Need election resources? iCivics can help.
We all love iCivics. And why not? Tons of useful tools. Simulations. Games. Lots of teaching materials. Oh, yeah. And it’s all free.
If you’re not super familiar with iCivics, it’s good to know why it exists.
“iCivics exists to engage students in meaningful civic learning. We provide teachers with well-written, inventive, and free resources that enhance their practice and inspire their classrooms.”
Simple. Accurate. But not very specific. So what does iCivics have that can help you this spring and next fall? Here are just a few of my favorite tools designed specifically to help with teaching the upcoming election.
In less than a year, all eyes will be on the Capitol steps for the next Presidential Inauguration. It’s going to be a busy year on the political front, and in your classroom. You can help your students become more knowledgeable about the U.S. election system with two of iCivics’ most popular games:
- Win the White House
- Cast Your Vote
In Win the White House, your students manage their own presidential campaign. They’ll select issues to debate, manage media campaigns, raise funds, and much more. Gameplay helps students:
- Build arguments to support timely issues that are relevant
- Strategically raise funds to support their campaign
- Keep campaign momentum through targeted media campaigns and personal appearances
- Poll local voters to see what issues resonate
- Students will also meet Ana, the game’s new campaign manager, who will help guide kids through the process.
Recently updated with a Spanish translation, voiceover, and glossary for English Language Learners, Win the White House gives every student the opportunity to become the next President!
Play Win the White House.
Cast Your Vote helps your students learn how to be informed voters and gives them practice uncovering what they need to know to become engaged and knowledge about the process. Kids will explore a variety of topics in the game – from knowing where they stand on important issues to uncovering what they need to know about candidates by participating in a fictional local election.
There are new features, such as a keyboard navigation mode and a screen reader that supplements the use of sound effects and voiceover, making game play easier for students with visual or mobile impairments. (You can access these tools via the dropdown menu in the top left corner of the game screen.) Cast Your Vote has similar tools to support English Language Learners with a Spanish translation, voiceover, and glossary.
In Cast Your Vote kids:
- Learn about local elections
- See political candidates discuss important issues in Town Hall debates
- Identify issues that matter to them and rate candidate responses
Play Cast Your Vote.
Every iCivics game, including these two, is playable in one class period and has a detailed printable report at the end to assist with grading. iCivics games can be played in a variety of settings: one to one, small groups, or whole class. And iCivics games don’t require prior knowledge – they teach kids everything they need to know to play.
You can make iCivics games a richer learning experience by using their extension packs and teacher resources which include activities and teaching tools to make game play a deeper, more meaningful learning experience for your students.
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Glenn is a curriculum and tech integration specialist, speaker, and blogger with a passion for technology and social studies. He delivers engaging professional learning across the country with a focus on consulting, presentations, and keynotes. Find out more about Glenn and how you might learn together by going to his Work with Me page.