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Biden addresses Congress

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November 3, 2022

Classroom Resources on the Midterm Elections

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Midterm elections are around the corner; and now more than ever, global issues are on the ballot! 

Our elected officials make decisions that reverberate the world over, from funding the war effort in Ukraine to responding to China’s growing influence. Yet, less than half of young people ages 18-29 voted in the last election. Let’s change that by showing our students how their vote can make a difference, even at a global level.

Read on for classroom resources on how domestic issues impact politics abroad, including a resource about Congress’ role in foreign policy decision-making and the relationship between journalism and public opinion on U.S. foreign policy.

High School

Are you teaching your students about Congress’ role in setting U.S. foreign policy?

Constitution gives Congress certain Foreign Policy powers

If you are interested in teaching your students about all the ways Congress can impact U.S. foreign policy, What Roles Do Congress and the Executive Branch Play in U.S. Foreign Policy? is a great place to start. Guide your students through a discussion of whether the balance of power is truly balanced, and wrap up class by testing their knowledge using this activity.

Do you want to teach your students how they can influence U.S. foreign policy? 

Foreign policy can seem distant and removed from the purview of the average citizen, but that isn’t the case! Have your students dive into the different ways outside forces can affect foreign policy with How Do Forces Outside Government Influence Policymaking? This resource outlines all the external factors that impact the decisions of foreign policy decision-makers, from social media to think tanks like the Council on Foreign Relations.

Are you teaching your students about the different approaches to foreign policy? 

Words like “multilateralism” have been swirling around during this election cycle as prospective members of Congress discuss their stances on U.S. foreign policy. But do your students understand what such concepts mean? Talk through the different approaches to U.S. foreign policy with Unilateralism Versus Multilateralism, and then use our Model Diplomacy mini simulation to spark a discussion about what they might do if they were in a decision-maker’s shoes.

Higher Education

Do you want to spark a classroom discussion about a hot-button midterm election issue?

U.S. flag

Engage your students in a conversation about one issue that has held focus during this election cycle: immigration. Use our Model Diplomacy simulation on asylum seekers at the U.S. border to encourage your class to think like a policymaker and understand the challenges of carrying out immigration laws. 

Are you teaching your students about potential solutions to climate change? 

To fight climate change, our policymakers are weighing the immeasurable benefits of taking action with the costs and risks of different solutions. Have your students discuss one such solution using our mini Model Diplomacy simulation Solar Geoengineering, which walks through the challenges of drafting climate change policy at both the national and global levels.

Election Related Videos for the Classroom

If you are a high school or higher ed educator looking for a curated list of election materials, we have you covered—check out our playlist!

CFR Education

CFR Education is an initiative within the Council on Foreign Relations that aims to make complex foreign policy and international issues accessible for middle, high school and college students through its educational products: World101, Model Diplomacy, and Convene the Council.These resources equip

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