Teaching Elections in Washington State : Lesson plans & classroom activities for grades K-12


Teaching Elections in Washington State : Lesson plans & classroom activities for grades K-12




Washington State Office of the Secretary of State, Elections Division


Washington State Office of the Secretary of State, Elections Division


Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License




Teaching Elections is a civics curriculum written by Washington teachers to inform and engage students. All topics have elementary, middle school and high school lessons.
Common Core and State Standards are listed below. Please see the Teaching Elections booklet for the lesson plans and classroom activities.


Common Core Standards

Key ideas & details

  • Determine what the text says explicitly and make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence to support conclusions.

Craft & structure

  • Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings.
  • Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

Integration of knowledge & ideas
  • Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
  • Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
  • Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Text types & purposes

  • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant evidence.
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
  • Write narratives to develop real events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

Research to build & present knowledge

  • Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
  • Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Comprehension & collaboration

  • Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
  • Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Vocabulary acquisition & use

  • Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials.
  • Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
  • Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

State Standards

Social studies
1. Civics – The student understands and applies
knowledge of government, law, politics, and the
nation’s fundamental documents to make decisions
about local, national, and international issues and
demonstrates thoughtful, participatory citizenship.

  • 1.2 Understands the purposes, organizations,

and function of governments, laws, and
political systems.

  • 1.4 Understands civic involvement.

2. Social studies skills – The student understands and applies reasoning skills to conduct research, deliberate, form, and
evaluate positions through the processes of reading, writing, and communicating.

  • 5.1 Uses critical reasoning skills to analyze and evaluate positions.
  • 5.1.1 Understands positions on an issue.
  • 5.1.2 Evaluates the significance of information used to support positions on an issue or event.
  • 5.3 Deliberates public issues.
  • 5.3.1 Engages in discussions that clarify and address multiple viewpoints on public issues.


1. The student uses listening and observation skills
and strategies to gain understanding.

  • 1.1 Uses listening and observation skills to focus attention and interpret information.
  • 1.2 Understands, analyzes, synthesizes, or evaluates information from a variety of sources.


1. The student reads different materials for a variety
of purposes.

  • 3.1 Reads to learn new information.
  • 3.1.1 Analyzes web-based and other resource materials (including primary sources and secondary sources) for relevance in answering research questions.