Lessons, Educational Resources, and Standard Alignment

Lesson Plans

Redistricting and Gerrymandering - A Project of KQED Learning 

In this lesson, students will define the practice of congressional redistricting and gerrymandering and analyze how they take place. Students will reflect on the practice of gerrymandering, explore why it’s so controversial, and learn about efforts to reform the redistricting process. Students will practice redistricting using an online simulation game. 
Note: This lesson is best suited for high school grade levels

Gerrymandering - iCivics

In this lesson, students will define gerrymandering. Students will learn how gerrymandering is used to create a political advantage. Students will explain the impact of the media on monitoring and influencing government and the public sphere. Students will recognize the media acting in its roles as gatekeeper, agenda setter, and watchdog
Note: This lesson plan is best suited for 8th-12th grade students

Reapportionment & Redistricting - iCivics

In this WebQuest, students will explore the ins and outs of apportionment including what it is, how often it's adjusted, and how districts are redrawn. Students will also take a look at gerrymandering and its impacts.
Note: This activity is best suited for 6th-12th grade students

Student Games

GerryMander – Voting District Puzzle Game

GerryMander is a simple puzzle game designed to show how gerrymandering can be used to rig an election. In GerryMander, you draw voting districts to favor your party and win the election. Players can use real-world strategies like packing (Squishing opposing voters into a single district) and cracking (Breaking up key voter groups into separate districts) to beat each puzzle. With these strategies players can see how Gerrymandering works while learning about how it happens in the real world.
Best for 3rd-8th grade students 

The ReDistricting Game – An interactive learning experience

The Redistricting Game is designed to educate, engage, and empower citizens around the issue of political redistricting. By exploring how the system works, as well as how open it is to abuse, The Redistricting Game allows players to experience the realities of one of the most important (yet least understood) aspects of our political system. The game provides a basic introduction to the redistricting system, allows players to explore the ways in which abuses can undermine the system, and provides info about reform initiatives
Best for 7th - 12th grade students 

Other Resources 

Gerrymandering: How drawing jagged lines can impact an election – TEDEd Video

This is a short video that explains the history of redistricting and gerrymandering and how this has impacted elections overtime. The video provides definitions for redistricting, gerrymandering, cracking, and packing. Along with the video are discussion questions and resources that can be utilized in in-person and virtual classrooms.
Video is suitable for 6-12 grade.

Dave's Redistricting App – Online Map Making Tool

Dave's Redistricting App allows you to look at current maps, notable maps, and draw new maps. When viewing the current maps there are options for statistics and analytics. This app is a great resource and tool for any draw your own map exercises. This could be used for an extension activity to the Redistricting and Gerrymandering lesson plan listed above. Here is an example of a lesson plan that uses this app.

The Atlas Of Redistricting - FiveThirtyEight

The Atlas of Redistricting is an interactive resource that compares the current congressional districts map to alternative maps. Each map has a different goal: One is designed to encourage competitive elections, for example, and another to maximize the number of majority-minority districts. See how changes to district boundaries could radically alter the partisan and racial makeup of the U.S. House — without a single voter moving or switching parties.

Standard Alignment: Where Redistricting Fits in Ohio's Social Studies Standards 

4th Grade

SS.4.15 - Individuals have a variety of opportunities to act in and influence their state and national government. Citizens have both rights and responsibilities in Ohio and the United States.

7th Grade

SS.7.16 - Analyzing individual and group perspectives is essential to understanding historic and contemporary issues. Opportunities for civic engagement exist for students to connect real-world issues and events to classroom learning.

8th Grade

SS.8.21 - Informed citizens understand how media and communication technology influences public opinion.

SS.8.22 - The U.S. Constitution established a federal republic, providing a framework for a national government with elected representatives, separation of powers, and checks and balances.

American Government

AMG.9-12.2 - Political parties, interest groups, and the media provide opportunities for civic involvement through various means.

AMG.9-12.4 - The processes of persuasion, compromise, consensus building, and negotiation contribute to the democratic process.

AMG.9-12.12 - Law and public policy are created and implemented by three branches of government; each functions with its own set of powers and responsibilities.

AMG.9-12.17 - Individuals in Ohio have a responsibility to assist state and local governments as they address relevant and often controversial problems that directly affect their communities.

AMG.9-12.19 - Individuals and organizations play a role within federal, state, and local governments in helping to determine public (domestic and foreign) policy.

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