Opening discussion and in-class videos: Gerrymandering explained

What issue do you care about?

First, ask students what issue(s) they care about. Climate change? Immigration? Healthcare? Criminal justice? You’ll get a wide range of responses.

Then ask: what would they like to see happen to improve the status quo on those issues?

Then, ask how that change happens. It most likely will take an act of the state legislature or U.S. Congress. Help them draw the conclusion that how we elect representatives impacts any issue they care about.

(Day 2’s lesson, Why does gerrymandering matter?, has a rich discussion activity on this.)

Video: Redistricting and gerrymandering basics

Introduce the concept of redistricting and gerrymandering with one of these three short web videos. Then do a 3-2-1 video analysis.

- What are 3 facts you learned from the video?
- What are 2 images that stood out to you?
- Create / Ask 1 question based on the video.

(Want some further tips on using a 3-2-1 activity in your class? Use this website.)

"Gerrymandering, explained" by the Washington Post (2:41 run-time)

"Gerrymandering: How drawing jagged lines can impact an election" by TED-Ed (3:52 run-time)

"Gerrymandering: Crash Course" by PBS Digital Studios (7:57 run-time)