2016 Presidential Election

NAMLE recently partnered with the National Speech and Debate Association to create a resource for teachers interested in exploring Campaign 2016 in their classroom. The new resource outlines strategic uses for speech and debate in the classroom, strategic uses for media literacy in the classroom, and lesson prompts for evaluating media and debating the issues. We hope you find it valuable and share it with your colleagues.

Export the PDF of the NAMLE NSDA Resource

While developing this resource, NAMLE and NSDA gathered additional resources that might be helpful to you in your classroom and beyond when exploring the presidential election.

Here are some of the resources available to you:


Media Literacy- How to Watch the Debates: this article breaks down the presidential debates for middle school students. It provides key information about the debates, activity ideas and critical thinking questions for students.

Lesson Plans/Curriculum

C-SPAN Classroom Campaign 2016: Take students on the road to the White House, as C-SPAN a multitude of lessons for 10 units, including meeting the presidential candidates, political parties, the electoral college, and voting.

Edutopia’s Election 2016 Resources: This includes a list of lesson plans and digital resources for educators to use in their classrooms.

Kid Voting USA: a voter education program with the goal of increasing voter turnout. Content varies by state.

Letters 2 the Next President, National Initiative from the National Writing Project: This project encourages students to write letters based on issues that matter the most to them.

Media Smarts- election related lesson plans: Media smarts has tons of good resources. Here are some lesson plans relating to watching elections.

NEA’s Elections Resources: The National Education Association has compiled a list of teacher resources just in time for election season.

NewseumEd- Election 2016: Stumped!?: A collection of activities to be used in the classroom, which help to decode campaign messages, and provide historical context for students, just to name a few.

PBS Learning Media’s Election Central: An educational guide to the U.S. Elections, and includes news, lesson plans, interactive activities, historical background information and more.

ProCon.org – 2016 Presidential Election: The Candidates and Where They Stand on the Issues: Provides a detailed breakdown of each presidential candidate and their stance on a variety of issues (75 so far).

Project Look Sharp’s Media Construction of Presidential Campaigns: a free kit for educators, which teaches about the role of media in presidential elections ranging from 1800 until present. Primary sources and lesson plans included.

Teaching Democracy: A Media Literacy Approach: A Project of the Japanese American National Museum Developed and Written by Jeff Share, Ph.D. and Elizabeth Thoman, Founder, Center for Media Literacy, this PDF helps educators explore real-life issues of democracy and justice with their students.

Teaching for Democracy Alliance: a site focused on strengthening student learning about elections and informed voting. They have a collection of election activity resources, as well as upcoming webinars.

Teaching Tolerance: this informative magazine has a variety election 2016 resources for all ages.

Voices of the Future: From the National Debate & Speech Association, this encourages students (and teachers) to read, write, speak, and listen in regards to the 2016 presidential election.

Vote Smart: This has free activities and resources for grades K-12. It includes lessons about voter registration, campaign financing and more.

We are Teachers Blog: Teach Politics in Class and Live to Tell About It: this blog provides teaching tips and strategies for teaching politics and elections. It includes critiquing televised debates, holding classroom elections and more.

15 Great Digital Media Projects for the Presidential Election Season: Products mentioned include: iCivics, Letters to the Next President, StoryCorps, TED-Ed Lessons, I Side With, the PEW Research Center, Poll Everywhere, the California Secretary of State, the LA County Registrar’s Office, PBS LearningMedia, Blogger, and WordPress.

News Coverage

BBC News: US Election 2016- All you need to know: A detailed breakdown of who can run for president, the political process and a look at the debates are all included.

Five Ways to Survive Political News Coverage: A blog post with helpful reminders about media bias and the news coverage of the current presidential election.

News Literacy Project: A site dedicated to help educators teach middle and high school students how to sort “fact from fiction in the digital age”.

NPR Politics: There’s More To It: political news from NPR. Includes fact-checking, and the breakdown of key issues.

NY Times Learning Channel’s Election 2016 Blog: This blog is dedicated to providing teachers with lessons based on the current presidential campaigns.

PBS- 2016 Campaign Connection: A culmination of PBS and NPR resources- a slew of information!

Scholastic News: Election 2016: A news source for students, it includes articles, videos, interactive and more for both teachers and students.

The Upshot: From the New York Times, this site has a collection of articles as well as interactive forecasts about the upcoming presidential and senate elections.

Political Ads

Decoding Political Ads: This breaks down political ads in swing states, and provides critical thinking questions for students and possible lesson plans for teachers.

The Living Room Candidate: From the Museum of the Moving Image in NYC, this site is home to a huge collection of presidential campaign commercials from 1952-2016.

NY Times- The Ad Campaign: By Nick Corasanti, it breaks down the messaging powering the 2016 presidential election.

Political TV Ad Archive: All political ads for tv from 2016 are archived here. Additional resources, including a candidate television tracker.


Teaching Presidential Elections on Wednesday, September 14. Moderated by Dr. Belinha DeAbreu, the discussion focused on how teachers can effectively bring the conversation about presidential debates into their classroom this fall.  Frank Baker (Media Literacy Clearinghouse) and Kamy Akhavan from procon.org  joined Dr. DeAbreu to share their expertise and resources.


Have resources you have created or you want to share? Please contact us at namle@namle.net so we can add them to this resource list!