VERA 2024

Classroom and Program Resources

Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities

 Become a 2024 Voting Ambassador — This Lesson Packet (#30) offers a set Google slides for you to download and adapt. It guides teachers to train students to be Voting Ambassadors. Students learn basics about voting — the issues and the procedures — and decide whether they’d like to take on the project of supporting others in their community to register and vote. It is mostly intermediate- to advanced-level, and it gives students a chance to work on reading, writing, and speaking and listening skills in the context of a highly (!) relevant civics moment.

Voter Suppression vs. Fraud — During recent elections and in current events, we hear a lot about both voter suppression and voter fraud. What are they? How should we evaluate the claims about them? This 5-page PDF (also available in Google slides for you to download and adapt) offers some definitions and activities on this topic, and asks students to develop their own questions and then research the answers.

Ask a Candidate! Use this lesson plan which includes an exercise for developing good questions (based in part on the Right Question Project’s template). After students develop their question(s), this lesson plan guides students to write to a candidate to pose their questions. It includes a letter template and model, as well as a rubric for evaluating the letter.

Candidates Wall Activity – This is a guide (from 2020) to having students create an educational display of the candidates. It assumes your classes are meeting in person. For distance learning, have students create a virtual wall using presentation software.

Electing a U.S. President in Plain English – This 3.5-minute video describes how the electoral college works.

Pick Your Candidate – This multi-faceted lesson plan helps students to understand political campaign advertising and candidate’s positions so they can make educated decisions at the polls. (Written in 1995, revised in 2007, still relevant today.)

History of Voting Rights Lesson Packet #30 – This packet includes pre- and post-activities, a hands-on History of Voting Rights activity, a link to a history of voting rights video, an article on race and voting rights, and more stories and facts and figures about current voting restrictions.

 The Change Agent’s Stand Up and Be Counted issue (2020) — see especially pp. 18-31 on voting and pp. 32-54 on non-electoral ways to speak up about issues that matter to you.

The Change Agent’s Democracy in Action issue (2008) is full of relevant and engaging articles and activities for the ABE/ESOL classroom. For example:

  • Do You Vote? Writings by adult learners, pp. 8-9
  • Let’s Get Out the Adult Education Vote! Strategies for teachers and programs, pp. 28-29
  • History of Voting. An engaging and informative  classroom activity, pp. 30-32
  • Is Voting a Right for Every Citizen?  A discussion of voting rights in the contemporary context, pp.  34-36
  • Voting: My Obligation to Past, Present, and Future. A Native American adult learner’s view on voting, p. 37
  • What Difference Does It make?  Rationale for voting, p. 51
  • Politicalese: Spotting Election Campaign Tactics. Includes a matching activity, pp. 52-53
  • Using the Media to Analyze Political News, p. 55
  • How Do We Elect the President. Civics 101 lesson,  pp. 58-60
  • Referendums: A Form of Direct Democracy. Another Civics 101 lesson, p. 63-64
  • What is a Caucus? Another Civics 101 lesson, p. 65
  • A Simulated Town MeetingAn Experience in Democracy. Instructions for a role play, pp. 72-73
  • Howard Zinn on Democracy Requires Action, Organization, and Risk, p. 66
A Program-Wide Activity

 Hold a mock election at your program. See this page for details.

Websites with Election Information

Ballotpedia  – When you enter your address on this site, it produces a sample ballot of the (state and federal) candidates and ballot questions that will appear on your local ballot when you vote in the general election. The home site ( includes a wealth of political information about every state.

Election Protection Hotline – The Election Protection Hotline is run by a nonpartisan Election Protection coalition made up of more than 100 local, state and national partners. Its goal is to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. They run three hotlines: 1-866-OUR-VOTE administered by the Lawyers’ Committee, 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA administered by the Nat’l Assoc. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund, and 1-888-API-VOTE administered by APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC. They also have state-specific voter information.

Fact Check  – is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. They monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding. is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

PolitiFact – PolitiFact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times to help you find the truth in American politics.

Rock the Vote – An easy-to-use website that tells you how to register and where to vote. – This site enables you to check the positions, votes, speeches, and funders of any candidate or elected official, and allows you to see how well the candidates match your own positions on issues.

Where the parties stand – A chart that summarizes where the parties stand on key issues that affect adult students. (Updated for 2020.)

Websites with Civics Activities

Civic Participation and Citizenship Collection – Annotated web sites and original materials. – iCivics is a non-profit organization dedicated to reinvigorating civic learning through interactive and engaging learning resources. Founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, iCivics provides free lesson plans, games, and other online activities that support civic understanding and democratic action. The iCivics games place students in different civic roles and engages them in addressing real-world problems and issues. – This site hosts a quiz that allows you to compare your own positions to those of the candidates, including Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green candidates. It allows you to save your results and offers the opportunity to blog about issues or see how other voters feel.

Make your Own Political Comics – MakeBeliefsComix has published a series of new printables to encourage students to express their views of the 2020 Presidential Election. Students also can use the free comic generator to create their own comic strips about the political campaign.

PBS Election Central – PBS has created tools and resources to educate students on the process and history of elections including campaigning, local impact of national issues, how the electoral college works, fast facts and an interactive, activity-based map.

RQI “Why Vote?” Tool – This tool developed by the Right Question Institute helps people engage with voting at all levels of elections — local to national.

Resources that help you teach media literacy and how to be savvy about AI

three-page resource from The Change Agent covering the basics of media literacy

The News Literacy Project — for educators and everyone — includes tools like Rumor Guard and Checkology.

An excellent four-page PDF put out by Connecticut Public Television, “Guide to Fakes and Facts.”

This learning module put out by MIT called “Media Literacy in the Age of Deep Fakes.”

A mini-lesson from Facing History: “Learning to Navigate Generative AI: Media Literacy Strategies

This collection of News and Media Literacy lessons from Massachusetts PBS.