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November 1, 2020

News Roundup: Record voting as election draws near

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Directions: Read the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions. Have students record what they found most significant in the summaries and ask them what they’d like to learn more about. For a transcript of the video, click here

Summary of the top news: A swing state is a state where the voting outcome in a presidential election is close or uncertain, and a win could “swing” to either major party candidate. With only a few days left before the election, special attention is being paid to potential swing states such as Texas, Michigan and Florida. Both President Trump and former Vice President Biden have campaigned in Tampa, Florida this week and have spent a lot of time discussing COVID-19. Meanwhile, the turnout for early-voting is reaching record-breaking levels

Also in the news:

  • Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice and sworn in Monday at White House ceremony. 
  • Police shot and killed Walter Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man in Philadelphia on Monday, causing a breakout of protests in the city. See how this is affecting the presidential election
  • There has been a long wildfire season in the West, and reporter Maggie Mullen said it’s not over
  • The World Health Organization says there are now more than 10 million cases of COVID-19 in Europe. 
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously suggested that ‘close contact’ occurs when a person is within six feet of an infected individual for 15 consecutive minutes. Now, they’re saying even brief contact can lead to transmission.

Discussion:

Warm up questions: 

  1. What is a swing state?
  2. Where are some key swing states?
  3. What do the presence of swing states mean in a presidential election?
  4. Who is trying to ‘swing’ states?
  5. When will we know how swing states vote this year?

Focus questions:

  1. Do you think swing states will vote the same as they did in 2016? 
  2. What is different in the 2020 election that may change the way swing states voted in the 2016 election?
  3. How do you think voters in swing states are treated differently by candidates? 

Media literacy: What news do you think was most important from this summary? What important news are you aware of that was left out?

Dig deeper: Take a look at this lesson plan to help your students predict the next president of the United States and make sure your students know what’s important for election day this week.

This lesson was written by EXTRA’s intern by Rebecca Shaid, a freshman at Northwestern University.

 

Cover photo:

Voters line up to cast ballots outside the Barclays Center which is used as a polling station, on the first day of early voting in Brooklyn, New York. Oct. 24, 2020. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon


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