EBSCO POINTS OF VIEW REFERENCE CENTER - Another research source for students presenting opinions from multiple sides of current controversial issues. Essays provide questions and materials for further thought and study and are accompanied by thousands of supporting articles from political and social publications. If you're using Points of View Reference Center on your home computer, you'll have to enter your name, library card barcode, and PIN to begin.
African Americans in Congress - See Black Leadership, below.
American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith VIDEO - Explores the concepts and mechanisms of American democracy from the founding era to the present, including sections on Voting & Voting Rights, Democracy Beyond the Ballot, and Diversity. (National Museum of American History, Smithsonian)
American Women in Politics - Facts about women in U.S. politics, including lists of women currently in Congress or statewide elective office, current and historical information about women officeholders and candidates, state-by-state facts about women officeholders (including Women in New Jersey Politics), data on the gender gap and voting patterns, women of color in elective office, and firsts for women in U.S. politics. High school and up (Rutgers). See also Women in Congress, below.
Annenberg Classroom VIDEO - Current events, discussion, videos and other learning resources on the U.S. Constitution, Congress, the Presidency, and the Courts; includes a weekly podcast. For high school students and teachers. (Annenberg Public Policy Center)
Ben's Guide to U.S. Government INTERACTIVE - Explains how our government works. Separate sections for ages 4 to 8, 9 to 13, and 14 and above (U.S. Government Publishing Office). USA.gov Resources for Teachers offers lesson plans, activities and worksheets for the classroom on taxes, U.S. currency, government jobs, and the three branches of government. See also Children's Books and Web Sites about the U.S. Government and related links, below.
Black Leadership VIDEO - Interviews with dozens of leaders from the black community, exploring the early influences on their lives, along with 'issues of black leadership and the transformational role of the civil rights movement in America' (2014, University of Virginia). Congressional Black Caucus traces the history of the participation and contribution of African Americans in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate; see also African American Women in Congress (Congressional Black Caucus Foundation). Black Americans in Congress, offers information and images of past and current black Members of Congress, and essays on historical events that have influenced African Americans in Congress (U.S. House of Representatives). See also African Americans of the Senate, and Ethnic Diversity in the Senate NEW! (U.S. Senate).
Children's Books and Web Sites about the U.S. Government - A list of recommended books and websites for kids (grades K-12), covering campaigns & elections, Congress, the Constitution, the Presidency, how government works, and more. Description and appropriate grade level are provided for each book (U.S. Senate). Kids in the House INTERACTIVE describes what Congress is and how laws are made, plus links to more resources for kids and teachers, with separate pages for Young Learners, Grade School, Middle School, and High School (Office of the Clerk, U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC). The Legislative Process VIDEO is a series of short videos explaining each step in the process of enacting federal laws; text transcripts included. For high school and up (Library of Congress et al.). Learn About Congress UPDATED LINK! VIDEO INTERACTIVE offers interactives, games & apps, and videos designed to show you how Congress works and how citizens can become more involved in our democracy; for K-12 (Center on Congress, Indiana University). See Explore Capitol Hill VIDEO to learn about the history, architecture, art, and landscaping of the U.S. Capitol Building and the other buildings & grounds on Capitol Hill (Architect of the Capitol, Washington, DC). Congress.gov: U.S. Congress on the Internet VIDEO posts information on bills being considered by the Congress or Senate, or in Committee. Includes links to the House and Senate, as well as some agencies. Includes a webcast feature. For high school and up (Library of Congress). Additional teaching & learning resources are available at Teaching About Congress NEW! (The Dirksen Congressional Center).
Constitution Guide - Full text of the U.S. Constitution, with interpretations for each article, section, & amendment; middle school and up (part of Annenberg Classroom). For more in-depth analysis, see CRS Annotated Constitution, which includes historical background, commentary, and important court cases for each article, section, clause, and amendment; high school and up (Cornell University). See also Explore the Constitution INTERACTIVE and Constitution FAQs (National Constitution Center). Constitutional Rights Foundation's Online Lessons aim at educating America's young people about the importance of civic participation in a democratic society (non-profit organization).
Core Documents of U.S. Democracy - See America's Founding Documents and related links.
Current Events, Issues & Controversies - Selected links to the best websites for current events information and analysis, mostly for high school and up. (South Plainfield Public Library)
Elections the American Way - Explores the history of American parties, issues, and the right to vote (Library of Congress). Election Process UPDATED LINK! VIDEO is a collection of videos to help students learn about the Electoral College, caucuses, primaries, conventions and more (2016, PBS). For additional resources, see Voting (2016, Internet Scout Research Group, University of Wisconsin).
Fake News - See Fake News links.
Federal Budget Process UPDATED LINK! - Explains how the federal budget is created (Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives). Think you can do a better job deciding how tax dollars should be spent? Give it a try with the interactive People's Pie Game INTERACTIVE (ICivics.org). High school and up.
Federal Courts: Famous Federal Trials - Educational materials on some landmark federal court cases, including the Sedition Act Trials, the Aaron Burr Treason Trial, the Amistad Challenge to Slavery, and the Trial of Susan B. Anthony. High school and up (U.S. Federal Judicial Center). C-Span's Landmark Cases VIDEO 'explores the human stories and constitutional dramas behind some of the most significant and frequently cited decisions in the Supreme Court's history. This 12-part series delves into cases that represent some of the tipping points in our nation's story and in our evolving understanding of rights in America.' High school and up. Additional materials about the federal courts may be found on the U.S. Courts Educational Resources page; for high school students and teachers. See also Justice 101 and Supreme Court, below.
First Amendment FAQ - Answers many common questions about freedom of speech, press, religion, petition, and assembly; for high school and up (Freedom Forum Institute; non-profit organization).
FlackCheck.org VIDEO - 'Uses parody and humor to debunk false political advertising, poke fun at extreme language, and hold the media accountable for their reporting on political campaigns' (videos hosted on YouTube; may include advertisements). See also Fake News links. The learning resources formerly on FactCheckEd have been moved to Annenberg Classroom's Critical Thinking Lesson Plans [Archived page]. High school and up. (Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania)
Hispanic Americans in Congress - Information and images of past and current Hispanic Members of Congress, and essays on historical events that have influenced Hispanic Americans in Congress (U.S. House of Representatives). See also Ethnic Diversity in the Senate, above.
How to Disagree with People VIDEO - 'There's a lot of disagreeing going on in the world right now. So, it's time to teach us kids how to disagree with people without making everybody feel terrible.' In this entertaining video, Kid President explains his 6 Steps to Learning How to Disagree with People. (2016; video hosted on YouTube; site includes advertisements)
iCivics INTERACTIVE - An interactive website designed to teach middle school students about civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. Includes interactive games, lesson plans and related curriculum materials. (Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Georgetown University, & Arizona State University).
Justice 101: Inside the Courtroom - Explains the legal justice system. Includes a Legal Terms Glossary, FAQs, Courtroom Images, an Introduction to the Federal Court System, and the various steps in the Criminal Justice Process. Advanced middle school students and higher (U.S. Department of Justice). See also How Courts Work (American Bar Association; site includes advertisements).
Latino Americans in Congress - See Hispanic Americans in Congress, above.
Legal Eagle and Respect - The Legal Eagle is a legal newspaper for kids in grades 5 and up; covers issues such as climate change, fake news, voter fraud, food safety, and many others. Respect is a newsletter on legal issues related to diversity, for grades 6 and up; covers issues such as religious discrimination, criminal justice reform, voter suppression, policing & race, and many others. Both are published three times a year and are available as free PDF downloads, or in printed copies by subscription. The site also offers related publications (New Jersey State Bar Foundation)
Living Room Candidate VIDEO - Video of more than 250 Presidential campaign television commercials from every election year beginning in 1952 up to the present. Includes commentary, historical background, and election results; organized by year and theme (American Museum of the Moving Image). Political Campaigns VIDEO offers videos of 2016 (and earlier) election ads from Presidential candidates and political advocacy groups, plus related research and analysis (Stanford University). See also American Democracy on Television (National Museum of American History, Smithsonian) and Every Four Years: Electing a President (Harry S. Truman Library & Museum).
Lobbying Ethics - Explains what government lobbying is, how lobbying relates to ethics, and what kinds of ethical dilemmas lobbying presents. Includes fictional cases for discussion, plus additional resources on lobbying and government ethics. High school and up. (Santa Clara University)
N.J. Legislature: Kids Page INTERACTIVE - Explains what the Legislature is and how a bill becomes a law in New Jersey, plus the state flag, seal, and symbols, interactive games & puzzles, and coloring pages. For elementary and middle school students.
Opensecrets.org - Detailed data on campaign donors and spending for each of the Presidential, Senate, and Congressional candidates, with additional information on the role of money in politics. High school and up. (Center for Responsive Politics; site includes advertisements)
Polling - Explains what public opinion polls and surveys are, and how they are conducted. Includes a glossary of terms (Roper Center, Cornell University). See also Polls: What Do the Numbers Tell Us? INTERACTIVE, a more detailed examination of topics related to public opinion polling, including random samples, margins of error, confidence intervals, and what can go wrong. Includes interactives (Annenberg Media). High school and up.
Project Vote Smart - Biographies, campaign finances, issue positions, special interest group ratings, and voting records for federal and state candidates and officeholders. Biographical section includes addresses, phone numbers, email, and website links. High school and up. (A nonpartisan civic educational organization)
Redistricting 101 [Archived page] - A brief description of how redistricting (the periodic re-drawing of electoral district boundaries) affects the democratic process, with links to additional information; high school and up (2010, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law; a nonpartisan law and policy institute). All About Redistricting includes the latest news on redistricting and partisan gerrymandering; high school and up (Associate Professor Justin Levitt, Loyola Law School). For a simple animation explaining the basic principle of dividing seats in the House of Representatives among the 50 states based on population figures, see The U.S. Census and the Amazing Apportionment Machine VIDEO; elementary and middle school (U.S. Census Bureau; hosted on YouTube).
Speak Out - Discussions on hot issues, with related news stories and more. (2016, Annenberg Public Policy Center)
Supreme Court [Archived page] VIDEO INTERACTIVE - Supreme Court history and landmark cases, with interactive quizzes, timeline, primary source documents, and videos (2006, PBS; site includes advertisements). For more on important Supreme Court cases, see Federal Courts: Famous Federal Trials and related links, above. For information about past & present Supreme Court judges, see Supreme Court Justices. For official websites of the Supreme Court and U.S. courts, see U.S. Courts.
Third Parties in American Politics - Explains the history of the two-party system and the important roles of third parties in American politics; high school and up (Interview with Professor J. David Gillespie, Presbyterian College; 2004, Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State).
U.S. Congress - See Congress.gov, above.
Women in Congress - Historical essays, links, biographical profiles, and images of each woman Member from 1917 to the present (U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Clerk). African American Women in Congress offers brief biographies of past and current women in the Congressional Black Caucus, and a record of their achievements. See also Women in the Senate NEW!, and American Women in Politics, above.