How To Teach This Election

The 2008 presidential elections have already made history: the oldest candidate running for office and now the election of the first African American into the office of president. How can history teachers effectively teach about these changes in the classroom?

At 16, Calif. Students Say They're Ready To Vote

Voting At Blair i i

hide captionPooja Shah and Will Hunter volunteer at the election table for the MyVote California student mock election.

Ki-Min Sung/NPR
Voting At Blair

Pooja Shah and Will Hunter volunteer at the election table for the MyVote California student mock election.

Ki-Min Sung/NPR

Engaging Youth

How can parents raise politically engaged individuals? The Constitutional Rights Foundation has some recommendations.

Filling Out the Ballot i i

hide captionBlair International students fill out their MyVote California student mock election ballots during a lunchtime election.

Ki-Min Sung/NPR
Filling Out the Ballot

Blair International students fill out their MyVote California student mock election ballots during a lunchtime election.

Ki-Min Sung/NPR

Teaching U.S. history is easier in an election year.

"There's automatic engagement; there's automatic relevance to everything," history teacher Alfredo Mathew of Blair International Baccalaureate School in Pasadena, Calif., tells Madeleine Brand.

But his students' excitement comes with frustration — mostly because they are too young to vote.

The issue that most concerns them? The economy. And in some cases, they see the issue differently than their parents.

Students' votes — cast in a mock election at school — were influenced by information-gathering that extended far beyond their families, they say. Can you guess who won?

(You can read about the results of the statewide mock election on our blog.)

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