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Election Day 2016
Virtual Viewing Party

On-Demand Event

This election day, #CelebrateWithDE as classrooms across the country came together for a Virtual Viewing Party. Join their discussion about the history of the United States’ democratic process and explore how the President is elected.

Explore Elections and Democracy with Your Students

What is a Virtual Viewing Party?

A virtual viewing party is a shared viewing experience of the Discovery Education video How to Become the President of the United States.

Thousands of classrooms simultaneously accessed this video that explores the background to the electoral process, how government is structured, the electoral college, and the requirements to be eligible to run for president. We recommend the content and activities for grades three and above, but you can preview the video to determine if it is appropriate for your students. Although the viewing party is over you can watch the video at any time and participate in the conversations below.

How to Watch

We recommend you download the video in advance of your viewing party for the most seamless viewing experience. Log in to your Discovery Education account, locate the video How to Become the President of the United States, and choose the download option.

This video is available to all Discovery Education Streaming and Social Studies Techbook customers, if you are not currently a subscriber to one of these services, you can sign-up for a free trial to participate in this event.

Join the Discussion

Join the conversation by following @DiscoveryEd on Twitter. Share photos of your classroom viewing, reflections from the essential questions, and more using #CelebratewithDE.Not on Twitter? You can also use this Election Day Padlet to share your learning with classrooms across the country.

What if we are watching after election day?

Your class can watch the video any time and join the discussion asynchronously. If you are participating after election day, you may want to have students review the community conversation tool or Twitter discussion to compare ideas and make connections. You can also use the suggested resources below to support your discussions around the presidential election.

Suggested Viewing Activities

To make the most of the virtual viewing party with your class, we suggest the following activities:

Before the Viewing Party

Do a Picture It image sort with images from the lead up to the election as well as historical elections. This strategy provides a visual stimulus and scaffold for students as they analyze and discuss the content being studied. Suggested images include:" Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States", "Election of 1976 gave Carter a narrow victory", ""Canvassing for Votes" by William Hogarth, 1757", "The First Vote", "Democratic Convention 2012", "Scenes of Republican Convention 1880".

You can also explore electoral vote maps from the following years: 1800, 1824, 1828, 1840, 1844, 1856, 1860, 1876, 1896, 1912, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1968, 2000, 2012.

During the Video Viewing

Have students complete an AEIOU graphic organizer. This strategy helps students look for and remember key ideas about the information presented in the video. It also provides a conversation structure for debriefing with students.

After the Video Viewing

Have students create a Six Word Story and share in the online discussion. Six Word Stories help students practice summarizing and selective word choice as they convey a big idea using only six words.

Viewing Party Essential Questions

Why do we have presidential elections in the United States?

What role does the electoral college play in the presidential election?

How has technology impacted political campaigns?

Related Classroom Resources

Election 2016 Results and Resources

This content collection explores the 2016 presidential election with resources covering the Clinton and Trump campaigns as well as in-depth features on the electoral college and the American election system. | Explore Now

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Electoral College

We the People… don’t actually elect our President and Vice President. At least, not directly. The role the Electoral College plays in the election of the President and Vice President of the United States often surprises people. A popular idea is that individuals go to the polls and cast their own vote for president and that, in turn, the candidate with the most popular votes wins the election. That’s not really how it works. Individual voters are actually voting for electors in the Electoral College… well, let’s have the resources explain it. | Read More

Mock Election Tool

YLI, a program of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, develops free education resources designed to assist civics teachers, and encourage students to participate in the political process. Each year, they conduct the largest secure, student-only, online mock election in the nation, using electronic ballots tailored to each student’s home legislative district. As you discuss the election with your students this is a great resource to involve them in the election process. | Find Out More

Election Day Resources

There is plenty to talk about in this election cycle, but it may seem challenging to discuss some of the particulars in your classroom. Whether you teach the early grades or high school seniors, you may wish to focus on the election process rather than the specific slings and arrows of this election. Discovery Education has a robust selection of resources to help your students learn about the election process so they can be educated and informed voters or future voters. | Explore Now

Win a trip to the Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit

Vote today for the chance to send a teacher & student delegation from your school to the Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit — a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness history at the 58th Presidential Inauguration. 100 School Delegations will also be publicly recognized as national Champions for Change and all delegates will be celebrated as change agents at the Summit as they collaborate as future leaders to discover solutions to the issues that face their generation and the next President of the United States. Delegates and teachers will be inspired by world-renowned speakers and influencers like Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, Spike Lee, Abby Wambach and many more. Find out more and register.