270 to Win Lesson Plan

Introduction: We will be using the 270toWin app to examine modern political history in the united States. Starting in the WWII era we will trace the evolution of the electoral college map. Using our prior civics knowledge we will attempt to deconstruct the changes that we see throughout diffrent elections and eras.


-Understand how democracy depends upon the active participation of citizens.

-Explain how opportunity and mobility impacted various groups within American society since Reconstruction (e.g., Americanization movement, settlement house movement, Dust Bowl, the Great Migration, suburbia, etc.).

- Explain the impact of wars on American politics since Reconstruction (e.g., spheres of influence, isolationist practices, containment policies, first and second Red Scare movements, patriotism, terrorist policies, etc.).

-Use appropriate technological tools and other resources to access information (multi-database search engines, online primary resources, virtual interviews with content experts)

Resources: Ipad (Or any Tablet/Computer)

270 to win app or website


1. Break up into groups of 2-3

2. Using the 270 to win app begin cycling through the US presidential elctions. Start with the election of FDR in 1932.

3. Make notes of any big shifts in the outcome of the electoral college. What do you think are most responsible for tehse shifts? Use concepts, such as the great migration, the new deal coaltion, the conservative movement in the united states, etc. to explain changes.

4. Examine the role that third party candidates play in US elections Based on how the electoral college functions. Do you think its possible for a third party candidate to be competitive in a Presidential election?

5. Examine some of the trends in the most recent elections? How do you think historical events we have discussed in this class still influence our political outcomes?

6. (If time permits) check out the Alternative allocation methods. Read the definition for Winner take all, proportional voting, Congressional district voting, and the popular vote. Do you think any of these systems are better than the electoral college? Is the electoral college democratic?

7. Return to class discussion. Ask students about trends they saw and what eelction outcomes they found most interesting.

Conclusions and connections:

What trends do we still see in the United States today? How are historical events covered in civics class still impacting our elections?

Assessment of Understanding:

Students are able to discuss long term trends in US presidential politics. They can identify and define concepts like the Southern Strategy and the New deal coalition. Students can define the electoral college and have an idea of the sates that are most competitive in the US election. They are also able to discuss how having a electoral college rather than popular vote has impacted our government's politics.

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