Overview and Context
This lesson was created for upper-level high school students in California (grades 11-12) to learn about state-level elections and ballot initiatives. This will promote student interest in and learning in local elections and improve their design capabilities and technological skills through the creation of a digital infographic. This lesson could be adapted for students to learn about local issues in other areas. This assignment will allow them to get to know websites that will assist them with voting throughout their entire lives. This assignment will also allow them to play with a possibly new genre re: infographics.
Students will be assessed by presenting their infographics to the class during a gallery walk. Additionally, teachers will use the rubric included here to assess their infographics.
Technology and Resources
- Canva free account
- Proposition Infographic Requirements (Google Doc)
- Ballot Proposition Gallery Walk Questions (Google Doc)
- Downloadable Rubric (Google Doc)
- Voter’s Edge (Non-partisan voter information website)
- Open Secrets (Premier non-partisan research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy)
Step-by-Step Instructional Plan:
This lesson is focused on learning about California ballot propositions. Prior to this project, students will have learned about the ballot proposition system, and general information about the upcoming election. This lesson can be used for any statewide election that includes state ballot propositions.
If students are unfamiliar with Canva, a mini-lesson on the basics of Canva is a good idea. The website is fairly easy to navigate, but students may need help learning how to upload images and customize their infographic.
2. Choosing and Studying a Proposition
Students can and should work with a partner on this project. Partners will select from the list of propositions that will be held on the ballot during the next election. Pairs should sign up for a proposition to make sure that each proposition has been assigned. Once all students have selected a proposition, go over the infographic requirement document that can be found here: Proposition Infographic Requirements. Students can use the document to create a draft of all of their information and then copy their text over to Canva.
3. Creating Infographics
Once students have gathered the required information using Votersedge.com, Open Secrets and other credible sources that they come across, they will create an infographic using the website Canva. Their infographic should be colorful, organized in a way that makes the information easy to understand, filled with useful and accurate information, and it must include visuals related to the proposition.
4. Sharing Infographics and Gallery Walk
Once students have completed their infographics, they will be used in class to educate each other about the upcoming election. If the students are juniors or seniors, they will be voters soon (or already are).
Print each infographic in color if available and on large paper. Each infographic will be placed around the classroom. In groups, students will spend 8-10 minutes examining the infographic at each station. While they read over the infographic, they will respond to the following questions: Ballot Proposition Gallery Walk Questions. Once the class has rotated through all of the stations, we will discuss as a class what they noticed about the props, how they feel about some of them, and we will go over any questions they might have.
The infographics will be posted around the school in order to educate the larger school community. In addition to that, we would share them with the larger community through our school’s official communication channels.