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Election lesson plan | Election results graphs

Since some students learn visually, this lesson plan helps them understand election results by graphing them.

Election 2002

Return to Make classroom connections to this year's elections

Return to Presidential election: Teachable moment



Arts & Humanities
  • Visual Arts
Educational Technology
  • Arithmetic
  • Statistics
Social Studies
  • Civics
  • Current events
  • Geography
  • Government
  • History
    • U.S. History
    • State History
  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12
  • Advanced

Brief description

Picture this! Students use art supplies or a free online tool to graph election results. (Note: The free online tool in this lesson is a great tool that can be applied to many classroom lesson activities.)


Students will
  • monitor the results of this years local, state, and/or national elections.
  • create graphs (using art supplies, software, or a free and easy-to-use online graph-making tool) to show the results of this years local, state, and/or national elections.


graph, election, governor, president, vote, technology, percent, percentage, Congress, campaign, Washington DC, government, civics

Materials needed[shop materials]

  • election results from a local newspaper or online news source
  • computer access or art supplies

Lesson plan

In this lesson, students create graphs to show the results of this years elections. The activity makes use of the classroom computer, but it can be adapted for use in the computer-less classroom.

Students can create their graphs using art materials, software available on school computers, or with Create a Graph, a simple, free online graphing tool available on the NCES Kids Web site. Create a Graph is a great tool -- one that will provide students with hours of free fun and learning. You will want to note, however, that this online tool has limitations; for example, it cannot graph numbers larger than 9,999 -- so, for many election races, students will need to graph percentages rather than final vote totals. See a sample graph (below) that was created using Create a Graph.

What information should students illustrate in their graphs? That depends on the grade level you teach. The day after the election, the newspaper and online news sources will include vote tallies and percentages for races of importance to people in your community. Following are some suggestions for graphs that students can create:

  • Graph the vote result, by percentage, for each candidate in a community or statewide race; for example, students might graph the race for mayor in your community, the race for U.S. representative in your district, or the race for governor in your state. See a sample graph (above) of one such race.
  • Study the results of the town council race in your community. Create a graph to show how many Republicans, Democrats, and "Others make up the new council.
  • Graph the voter turnout by percent compared to the turnout for previous elections. (For resources, see the lesson Did Voters Turn Out -- Or Are They Turned Off?)
  • Before the election, create a graph that reflects the latest poll results in a variety of races; after the election results are in, graph the actual results. Compare the before and after graphs for each race.
  • Create a graph to illustrate who won the governors races across the United States. Show how many Democrats, Republicans, and "Others were victorious across the United States. (Note: The governorship was not up for grabs in all states.)
  • Create a graph to show the results of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives races around the country. The graph will show how many Democrats, Republicans, and "Others are members of each body. (Students might graph the makeup of each body before and after the election. How did the makeup of each body change as a result of the election?)


  • Students will share their graphs and explain in their own words what those graphs show.
  • Alternate or additional assessment: Students will write a brief paragraph that explains what their graphs show. Those paragraphs will serve as captions to their graphs.
  • Use the graphs and the paragraphs to transform a classroom bulletin board into an Election Results classroom display.
Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins


Click to return to this weeks Lesson Planning article, Classroom Lessons from Ed Worlds Election Collection.


Links last updated 02/20/2016