Print the 10 Flashes of Insight flashcards that discuss the many values that can be prioritized when a voting map is drawn. Alternatively, contact Draw the Lines to request sets of cards for your classroom. We will send them free of charge (we’ll even pay for shipping), one pack of 10 for each student in your class. Please allow 2 weeks for delivery.

Project the flashcards in front of the class and lead a brief class discussion to make sure everyone understands what each value means.

Then split the classroom into groups of 3-4 students apiece. Have each student rank the values that they would prioritize if they were drawing their own map. If they have the printed cards, they can put them in order of preference.

Once they have ordered their stack, have them discuss in their small group why they ranked the values the way they did.

Help students understand that there are two primary takeaways:

There is no one correct way to draw districts. Different values require trade-offs. For example, to make a competitive district, you may have to forego compactness.

 

Extension questions:

  • How did you think about ‘communities of interest’ when ranking that value?
  • Do you think it’s important for a map to intentionally create districts that are competitive in elections? Or should districts be drawn without considering previous election results or voter registration data?
  • Do you remember what values are enshrined in the US and Pennsylvania Constitutions? How did you think about those in relation to others that are not enshrined?