Elections and politics can be an overwhelming and difficult subject to follow but luckily there are teachers out there to help us make sense of it all. I was at West Forsyth High School a teacher shared with me many of her go to websites to help students find the truths behind politics and the political arena.
Below are her websites with a brief explanation of what they might be used for.
Often times people can tell a lot about a politician by the support they receive in election season.
http://www.opensecrets.org/ is a great website that lets you explore who is funding the presidential and congressional candidates. This website will be a great resource for students to back their arguments and leads to great discussion on how candidates vote while in office. This website has data on fundraising amounts by candidates as well as their largest PAC supporters.
Many promises are made in election season. One of my favorite websites is http://www.politifact.com/ . Politifacts is a website that helps citizens follow a politician or idea (i.e. healthcare) and find the truths behind the claims made and the reality of those claims. Politifacts is chocked full of information to help your students discern between what political ads claim and what is really happening.
During election season students may wonder where they stand compared to other Americans on certain issues. Polls are a great way to determine this. http://www.pollingreport.com/ is a great website that collects many polls and puts them on one website. Polls from CNN, AP, Wall Street Journal and the PEW Research Center are just a few that this collection has to offer. The homepage offers polls anywhere from the President and Congress to National Security and Issues that are recently trending.
Three other local websites that would be of interest is the NC Democratic Party's website http://www.ncdp.org/ the NC Republican Party's website www.ncgop.org/ and the Forsyth County Board of Elections website www.co.forsyth.nc.us/Elections/
With the political season on the horizon I hope these websites offer a few tools to help you weather the storm.