Teachers should use Cast Your Vote as a quick exercise to illustrate the basic process of moderated political debate, or to introduce controversial political issues as part of a unit on elections, debate, or persuasive argumentation. Unfortunately, the game doesn't capture the energy and political conflict present in most presidential debates -- it's too tame for that. There are no off-script moments, interruptions, or answers that go over their allotted time here. Consequently, it might be useful to compare and contrast the game with famous moments from real presidential debates and to discuss what's gained and lost by voters in more and less civil examples of political give and take. If students are struggling with topic generation for a persuasive writing assignment, teachers can have them play Cast Your Vote and pick the point of debate that they find most provocative.Continue reading Show less
Cast Your Vote is a brief and simple point-and-click runthrough of a political debate. Players ask the candidates five questions per game and rate the answers. At the conclusion of the debate, players vote for the candidate with whom they felt they agreed the most. When it's all over, players can review questions and answers, and see if they chose the candidate that did, in fact, best represents their beliefs.
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While it's a quick and easy experience with something to offer, it's difficult to learn a lot of new stuff from Cast Your Vote. The biggest things students will learn is how they stand on some key controversial issues and how different sides of those debates articulate their positions. After studying political parties or an upcoming election, Cast Your Vote can fill in a gap in a politics or debate unit and help students understand how candidates might differ on issues. It could also be integrated in an ELA classroom that's working on persuasive writing.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Reading Informational Text
By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.