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November 4, 2020

What to discuss with your students on the day after Election Day


Directions: Watch the video above and read the NewsHour article, “Without a winner, Trump falsely claims victory while Biden urges patience” and answer the discussion questions. 

Then, check out EXTRA’s lesson on how the AP counts the vote HERE. Important to know on November 4:


Warm up questions: Have your students identify the 5Ws and an H:

    • Who are the people involved in Election 2020?
    • What are the main outstanding counts as of Nov. 4?
    • When and where does the AP news service decide to call elections?
    • Why have some states been called and others have not?
    • How do state results determine the outcomes of national elections? (see this lesson Should the Electoral College stay or go?)

Then have students share with the class or through a Learning Management System (LMS).

Focus questions:

  1. Why are we still unsure who won the election? Why did certain states like Pennsylvania and Michigan not allow mail-in ballots to be counted until Election Day?
  2. Why would President Trump falsely claim victory in the election when there are several states who have not counted all their votes?

Media literacy: Why do the chances of misinformation spread increase around key events like a presidential race?

  • If interested in a lesson exploring how to spot disinformation online, click here.

Dig deeper: As discussed in the article above, President Donald Trump has falsely claimed victory and called for the vote count to be halted, a move unprecedented in modern U.S. history. However, elections have been contested in the past. Use this lesson to explore how previous contested elections shaped history, including the contest of 2000.


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