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CNN Student News: Talking Democracy - Teaching Tools

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(CNN Student News) -- Each month in 2008, CNN Student News will be "Talking Democracy" by introducing an election-year topic on the show and online. From caucuses to conventions and primaries to polls, CNN Student News will be breaking down these election-year concepts for students and teachers.

CNN Student News: Talking Democracy - Teaching Tools

Classes are invited to show what they know about the political process by submitting iReports to CNN Student News. Classes are encouraged to use original video, music, animation and other production elements to demonstrate their knowledge of each political concept. There's a list of political concepts and the months they will air below. The best iReports may appear on CNN Student News.

This Web page is your one-stop destination for Talking Democracy educational materials and iReport information. As the year unfolds, additional materials will be added to this site that address the different topics your students will learn about in the Talking Democracy series. Be sure to revisit often!

Talking Democracy Topics

January: Caucuses and Primaries
February: The Right to Vote
March: Political Parties
April: Campaign Finance
May: Polling
June and July: The Issues
August: Conventions
September: Debates
October: What's at Stake?
November: Electoral College

Learning Activities

Caucuses and Primaries
The Right to Vote
Political Parties
Campaign Finance
Political Issues
Debates Viewing Guide
Electoral College Reform
Predict Electoral College Votes


Caucuses and Primaries
The Right to Vote
Political Parties
Campaign Finance
Political Polls
Political Issues
Electoral College

Talking Democracy Questions

Use these questions to test your knowledge of the presidential election process, then check the answers to see how you did.


Delegates 101 Video Delegate-hunting can be a mathematical challenge, but CNN's Jill Dougherty says it adds up to American-style democracy.
Right to Vote Video CNN Student News explores the right to vote, and an iReporting classroom chimes in with reasons to exercise it.
Political Parties 101 Video Discover some of the differences between the Democratic and Republican parties.
Campaign Finance 101 Video Check out some of the rules concerning cash for presidential campaigns.
Polling 101 Video Discover why a random sampling is an important aspect of an opinion poll.
Conventions 101 Video CNN Student News takes you behind the scenes of the national political conventions.
Debates 101 The candidates face off as CNN Student News provides the background and backdrop for presidential debates.
Electoral College 101 Video CNN Student News' Carl Azuz gives us the 411 on the Electoral College


Why delegates matter in the presidential race Click through this interactive for an explanation of the different types of delegates and how they are chosen in the nomination process for the Democratic and Republican parties.

Electoral Map Calculator Use this Electoral College map to examine how the presidential candidates may fare in November's election, based on analysis from the CNN Political Unit. Then call the race yourself! Click on a state, choose a winner, and watch the electoral votes add up.

Cable in the Classroom's eLECTIONS campaign simulation Make all the decisions for a virtual run for the U.S. presidency, allocating budget, selecting key issues, choosing where to campaign, and responding to the opponent's moves and other external events.

Debate Quiz How much do you know about debate history? These questions will test your knowledge and include video of some memorable moments in presidential debate history.

Related Resources

CNN Election Center 2008
FEC: 2008 Presidential Caucus and Primary Dates
Project How Does the Primary Process Work?
CNN Campaign Trail Jargonbuster



Students can demonstrate their understanding of election-related topics by sending in their own Talking Democracy iReports. Click here for information on how to send in iReports.

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