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.
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 - Current events, articles, discussion, and media on the U.S. Constitution and its amendments; includes a weekly podcast. For high school students and teachers. (Annenberg Public Policy Center)
Ben's Guide to U.S. Government - Explains how our government works. Includes some interactive games. Separate sections for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.
Black Leadership - 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' (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 (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)
Congress for Kids - Learn about our federal government and how its actions affect you. Includes interactive quizzes. Grade 4 and up. (Dirksen Congressional Center).
Constitution (Annotated) - Full text of the U.S. Constitution, plus historical background, commentary, and important court cases for each article, section, clause, and amendment. High school and up (Cornell University); see also Annenberg Classroom : Constitution Guide. The Sunnylands Constitution Project features interactive educational games, video of Supreme Court justices and legal experts discussing Constitutional issues, and related resources. High school and up; free registration required (Annenberg Foundation Trust). The National Constitution Center's Educational Resources [UPDATED LINK!] include activities, games, videos, historical documents, an interactive Constitution, Constitution FAQs, Constitution timeline, features on the Founding Fathers & Abraham Lincoln, and more. Use the left-hand menu to navigate. Teaching with Historic Places offers a set of lesson plans related to the U.S. Constitution and based on sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places (National Park Service). Constitutional Rights Foundation's Online Lessons and Websites 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 - Links to online text of key documents such as the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Emancipation Proclamation, plus Supreme Court decisions, Congressional bills, and more. (U.S. Government Printing Office)
C-Span Classroom - Video clips on a wide range of topics, including campaigns & elections, checks & balances, civil liberties, federal courts, interest groups & lobbying, political parties, the President & Congress, the media, the U.S. Constitution, and more. Mouse over 'SUBJECTS / TOPICS' for the full list of topics. High school and up.
Elections the American Way - Essays, photos, audio recordings, and other materials to help you explore the history of the American political system. Covers candidates, voters, party system, election process, and issues. (2008, Library of Congress)
FactCheckEd - see FlackCheck.org, below.
Federal Budget [Link opens a PDF] - This online booklet explains basic economic concepts related to the budget of the federal government, exploring similarities and differences between the federal budget and the family budget. Includes discussion questions and resources for additional information. High school and up (Federal Reserve Bank of New York). Federal Budget Process briefly explains how the federal budget is created; from the Concord Coalition ('a nationwide, non-partisan, grassroots organization,' founded by the late former Senator Paul Tsongas, former Senator Warren Rudman, and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Peter Peterson). Think you can do a better job deciding how tax dollars should be spent? Give it a try with the interactive Budget Hero Game (2008, American Public Media; site includes advertisements), or the People's Pie Game (ICivics.org). High school and up.
Federal Courts - This site on the history of the U.S. Judiciary system includes a section on some important Federal Trials and Great Debates in United States History, 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). Additional materials about the federal courts may be found on the U.S. Courts Educational Outreach page; for high school students and teachers. See also Supreme Court (PBS), below.
First Amendment Schools - Explores the five fundamental freedoms which the Constitution guarantees to every American citizen (freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition) and how we can all work to preserve these rights. Use the lefthand menu to choose a topic (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the First Amendment Center). See also First Amendment Center for news and information related to the First Amendment. For high school and up.
FlackCheck.org - '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.' The learning resources formerly on FactCheckEd have been moved to Annenberg Classroom's Critical Thinking Lesson Plans [UPDATED LINK!]. High school and up. (Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania)
Inside the Courtroom - Explains what a courtroom is and what judges, federal prosecutors & U.S. attorneys do, and takes you step by step through the trial process from investigation through appeal. Includes a glossary of legal terms. Middle school and up. (U.S. Department of Justice)
Kids in the House - Lessons describing what Congress is and how laws are made, plus links to more resources for kids and teachers. K-12; separate sections for different grade levels. (Office of the Clerk, U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC)
Living Room Candidate - 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 offers videos of 2008 election ads from the Presidential candidates and political advocacy groups, as well as ads from the 2010 California elections, and a comparison of some positive and negative campaign ads , (Stanford University). See also 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 - 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)
Polling - Explains what public opinion polls and surveys are, and how they are conducted. Includes a glossary of terms (University of Connecticut). See also Polls : What Do the Numbers Tell Us? , 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.
Redistricting Game - A challenging interactive game designed to teach students about the system which currently allows state legislators in most states to set the boundaries of their Congressional voting districts. '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.' Includes related learning resources. High school and up (USC Annenberg Center). See also The U.S. Census and the Amazing Apportionment Machine [UPDATED LINK!] (U.S. Census Bureau).
Speak Out - Discussions on hot issues, with related news stories and more. (Annenberg Public Policy Center)
Student Rights Issues - Information about issues like drug testing, free speech, racial justice, and more. Includes video and podcasts. For college or advanced high school students. (American Civil Liberties Union)
Student Voices is now Speak Out, above.
Supreme Court - Supreme Court history and landmark cases, with interactive quizzes, timeline, primary source documents, and videos (2006, PBS; site includes advertisements). See also iCivics (formerly Our Courts), 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).
Third Parties in American Politics - Explains the history of the two-party system and the important roles of third parties in American politics; scroll past the 'We've gone social' banner to see the article. High school and up. (Interview with Professor J. David Gillespie, Presbyterian College; 2004, Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State)
THOMAS : U.S. Congress on the Internet - 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.
Voting - These basic lessons in the statistics of voting examine several commonly used methods of calculating votes, such as plurality and run-off. The lessons also show how the outcome of an election may be different with different voting methods, and how elections can sometimes be manipulated to produce a desired outcome. For high school students. (By a Washington State University math professor.)
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 American Women in Politics, above.