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Slavery and the Electoral College: A CivCon (Civil Conversation)

Grade Level Grade 8, Grades 11-12
Resource Type Activity
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards


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What role did slavery play in the development of the Electoral College? Historians debate the subject. Students explore this question in this CivCon (Civil Conversation) lesson.

It is strongly recommended that this CivCon lesson follow the lesson 270 Votes to Win: The Electoral College in the United States to build students' prior knowledge of the functioning of the Electoral College.

In this CivCon, students read a short text that outlines competing arguments about the significance of the link between slavery and the Electoral College. Next, they participate in a Civil Conversation based on the reading. In this structured discussion method, under the guidance of a facilitator (the teacher), participants are encouraged to engage intellectually with challenging materials, gain insight about their own point of view, and strive for shared understanding of issues. 




January 7, 2021
1.6 MB
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Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.


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