What better way to learn about redistricting than by drawing your own congressional map??

This option allows your class to start with a mostly complete map and just finish the final few districts. They will still learn how use data to make their map and how to make tough decisions to achieve their goals, without having to commit several hours to completing a map from scratch.

All finished maps are eligible for the Draw the Lines mapping competition. See the rules for the PA Congressional Mapping Competition here. Students can win up to $5,000 for their map.

Draw the Lines is available to help use DistrictBuilder with a virtual presentation. You can request our help here.

Have students create a free account on DistrictBuilder. Then, using the Flashes of Insight exercise as their guide, students should choose which of the following values matters most to them:

  • Compactness
  • Competitive elections
  • Equal population

After logging in, they’ll reach the “Choose a Map. Start Drawing” page. In the #2 box, they’ll select their map type. Click on the “Shared” tab on the left side of the screen. There, they will see a list of starter maps to choose from, featuring both a priority and a region to map.

Once selected, this is a good time to show them DTL’s demo video for how to use the platform.

Some questions you can ask to guide the discussion as they map:

  • Does our region have a natural dividing line that we should use as a district boundary?
  • Are there neighborhoods that should be kept together in the same district? Why?
  • If we maximize the metrics of our top goal, what metrics might worsen?

Have the students scan the rest of the map outside their region. Are there any districts they want to change? Any metrics for a particular district they want to improve?

Once the map is done, students can complete the personal statement in the submission form, talking about why they drew their map the way they did and how they accomplished their goals.

Once students have completed their map, we ask that they complete DTL’s short survey.

Please note: a Draw the Lines team member is often available for a virtual session to demo the platform with students. Please contact us info@drawthelinespa.org to request more information.

Teachers, we can work with you directly to figure out the best way for you to access your students’ maps and personal statements after they are submitted. Again, please contact us at info@drawthelinespa.org so we can make arrangements with you.