Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

PBS LearningMedia Electoral Decoder

PBS LearningMedia Electoral Decoder

Fall 2017 Website

As confusing as the electoral process can sometimes be for adults, it is no surprise that it is a major mystery to many children and young people. Enter PBS' Electoral Decoder, a free website for children aged five and up, which teaches about not just the electoral process, but about American government and history in general. This website is jam-packed with videos, articles, lesson plans, and more, all geared towards making what can be a very difficult topic more easily accessible for readers of a wide range of ages.

In order to learn about the electoral process, children are presented with a multitude of primary and secondary resources in print and video form. They can even explore every past election and create hypothetical voting scenarios to learn how results would be effect (e.g., if a candidate had lost a particular state's electoral votes). This is a great visual and hands-on way to solidify understanding of concepts that are notoriously difficult to grasp.

The valuable resource presents an enormous amount of additional information, but it also features activities and interactive features to keep children engaged in learning. There are classroom debate tools, writing prompts, and virtual tours of places like Monticello, Mount Vernon, and the Capitol itself. Children can read previous inaugural addresses, learn about civic engagement, and explore the roles of political parties.

Sharon Heuscher   ©2017 Parents' Choice
Sharon holds B.A.s in English Literature and Ancient Studies as well as a B.S. in Psychology. She is currently a masters-level trainee in Clinical Psychology specializing in neurodegenerative diseases. For the past thirteen years, Sharon has focused primarily on raising, educating, and nurturing her five children who range in age from three to thirteen.

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