Posted: Tue, 03/22/2016 - 9:22am Updated: Tue, 06/13/2017 - 1:10pm

Voting/Election Resources

Indiana Kids Election - IKE provides students in grades K-12 with the hands-on experience of voting in a class or school-wide mock election. Students learn to develop good voting habits at an early age by participating in voting milestones such as registering to vote and casting a ballot on Election Day. Visit www.inkidselection.com to sign up today!

Classroom Resources

  • Constitutionally Speaking: This guide is full of activities and lessons to help your students learn about the early growth of Indiana and the provisions made to accommodate societal changes.  Lessons include:
      • Basics of government with special attention to the role of the constitution
      • Changes in Indiana from statehood to the mid-1800s that necessitated a new state constitution
      • Constitutional conventions of 1816 and 1850 and the delegates
      • Issues facing Indiana's citizens in the 1850s such as education and suffrage
      • Each lesson is followed by resource suggestions and biographical material for you and your students
    • Hoosiers and the American Story A supplemental textbook for middle and high school students. Hoosiers and the American Story provides intimate views of individuals and places in Indiana set within themes from American history.
    • Destination Indiana Destination Indiana brings Indiana's history to life through thousands of images and hundreds of stories about our Hoosier heritage. These are the people and events of the past that made us who we are today, recreated through our vast collection of rare historical photographs and documents. These stories are yours to explore, share and cherish. You can also visit the Destination Indiana gallery in person as part of the Indiana Experience, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis.
    • Indiana Territory This issue of The Indiana Historian documents the formation of Indiana from the Northwest Territory, through various stages as Indiana Territory. Includes discussions of finances and slavery. William Henry Harrison's life and career is highlighted in the timeline.
    • Indiana Statehood This issue of the Indiana Historian provides details about the process, the people, and the times that led to Indiana's acceptance as the nineteenth state on December 11, 1816.
    • Indiana’s Constitution of 1851 This issue of the Indiana Historian describes the rewriting of the Constitution and why, the constitutional convention of 1851, its members, and the differences between the two Indiana Constitutions, women's rights, and African-American immigration.
    • United State Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization (Civics) Test

    Civics Education Resources

    • Indiana Bar Foundation. Education professionals working with students in elementary, middle and high school will find scholarship and education programs through the Indiana Bar Foundation to teach about government, the U.S. Constitution and the American judicial process. They include:
      • We the People: the Citizen & the Constitution helps students learn about American democracy and contemporary application of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Textbooks provided free while program is funded with assistance of the Indiana General Assembly and private donations. Through classroom instruction and work in small groups, students learn content from six units and build skills in writing, public speaking, team work and critical thinking. The culminating activity is mock congressional hearings where students testify before panels of adult “judges” and respond to impromptu questions. Competitions occur on a regional and state level for middle and high school students in November and December; elementary students participate in a state showcase in May annually.
      • Indiana High School Mock Trial competition develops students' understanding of the American judicial system through simulated civil or criminal trials. Student teams guided by teachers and attorney/coaches practice for academic competition with a fictitious case and roles such as attorney, witness and defendant. Emphasis is on rules of evidence, writing and speaking skills as well as critical thinking and acting.
      • The U.S. Senate Youth Program is a week-long experience in Washington, D.C. for two student leaders from Indiana. Application, essay and oral interviews are involved in the selection process. Two $10,000 scholarships are awarded annually. Application materials are posted annually by August 1.
      • Indiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council is a panel of youth from around the state who meet up to six times each year to discuss youth-related legislative issues and submit an annual report to the Indiana General Assembly.
      • For more information, contact civic education coordinator Lily Lawson, (317) 269-2415.
    • ACLU of Indiana Constitution Day online resources are available to every teacher, parent and child in the Hoosier state. These resources are available not only on Constitution Day, but on every day of the year, to anyone who wants to access them to learn the basics of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The site was created to provide easy access to teaching tools that are interesting, fun and informative, including:
      • An online and downloadable Slide Show and Presentation Guide for teachers
      • 15-minute activities for homeroom/advisory periods
      • Student rights when interacting with police
      • The First Amendment in public schools
      • Downloadable materials, including study guides for the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and U.S. Supreme Court, plus a downloadable pocket Constitution
      • A link to fun additional online activities on ACLU National’s Constitution Day website
      • A link to the Indiana Constitution
    • 2015 Indiana Civic Health Index
    • American Bar Association - For teachers and students, the American Bar Association offers a resource guide on how to organize a Civics and Law Academy, which engages middle and high school students in learning about law and society. The ABA accepts submissions for lessons and practices from local, state, and national law-related and civic education programs for its free resource guide. Most material is free. Level: Middle and high school
    • Annenberg Classroom – This site offers an in-depth look at what the constitution says and means. Includes numerous videos, timelines, games and interactive.
    • Ashbrook Center at Ashland University - The Ashbrook Center, an independent center at Ashland University, provides a historical documents library, Exhibits on America's Founding, web-based lesson plans, and podcasts. Its "50 Core Documents That Tell America's Story" lists the essential documents that are a starting point for students and teachers to "think more deeply about what it means to be an American." Grade level: Middle and high school. Resources: Primarily free.
    • Bill of Rights Institute - The Bill of Rights Institute provides a trove of online educational resources for teachers and students as well as constitutional seminars around the country for teachers and the Constitutional Academy, a summer program for high school students. Students can play interactive games, watch videos or get help writing a paper. Resources for teachers include free lesson plans in e-newsletters and webinars. Materials on the website are free. The Bill of Rights Institute also has an online bookstore with many resources for purchase. Level: High school, middle school and elementary school. Highlights include: interactive Founding Documents; Constitutional Resources; Bill of Rights in the News; Americapedia.
    • Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools - The goal of this coalition of 40 organizations is to improve civics education in schools. Among its many resources, Civic Learning Online provides free, public materials for educators. Lesson plans and practices for all grade levels, professional development and related resources, and whole school or district models are available online at the website. The Civic Learning Database may searched by grade, state and civic learning approach (i.e., Instruction in History, Government, Law or Democracy, Guided Discussions of Issues and Current Events).
    • Center for Action Civics The Center for Action Civics, the professional development branch of Mikva Challenge, provides the tools and strategies needed to engage young people in high quality Action Civics programming and experiential learning. The center’s website includes a database of free lesson plans and resources on a variety of civic education-related topics; Mikva's Action Civics curricula for purchase; examples of Action Civics projects; and more. Level: Middle and high school.
    • Center for Civic Education The Center for Civic Education is an independent, nonprofit organization based in California. A network of program coordinators throughout the United States and more than 70 other countries administers a range of curricular, teacher-training and community-based programs. Some materials free; other material available for purchase. Level: Elementary, middle and high school. Highlights include:
      • We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution: An instructional program on the history and principles of American constitutional democracy for all grade levels. The program is based on curricular materials developed by the Center for Civic Education. A simulated congressional hearing is the culminating activity.
      • We the People: Project Citizen: This program for middle, secondary, and post-secondary students, youth organizations, and adult groups is designed to develop interest in public policy as well as the ability to participate in state and local government.
      • Resource Center: For high school students: links to biographies, historical documents, images and firsthand accounts of historical events. For teachers: free professional development opportunities, free lesson plans, classroom activities.
      • Podcasts: Users can subscribe to four different podcasts, 60-Second Civics and quiz, Talking Civics, Conversations on Civics and Education for Democracy. Also a series of podcasts supplement text of We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution.
      • WE THE PEOPLE PROGRAM Indiana program sponsored by the Indiana Bar Foundation
    • Center on Congress at Indiana University - Directed by former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, the center and its site cover all aspects of the legislative branch and civic involvement. Interactive learning activities are aimed at the general public as well as schools. The online material is free; books available for purchase. LEVEL: Middle and high school. Highlights include:
      • Interactive Learning Modules: These activities teach students about topics such as How a Member Decides to Vote, The Impact of Congress, The Importance of Civic Participation, The Dynamic Legislative Process, The Many Roles of a Member of Congress, and Federal Budget Allocation.
      • Virtual Congress: This is a fully functional online replica of Congress in which students become lawmakers and propose ideas for legislation, discussing them in-world with other students, and working in realistic 3-D locations that include the House and Senate chambers.
      • Facts of Congress: For middle school students, 60-second videos all about Congress and how students can participate.
    • CIRCLE (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement) - Research on young people and civic engagement
    • Citizens, Not Spectators - Center for Civic Education
    • Citizenship Counts - This site offers lesson plans, citizenship stats and facts as well as a naturalization exam
    • Civics Renewal Network - The Civics Renewal Network is a consortium of nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations committed to strengthening civic life in the U.S. by increasing the quality of civics education in our nation's schools and by improving accessibility to high-quality, no-cost learning materials. On the Civics Renewal Network site, teachers can find the best resources of these organizations, searchable by subject, grade, resource type, standards, and teaching strategy.
    • Constitutional Rights Foundation - The CRF is a nonpartisan, nonprofit community-based organization that focuses on law and government and civic participation by young people. Its site pulls together resources for curriculum and professional development. Its outreach programs include a Mock Trial competition and other academic competitions and Courtroom to Classroom outreach. Free lesson plans are available on U.S. history, world history and government. Some materials are free; others available for purchase. Level: Primarily for middle and high school, but also some material for younger students
    • Constitutional Sources Project - This project, also known as ConSource, is a free online library of constitutional history. ConSource contains an educational program called Primary Sources, in which educators share lesson plans that use primary source documents. Level: Upper elementary, middle and high schools
    • Courts in the Classroom - Created by the State of California’s judicial branch and the Constitutional Rights Foundation, this site uses animated story videos and quizzes to teach students about Big Ideas, such as due process, free expression and checks and balances; the Third Branch, what courts and judges do; Landmark Cases related to the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. A teacher’s guide is provided. The site is free. Level: Middle and high school
    • C-SPAN Classroom - The cable channel’s site features a wealth of audio and video clips, both current and historical, related to government, history, other civics topics, and news abroad. Teacher registration is required to access free forums, lesson plans and Constitution Clips. Links to other C-SPAN resources for educators include: American History TV, American Presidents, Politics, Economic Stimulus, Presidential Libraries, Radio Specials, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, the White House and U.S. Economy. Each of these sites features extensive resources on the topic. Tutorials explain how teachers can use C-SPAN resources. Congressional Chronicle follows lawmakers and bills on a daily basis. A daily compilation of news about education is featured as well. All resources are free.

      The site also contains TV and radio programs that feature, among other resources, recordings of past presidents and oral history interviews with presidents; Supreme Court oral arguments in landmark cases and videos of justices; and interactive Supreme Court timeline. The resources are free. Level: Middle and high school

    • Dirksen Congressional Center - Named for Everett Dirksen, who served in the U.S. House and Senate, the site promotes civics engagement by providing a better understanding of Congress and its members. Extensive information covers modern and historical information, the legislative process, the current Congress’ activities, and lawmakers’ duties. Congress for Kids helps elementary school students understand government, the Constitution and voting, and includes an online learning module Democracy Kids. The site provides an extensive number of lesson plans, an interactive Congressional Timeline; webquests; online textbooks; an online civics/government course called Congress in the Classroom; and interactive activities for younger students. Level: Elementary, middle and high school
    • First Amendment Center - A Vanderbilt University site funded by the Freedom Forum, the First Amendment Center provides current news and information about First Amendment issues in the court and Congress, summaries of court cases and expert commentary and analyses of events. Lesson plans, videos, RSS feeds, podcasts and an interactive glossary are provided. The content is free. Level: Primarily for middle and high school, but also some resources for younger students.
    • Guidebook: Six Proven Practices for Effective Civic Learning - From the National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement, Education Commission of the States. This Guidebook is aimed at educators and policymakers and offers effective models of civics and service-learning that can be incorporated into the classroom and community.
    • iCivics - An initiative of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, this site features online lessons covering the three branches of government and interactive games that cover citizenship and participation, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, separation of powers, budgeting, and the executive, judicial and legislative branches. Online discussion forums allow teachers and students to give feedback on various topics. Teacher resources include curricula that complement the games, webquests, lessons and activities. Resources are free. Level: Middle and high school.  This is the place, especially for elementary and middle school students. They’ve got games and awesome Election 2016 resources.
    • Indiana Magazine of History - For more than a century, the IMH has published voices from the past: diaries, letters, and other historical documents. On this site, we offer some of these documents adapted into a series of original lesson plans (plus other photographic and written sources), geared both for the primary- and the secondary-school classroom. These lessons examine Indiana events, experiences, and personalities through a variety of activities. Lesson plans for K-12 teachers
    • IU CENTER FOR CIVIC LITERACY - The Center for Civic Literacy is a multi-disciplinary research center established, with support from an IUPUI Signature Center grant, to examine the causes of Americans’ low levels of civic knowledge, and to investigate the consequences of this troubling phenomenon.
    • FLORIDA JOINT CENTER FOR CITIZENSHIP
    • The Library of Congress – “America’s Library” provides classroom materials from a vast array of primary sources – documents, photos, objects – about events and significant figures in U.S. history. Two sections are particularly relevant for educators: America’s Story from America’s Library and for Teachers. The resources are free online, and some material is downloadable. Lesson plans on American history are supplemented with primary sources from the Library of Congress collection. Class starters include Today in History and American Memory Timeline. Interactive learning activities are available for younger children. Several professional development programs for teachers are offered. The content is free. Level: Elementary, middle and high school.
    • National Archives - The National Archives and the Center for Civic Education partnered to create Docs Teach, a series of lesson plans that use primary sources to teach about different periods of U.S. history and the Constitution. It also provides numerous links to state and regional primary sources and presidential libraries as well as professional development for teachers. The material is free. Level: Middle and high school.
    • National Conference for State Courts The National Center for State Courts is an independent, nonprofit court improvement organization founded at the recommendation of Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. The center has created a series of graphic novels has been developed to educate the public and students about how the courts work and their role in a democratic society. The three novels created address Internet piracy, stolen identify and jury duty. The novels are downloadable online or available for purchase with accompanying lesson plans. Level: Middle and high school
    • National Conference of State Legislatures - American Democracy game with teacher guides (middle school)
    • National Constitution Center - The National Constitution Center site addresses topics related to the Constitution as well as civic participation and responsibility, and the executive branch. Printed materials include lesson plans. Online resources are interactive games, videos, webcasts, primary and secondary sources, Constitution Fast Facts, biographies of Constitutional Convention delegates, and an interactive Constitution guide. The Exchange is a public forum for high school students to discuss important current events issues. For teachers, it offers professional development programs. Resources are free. Level: Elementary, middle and high school
    • National Endowment for the Humanities - The organizations EDSITEment project provides comprehensive lesson plans on American history, social studies and civics, government and society, among others. Its Introduction to Advanced Placement U.S. History Lessons contains scholar-reviewed website and primary sources; lesson plans focused on the Document Based Questions in the AP exam; and lesson plans based on active learning, mastery of content and engaging the student. Resources are free. Level: Kindergarten through 12th grade.
    • Newseum - This organization's website contains a Digital Classroom, which offers video lessons and viewing guides, primary sources, standards-aligned content, and integrated activities that support media literacy, critical thinking skills and civic engagement. Teaching modules explore the First Amendment and the Civil Rights Movement and Decision 2012, which examines the intersections of elections and the news media through the lenses of history, media literacy and civics. Level: Middle and high school
    • North Carolina Civic Education Consortium - large lesson plan databank
    • PBS Learning Media - The Public Broadcasting Systems’ site for teachers covers all subject areas, including civics participation, community, the three branches of government, politics, economics, current events, the courts and history. Lesson plans are free, with some material downloadable. Videos and audio recordings supplement lesson plans; interactive activities for younger children are available in the Democracy Project. Teachers have access to discussion forums, online professional developments courses, and an archive of webinars. Most of the content is free; teacher courses available for purchase. Level: Preschool, elementary, middle and high school
    • PBS Newshour Extra - Includes election coverage, lesson plans and other content based on current events
    • Street Law Street Law and the Supreme Court Historical Society partnered to create Landmark Cases of the U.S. Supreme Court, which explores 17 key cases. In-depth information about each case, related activities that involve interactive teaching strategies and external resources are provided. A Resource Library has compiled hundreds of teaching activities, case summaries, mock trials and articles. The material is free. Level: Middle and high school
    • Teaching Civics - Teachingcivics.org supports educators with an ever-growing repository of current, professionally vetted, and unbiased civics, law-related education, and government lesson plans and materials that bring the subject of civics and government to life, building informed and engaged citizens. These lessons include materials developed by Learning Law and Democracy Foundation and lessons written by others, vetted with links to their sources.
    • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services - Naturalization test and answers
    • What So Proudly We Hail - Civics education through literature. This site focuses on literary-based curricula for instruction of U.S. history, civics, social studies and language arts. Resources include lesson plans, video seminars, and primary resources. Content is primarily free. Level: Middle and high school
    • ​​Youth Leadership Initiative - The University of Virginia Center for Politics’ Youth Leadership Initiative has created three interactive simulations. E-Congress, a free, interactive, national online simulation lets students play the part of a member of the House. They research issues, write legislation, debate bills in committee and work to move their bill to the House floor. Students use innovative technology to interact with their legislators and to connect with their peers around the country. Mock Election is conducted each fall by the Youth Leadership Initiative for students around the nation using electronic ballots designed for each student’s home district. A More Perfect Union simulates an actual campaign for Senate. The site also provides teacher-developed lesson plans and a service-learning program called Democracy Corps. Level: Middle and high school.

    Constitutionally Speaking:  This guide is full of activities and lessons to help your students learn about the early growth of Indiana and the provisions made to accommodate societal changes. Lessons include:

    Basics of government with special attention to the role of the constitution

    Changes in Indiana from statehood to the mid-1800s that necessitated a new state constitution

    Constitutional conventions of 1816 and 1850 and the delegates

    Issues facing Indiana’s citizens in the 1850s such as education and suffrage

    Each lesson is followed by resource suggestions and biographical material for you and your students.