role in presidential campaigns.
The Teaching with the Library of Congress blog has a number of posts relating to elections. Here are some highlights:
- Presidential Elections: Newspapers and Complex Text – Explore how newspapers can help students understand and analyze complex texts.
- Multimedia Moment: American Archives of Public Broadcasting – Learn about this unique collection which includes recordings of speeches, news reports and debates from presidential campaigns including recordings from the Kennedy-Nixon debates of 1960.
- Know Your Candidate: Analyzing Sheet Music to Explore Presidential Nominee Identity – Use sheet music to help students learn about political parties, important issues and how music could help change the perception of a candidate.
- Design a Mock Election in 2012: Lessons from Historical Primary Sources – How can primary sources help students design a mock election? This post provides some ideas.
- Path to the Presidency: Catching the Voters Eye – Part of a series of blog posts on presidential elections, this post discussed the use of posters, buttons and banners in swaying voters.
- Path to the Presidency: Political Speeches – Use the collection American Leaders Speak to learn how recordings of speeches were used to encourage voters to go to the polls.
What activities are you using with your students to bring the election process to life? Share them in the comments.
Bringing these primary sources to students helps them discover our democratic election process as well as the important issues to the American public at the time of a particular election.
wow! incredible history here